Put your hands on the wheel
Let the golden age begin
Let the window down
Feel the moonlight on your skin
Let the desert wind
Cool your aching head
Let the weight of the world
Drift away instead

These day I barely get by
I don't even try

It's a treacherous road
With a desolated view
There's distant lights
But here they're far and few
And the sun don't shine
Even when its day
You gotta drive all night
Just to feel like you're ok

These days I barely get by
I don't even try

Lyrics submitted by AlkalineSkiba1

The Golden Age Lyrics as written by Beck Hansen

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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The Golden Age song meanings
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  • +2
    General Commentthis song is really really freaking good. it sounds like he just broke up with his gal. and he feels like goin for a drive. like he just wants to get away. like he needs to get his mind straight. and this song is how hes feeling when hes driving. when my girlfriend broke it off with me i played this album straight for like 2 months. was a good help. i also listened to moon safari by air. also nice.
    caramelprisoneron June 18, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThe whole album is very reflective and emotional. Can't listen to it without thinking of a past love who'd have it on when we went to bed nearly every night.
    perfidiaon March 07, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentTo me, this song is about someone who only finds escape--their "Golden Age"--in forgetting their problems, though they seem to aknowledge that it's just a temporary fix. It makes me think of driving through the desert all night all alone and thinking of both nothing and everything. Very lovely.

    Oh, and by the way, this was used in the second half of the "Friday Night Lights" trailer.
    Pomaceouson January 06, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI heard that that Sea Change was a breakup album after his long-term girlfriend was cheating on him. I feel like this whole album reflects on Beck's feelings of isolation and pain during the breakup, the pains of trying to move on defines this album. The imagery is amazing, I can just imagine Beck driving his pain away and letting the wind "cool his aching head", presumably full of negative and painful thoughts. The line "These days I barely get by, I don't even try", gets to me the most, it's like trying to let go of all the pain yet you are still conscience of it existing, sometimes you don't even feel like trying you want to lie down and watch the world drift by as you are heartbroken. That's what I got from it anyways.
    Cristal87on April 11, 2021   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm not trying to act all "high and mighty", but when I read your comment I thought "The Velvet Underground" doesn't do that song. And I checked before I said anything. They don't. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I can't seem to find it anywhere.
    blink_kitty23on June 04, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThey dont...

    But this song is so powerful... I've said it for all the songs on this album, and that's because I listen to albums as a whole... This was a perfect way to start Sea Change. Sort of set the mood for the album. This album is Beck's finest so far, in my opinion. It almost brings a tear to my eye.
    kaisuteon June 11, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMan, did you write a term paper on this or something, Preth? Kudos to your excellent writing.

    The golden age hasn't begun yet, though. (In the context of the song)

    The golden age may be the time and changes to come, but the third stanza (particularly) conveys a sense of desolation.
    Imagine driving a long, long time. Imagine, even, immigrants coming to America in the 1800's. You're leaving what you've known behind, and you're looking for something better... but there's an awful lot of space inbetween what was and what will be.

    I'm not saying that this is a story, by any means, but it's beautiful, by god.

    Greyshoeson December 12, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song means to me that even though he's still going through the mess of a break-up, he's starting to get that feeling you get when you just about know you're going to make it through this. Kinda like the end of a movie. All the bad shit has happened and although everything's not all right, the person made it through all of it and is driving off in the end to a better life. I don't know. It's a beautiful song.
    gandalf1980on April 26, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyeah its pretty straight forward

    if youre ever feeling depressed, pop in this cd and take a nice and calm late night drive. let the golden age begin..
    abusingeddieon July 16, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI like the intruments in the song. I cant really make out what some of them are. Windchimes or retuned guitars or something? Ah well its a great song!
    whiskeyclonehotelon September 04, 2005   Link

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