Premiere: Kyle Donovan Savors Youth with “Be a Boy”

Kyle Donovan © Daniel Herman
Kyle Donovan’s latest single “Be A Boy” expresses gratitude towards his parents who always supported and encouraged him to enjoy his youth while he was young.
Stream: “Be a Boy” – Kyle Donovan

It is a tale as old as time. When we are kids we want to grow up and when we are grown up we don’t want the responsibilities of being grown up. When you’re growing up, small things often feel like the end of the world. If you’re lucky you have people around you who assure you that it’s not going to be the end of the world. You have someone older and wiser telling you to enjoy these days while you have them, to not take everything so seriously, because one day you’ll grow up – and you’ll wish you had cherished these moments. Kyle Donovan recounts his childhood and the support and encouragement he received from his parents to enjoy youth in new single, “Be A Boy.”

Then and Now - Kyle Donovan

Then and Now – Kyle Donovan

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “Be a Boy,” the latest single off Kyle Donovan’s forthcoming album Then and Now (out August 30, 2019). Donovan describes the tune best when saying, “As a kid, I was often preoccupied with big picture questions; the fear of death and mortality weighed heavy on my little mind. This song is special to me because it conveys a real sense of tenderness with which my parents supported my curiosity while also encouraging me to not overthink things — to be a boy.”

“Be A Boy” starts with a delightful guitar lick accompanied by soft major piano chords giving you the feeling of ease and hope in a Randy Newman-like fashion.

When I was just a child
almost off to sleep
My mother sang a simple song to me
And when the room was still again,
I reached out for her gentle hand
And asked her what it means to be in love

The song effortlessly transitions into the chorus as Donovan’s crisp voice sings,

And she said, “Son, someday you’ll be a man
maybe then, you’ll understand
What it means to fall for someone else,
to laugh, and cry, and lose yourself
Deep inside the gaze of honest lovers
But while you’ve got this young and tender joy,
My son, be a boy”
Kyle Donovan © Daniel Herman

Kyle Donovan © Daniel Herman


The song then continues to address different phases and challenges of life that are unimaginable to go through without the support of your parents.

One morning by the riverside,
fishing in the shallow tide,
My father taught me how to tie a line
And when we cast back out again,
I reached out for his weathered hand,
And asked him what it means to be a father

The final chorus changes melodically just a twinge. Donovan allows his vocals to run and his pitch to soar as he delivers a message that is as important as it is real. While you can, be a boy, be a girl – don’t worry when you don’t have to, and never be afraid to lean on the love and support of others.

And they said, “Son, someday you’ll be a man
maybe then, you’ll understand
What it means to lose the ones you love
To feel the grief of everyone
Who’s lost a friend or lover in this life
But while you’ve got this young and tender joy
My son, be a boy”

“Be A Boy” listens like a bed time story easing you into a feeling of hope and peace. It is the first single off Donovan’s album, called Then and Now, out August 30, that is unsurprisingly and delightfully focused on the passage of time and universal themes of humanism. Pre-order it here.

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Then and Now - Kyle Donovan

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📸 © Daniel Herman

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Kelly has been with Atwood since its earliest days in 2014. She is originally from Pittsburgh, PA, now based in New Orleans, LA and has been singing, writing, playing guitar and piano for almost all of her life. Music drives everything she does. She brings her unique perspective with each piece, always open to discovering something or someone new.