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Bowie cover of the Week: Anonymus performs “Golden Years”

I can find very little about Anonymus. His YouTube page make me unsure even if that’s his name— the page name is “Anonymushits.” Anyway, he made a good cover of “Golden Years” which I selected as the cover of the week both because of his solid performance and because of the production quality of the video itself. It’s not spectacular, but this is more and better than someone setting up a camera to capture a basement performance or concert.

I’m also struck by the appearance of Anonymus (that’s what I’ll call him). He seems like a big guy. He seems big, masculine and American. I’m not at all sure that he is American. Since he isn’t standing next to anybody else, I can’t even tell if he’s big. But to me, his appearance in this video seems very much the opposite of Bowie’s, especially how Bowie looked at the time this song was new. To me, this is a small signal of the song’s universality.

I have long thought that “Golden Years” is one of Bowie’s most accessible well known songs, but I’m reminded by some of the song’s weird lines and strange implications. For instance, there’s the refrain about running for the shadows. What exactly does Bowie mean by this? “Run for the shadows in these golden years.” I’m sure I’ve encountered some sort of explanation somewhere, but at the moment, I’m at a loss.

Then there’s the line, “I’ll stick with you, baby, for a thousand years.” At first blush, this isn’t an especially unusual line, but I actually think it speaks to Bowie’s recurring theme of impermanence. Bowie rarely evokes eternity — a thousand years, long though it is, is finite. Seen as a boundary, the “thousand years” reference reinforces the song’s overall idea that the “golden years” stand out in contrast to all the other years. The narrator’s partner is in a bad place, and he’s saying that she (?) should realize that she’s in her golden years now and she should make the most of them because they won’t last forever.

Still no clue about the shadows, though.

Anyway, I liked this cover and video.

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