Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen) December 31, 2006Posted by Unreasonable in Personal Development.
Mary Schmich’s “Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young” was published in the Chicago Tribune as a column on June 1, 1997. In her introduction to the column, she described it as the commencement address she would give if she were asked to give one. When the column became the song, her wish came true as at Zagreb‘s Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing the song Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen) is played on every graduation ceremony.
Soon it became the subject of an urban legend, according to which it was originally an MIT commencement speech given by author Kurt Vonnegut in the same year (which was false) and by the year of 1999 it was already widespread. But in fact, the commencement speaker at MIT that year was Kofi Annan.
The poem-like piece has drawn frequent comparison to the Max Ehrmann poem Desiderata, which was also the subject of an urban legend misattribution.