"Golden" as written by and Mark Edward Kozelek....
Sister woke me up as he fell out of the sky
There's a golden place
Where the angels crash and die
You can jab and poke

But what did you ever give?
I don't hear your voice
Resonate like his
Hear it resonate like his

You were endless fuel
Burning fast and burning free
Not a wide eyed fool
That fell into the sea
That vanished in the sea

You're alive and good St. John
As the AM waves the horn [unverified]
You belong as much to me
As as the ships do to the sea
As as the ships do to the sea

You're the corner stone
Filled my room with sun
When the polished vinyl spun
I will see your face

Crashing down against the wind
And it's a sadder place
When that crackling vinyl spins
When the crackling vinyl spins

You still living good St. John
High up in the yellow sun
We can find your vacant grin
In every thread store bin
You're a dime-a-dozen man
You're a dime-a-dozen man

And you're far beyond me
But your dreams touch so soon
And you're life was big and for
Like your words so beautiful
Dumb de dumb de dumb
Always echo across the world

Lyrics submitted by ThreeMilesDown, edited by nickgreen91, akagoldfish

"Golden" as written by Mark Edward Kozelek

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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Golden song meanings
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  • 0
    General Commentmy grandfather's last name was St. John. he passed away this year, and now this song means so much more to me.
    atomsplitteron June 19, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThese lyrics are incomplete.
    CursiveMineralon April 10, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAs stated above, they lyrics are incomplete. Here are a couple of corrections:

    "You're alive and good, St. John, as the AM waves live on" (not "as the AM waves the horn").

    "You belong as much to me as the ships do to the sea" (not "...as the ships steered to the sea"...he does kind of sound like he's saying "steered" but the actual lyric makes much more sense).

    "You're the cornerstone of my memories as a kid" (filling omission)

    "I always see you're face" (not "I will see your face")

    "We can find your vacant grin in every dusty thrift store bin" (not "in every thread store bin")

    "...and you're far above the moon that you dreamed to touch so soon" (not "you're far beyond me but your dreams touch too soon")

    The "dime a dozen" line should be punctuated as such: "You're a dime-a-dozen, man".

    "...and your life was big and full like like your words, so beautiful" (not "...and you're life was big and for")

    The song is Mark Kozelek's tribute to John Denver. He has on several occasions expressed his devotion to the late singer/songwriter and has actually recorded several of his songs (his version of "Around and Around" is beautiful). He counts Denver as a huge influence in his own work.

    The first line alludes to the plane crash that took Denver's life. John was an avid aviator and was always stretching the boundaries of that field. The plane he was piloting when he went down was an experimental model that had not been approved by the FAA.

    John Denver is not exactly cool in most circles. He was a unique man with a voice just as unique. He had a goofy grin and a down-home aura that was more often ridiculed than admired. He sang some silly songs like "Grandma's Feather Bed" and "Thank God I'm a Country Boy" and when they became big hits they sort of sealed his caricature as a hick. For most people at least. When Koz sings "you can jab and poke" he's referring to all the people who give him short shrift and make fun of him without digging deeper into his work to find the endearingly sensitive side of someone much more complex than he's given credit for being. Mark sings "What did you ever give? I don't hear your voice resonate like his" and he's basically saying, well fuck you if you judge a person so superficially, when did you ever wear your heart on your sleeve to let others do the same to you? He was not the "wide eyed fool" that many made him out to be, and this probably has more to do with his optimistic nature than anything else. Another trait that's not too popular these days. No, he was "endless fuel, burning fast and burning free". Perhaps he's saying that JD, as a human being and the person he was, had every right to that optimism.

    I'm thinking the line about the AM waves live on has more to do with memory than actual radio waves. John Denver was such an iconic figure in those days...a before FM radio became the sole outlet for pop/rock music. It's one of those things like "you can't think of the seventies without thinking of John Denver", so as long as there are people still remeniscing about the seventies there will be the memory of John Denver and the legend will live on.

    And though that legend even still is beloved by many, Kozelek's affection is deeply personal to him. "You belong as much to me as the ships do to the sea". That's such a beautiful line and would work well in practically any love song you could imagine. He sings of how dear the memory of playing John Denver records in his youth. He was more than just a childhood hero, he was "the cornerstone of all (his) memories as a kid". Denver's hit song "Sunshine On My Shoulders" is referenced in the line "filled my room with sun".

    "As the polished vinyl spun"...such a poignant transition to how it's a sadder place "when that crackling vinyl spins". Many years passed are summed up between those two lines, and many, many times the narrator has gone back to those Denver records, to the point where scratches and wear have given the vinyl a layer of extra meaning. It's a long, long ways from being a standard on the "AM waves" to having your albums in the "dime-a-dozen bin" at the local thrift store (and two to one says all of them have the same "crackling" sound from thousands of spins). He speaks to John, you'll never believe this but "you're a dime a dozen, man". A shame but it is what it is. But what does it matter in the grand scheme of things? "You're far above the moon that your dreams touched too soon".

    So much more to this song, but that's all I have time for. Mark Kozelek is not only one of the greatest songwriters of our generation, he's also a formidable poet.
    jackoryon January 31, 2013   Link

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