The passage of time
Is flicking dimly up on the screen
I can't see the lines
I used to think i could read between
Perhaps my brains have turned to san
Oh me oh my
I think it's been an eternity
You'd be surprised
At my degree of uncertainty
How can moments go so slow.
Several times
I've seen the evening slide away
Watching the signs
Taking over from the fading day
Perhaps my brains are old and scrambled.
Several times
I've seen the evening slide away
Watching the signs
Taking over from the fading day
Changing water into wine.
Several times
I've seen the evening slide away
Watching the signs
Taking over from the fading day
Putting the grapes back on the vine.
(simultaneously with the last two verses, another voice sings another melody with different words, as follows:)
Who would believe what a poor set of eyes can show you
Who would believe what an innocent voice could do
Never a silence always a face at the door.
Who would believe what a poor set of ears can tell you
Who would believe what a weak pair of hands can do
Never a silence always a foot in the door.

Lyrics submitted by iNclet, edited by goodnews, Parzival

"Golden Hours" as written by Brian Eno

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Golden Hours song meanings
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  • +1
    General Commentdri-ft i have to say you have a pretty perverse reading of eno's song titles...
    zeros1xon March 18, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"Here Come The Warm Jets" was titled because of the guitars in the song.... It has nothing to do with urination, nor does this song.

    To me, this song always seemed to be about someone sitting in front of a TV, growing old and decaying, while useless miracles are performed on screen (Water to wine, saving grapes from being plucked) which are of no help at all. I'm sure it wasn't the intention of the song at all, but that's what I picture.
    RealityRippleon April 11, 2008   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI actually think this is a song about watching the day turn to evening. There's a term in photography called "The Golden Hour" which is before sunset. During the Golden Hour, the "color temperature" is about 3,500 K, or things take on a diffuse, golden hue.

    Several lines make me think this. For instance, "Turning water into wine". Watching water, a clear substance take on a golden hue, much like the air does during "the golden hour" before sunset.

    "Watching the signs taking over from the fading day" or watching illuminated signs illuminate during the fading day, and as the sun goes down, those signs illuminate more of their surroundings than the sun does.

    Someone can be outside, watching the sun begin to set during this time, watching the hues change to a warmer color, then colder into dark, it can make you think of the slow decline of life from adulthood, to middle age, old age, and death.
    c0t0d0s2on January 21, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTwo things to add:

    the "spasmodic percussion" on this one sounds possibly a bit typewriteresque, so maybe the song is about writing?

    but Golden Hours is a reference to Golden Showers, a strange sexual thing involving urination. Which Eno seems to have quite a thing about (eg. Here Come The Warm Jets)

    so really I'm not very sure, but it seems to be about time spent doing something good.
    or something

    it's maybe my favourite song
    dri-fton February 18, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentNot sure about the golden showers thing. The song seems to be about growing old, and "golden hours" seems to me like a kind of frozen moment in time.

    It's hard to put into words, like so many of Eno's lyrics are. Interestingly, he said of writing the lyrics for Another Day On Earth (much later of course, but it seems to be present in many of his songs): "What I think lyrics have to do is engage a certain part of your brain in a sort of search activity so your brain wants to say, 'Here are some provocative clues as to what this song might be about'."
    whapcapnon May 07, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentit's a piece of music with a fascinating combination of feelings though. it reminds me of Under in that respect.
    dri-fton September 08, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is primarily and explicitly about Brian Eno's research into the idea of "The Long Now" or, basically, contemplating time on not a human but a geologic scale. He has joined other composers and computer scientists to compose music that is infinitely long, yet never repetitive, made up of various sounds of clock bells and chimes.

    I don't have the effort in me to find the links, but they are all over Eno's Wikipedia entry.
    thezpnon April 17, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think it's about coming to a stop or just slowing down a lot. Like when you've been rushing around for a long time and all of a sudden you become aware of yourself again. It really reminds me of Sunday Morning by the Velvet Underground for some reason I probably shouldn't compare songs because people might not have heard it but I think it has a lot of the same ideas and feelings. "Never a silence, always a face at the door" is like "Watch out, the world's behind you, there's always someone around you who will's nothing at all."
    thebodiesobtainedon April 30, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti rescind any & all comments i may previously have made on this song (guess i must have been thinking about "here come the warm jets" and been led astray - and realityripple, if you ever read this, eno definitely did say in an interview once that urophilia was "certainly a reference" as far as that title is concerned:… - interesting item anyway)

    instead I offer this little factlet on the title of this song: I've heard "golden hours" used in photography, to refer to the hour just after dawn and just before sunrise, referring to the beautiful colour that light takes on at those times. Seems like a candidate for where Eno got the phrase from, even if it doesn't mean anything special.

    While I'm here, I might as well also recommend Ida's beautiful cover of this song.
    dri-fton December 07, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis may sound mental, but this sounds like a cerebral, almost detached image of the death of Jesus. Plus, which is rare in Eno songs, he seems to be celebrating the humble, brilliant, restless Christ during his last moments (Golden Hours).
    Eno did attend some sort of catholic school (check wikipedia), why wouldn't he write some beautiful abstract landscape for Jesus?
    In any case, I find this to be one of his most delicate, both emotional and meditative songs.
    any thoughts?
    EifLon March 12, 2011   Link

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