A decade in the wilderness
How'd we ever come to this
Took all we had to just survive
No time left for asking why

Saint Virginia saved your life
An angel and a kitchen knife
When the devil tests your will
You kill who you have to kill

God loves a madman
But I wore his patience through
It's too much to ask of anyone
I could never be as strong as you
I could never be as strong as you

All we are is vanity
Comics playing tragedy
I traded in my sanity
For a dream that soon abandoned me

God loves a madman
But I wore his patience through
It's too much to ask of anyone
I could never be as strong as you

Walls and barricades surround our golden age
We will return again
Some day

Lyrics submitted by Mellow_Harsher

Golden Age song meanings
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    General CommentGlen Phillips said ""Golden Age" is about this tendency to look back and idealize this task that never actually happened, or idealize a future that will never happen and lose the present.

    To some degree the song is definitely about depression and just trying to face that.
    I'm trying to talk more publicly about it because enough people have gone through it or have lived with somebody who's gone through it.

    There are different types of depression. When my dad died, I got depressed. That's normal depression. And then there's end-of-the-world, not able to face anything. That came really close to destroying my marriage. Did a really good job of wrecking my solo career. And I wore a lot of people out. I wore a lot of audiences out when I was on the road. I didn't want to be alive, and there's nothing worse than paying a ticket to see somebody who doesn't want to be there.

    The odd thing is, in contrast of when that overtakes me, I am apparently a pretty optimistic, happy person. But it's a weird disease and it has to be dealt with."

    In context, Glen and his wife divorced in 2014 right after this album came out, so it sounds like he was referring to his own life through the first verse looking back.

    Saint Virginia, or Virginia Centurione Bracelli, was forced into a marriage that lasted only 5 years, when she was widowed. She devoted her life to feeding hungry people, among other things.

    I believe "When the devil tests your will, you kill who you have to kill" refers to what he has said regarding his difficult personality at times. He does his best to fight that part of himself.

    "God loves a madman, but I wore his patience through" I believe means he took too long to take corrective action, because he wasn't as strong as a perhaps Saint Virginia was. He's basically saying he's not a saint.

    The "All we are" verse is simply about human nature, and how he was overwhelmed by his band's success, and ultimate collapse that occured after "Coil" didn't perform to expectations.

    The last stanza refers to either looking back at his "Golden age" and trying to determine if it was actually golden at all, or perhaps the striving to return to a place of success that he previously had.
    sleevemeisteron May 17, 2019   Link

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