Golden Years – Unveiling the Timeless Elegance of Nostalgia


You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for David Bowie's Golden Years at Lyrics.org.
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning
  4. A Gleaming Antidote to Existential Dread
  5. The Enigmatic Promises of Permanence
  6. Ride Back to Where You Once Belonged
  7. The Quest for Smarts in the Midst of Splendor
  8. The Resonance of Timeless Lines

Lyrics

Golden years, gold whop whop whop
Golden years, gold whop whop whop
Golden years, gold whop whop whop

Don’t let me hear you say life’s taking you nowhere
Angel
Come get up, my baby
Look at that sky, life’s begun
Nights are warm and the days are young
Come get up, my baby

There’s my baby, lost that’s all
Once I’m begging you save her little soul
Golden years, gold whop whop whop
Come get up, my baby

Last night they loved you
Opening doors and pulling some strings
Angel
Come get up, my baby
In walked luck and you looked in time
Never look back, walk tall, act fine
Come get up, my baby

I’ll stick with you, baby, for a thousand years
Nothing’s gonna touch you in these golden years
Gold
Golden years, gold whop whop whop
Come get up, my baby

Some of these days, and it won’t be long
Gonna drive back down where you once belonged
In the back of a dream car twenty foot long
Don’t cry, my sweet, don’t break my heart
Doing all right, but you gotta get smart
Wish upon, wish upon, day upon day, I believe, oh Lord
I believe all the way
Come get up, my baby
Run for the shadows, run for the shadows
Run for the shadows in these golden years

There’s my baby, lost that’s all
Once I’m begging you save her little soul
Golden years, gold whop whop whop
Come get up, my baby

Don’t let me hear you say life’s taking you nowhere
Angel
Come get up, my baby
Run for the shadows, run for the shadows
Run for the shadows in these golden years

I’ll stick with you, baby, for a thousand years
Nothing’s gonna touch you in these golden years
Gold

Golden years, gold whop whop whop
Golden years, gold whop whop whop
Golden years, gold whop whop whop
Golden years, gold whop whop whop
Golden years, gold whop whop whop
Golden years, gold whop whop whop
Golden years, gold whop whop whop
Golden years, gold whop whop whop
Golden years, gold whop whop whop
Golden years, gold whop whop whop

Full Lyrics

In the annals of music history, the illustrious David Bowie stands as a pioneering chameleon of rock, an artist who continuously redefined himself and the soundscapes around him. ‘Golden Years’, a masterpiece from his prolific corpus, is not just a song, but a sonic tapestry woven with the vibrant threads of time, nostalgia, and unbridled hope.

The track, with its funky groove and soul-infused rhythms, was a standout when it wafted through the airwaves in 1975. Beneath the infectious beat, Bowie offers a deeper message, one rife with introspection and the impermanence of life’s glorious peaks. Let’s stride into Bowie’s golden-era dreamscape, and decipher the opulence of the cryptic poetry he bestows upon us.

A Gleaming Antidote to Existential Dread

Bowie’s silken command, ‘Don’t let me hear you say life’s taking you nowhere, Angel,’ is less an invocation than a plea for poetic resilience. The artist knows the shadows that skulk around human existence, and with these words, he offers a candle – the prospect of ‘golden years.’ It’s a reassuring embrace in the face of life’s uncertain march, encouraging the listener to transcend beyond the ephemeral now.

The plea is laced with an urgency, a call to action against the backdrop of fleeting time. ‘Come get up, my baby,’ he beckons, a mantra repeated throughout the song, highlighting the need to seize the day, grasp life’s reins, and gallop into the horizon where nights are warm, and the days, young – a metaphor for unshackling from the ennui and embracing the vividness of the present.

The Enigmatic Promises of Permanence

‘I’ll stick with you, baby, for a thousand years. Nothing’s gonna touch you in these golden years,’ Bowie avows, threading a narrative of constancy amidst the flux. The promise of a thousand-year allegiance seems hyperbolic, yet within the hyperbole lies Bowie’s artful skewering of time’s arrow – pledging love and protection against the ravages of time.

This juxtaposition of the eternal against the momentary seasons of life’s victories and woes speaks to a deeper human desire – the aching for narratives that outlive the corporeal boundaries set by our human expiration.

Ride Back to Where You Once Belonged

In the velvet-lined verses, ‘Some of these days, and it won’t be long, Gonna drive back down where you once belonged,’ lies a poignant nod to the human condition’s circular journey. Bowie infuses a notion of inevitability in our return to origins, to the familiar canvas upon which our dreams were first painted.

He coats this return with a hint of rebellion in his direction to ‘Run for the shadows in these golden years.’ It reads as an incitement to not just recall but to reclaim – a move towards the shadows wherein our histories and our futures may converge and converse.

The Quest for Smarts in the Midst of Splendor

‘Doing all right, but you gotta get smart,’ Bowie asserts—a recognition that even within our golden epochs, there’s no room for complacency. The glory of accomplishment is tempered by the need for wisdom, for the song’s protagonist, and as metaphor, for the listener. It’s about basking in the glow, yet being alert to the lessons life etches along the way.

Bowie, through the song, seems to insinuate that the lustre of our achievements isn’t blinding if met with the lucid gaze of discernment.

The Resonance of Timeless Lines

Songs like ‘Golden Years’ distinguish themselves with lines that resonate through the ages, evoking emotion and contemplation beyond their initial release. The titular refrain, ‘Golden years, gold whop whop whop,’ becomes a chant, a celebration, and a lament all at once – a sonic mantra that sticks in the mind long after the last note fades.

Call it an earworm or a slice of lyrical genius, but phrases from ‘Golden Years’ have slipped into our cultural lexicon, melting the barriers of time much like Bowie’s envisioned ‘thousand years,’ securing Bowie’s eternal spot in the golden halls of music legend.

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