Song of the Day #530: ‘Kingdom of Days’ – Bruce Springsteen

Best Songs of 2009 – #9

Bruce Springsteen’s Working On a Dream was the first album I bought in 2009, way back in early February, but it’s held up pretty well. Springsteen is on a late-career run similar to that of Bob Dylan… it’s as if nobody told these old guys that they aren’t supposed to keep putting out classic albums.

Springsteen has become better and better as a lyricist over the years to the point where his songs work almost as well absent the music. But he sounds as good as ever, delivering the grand E-Street Band rock theatricality as well as softer acoustic folk touches.

I could have picked plenty of songs from Working On a Dream to feature on this best-of list, but I chose ‘Kingdom of Days’ because it has a theme that always works on me. It’s a big-hearted and romantic tribute to a longtime love affair… I’m a sucker for songs about people growing old together.

A friend of mine, one of Bruce’s biggest fans, is moved by the metaphor of a “kingdom of days,” the idea that it is our time and experiences, especially with other people, that make us rich. I heard the song with new ears after he praised it so effusively and it remains a favorite.

With you I don’t hear the minutes ticking by
I don’t feel the hours as they fly
I don’t see the summer as it wanes
Just a subtle change of light upon your face

Walk away, walk away, walk away, walk away
This is our kingdom of days

I watch the sun as it rises and sets
I watch the moon trace its arc with no regret
My jacket ’round your shoulders, the falling leaves
The wet grass on our backs as the autumn breeze drifts through the trees

Walk away, walk away, walk away, walk away
This is our kingdom of days

I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I do
You whisper “then prove it, then prove it, then prove it to me, baby blue”

When I count my blessings and you’re mine for always
We laugh beneath the covers
And count the wrinkles and the grays

Sing away, sing away, sing away, sing away
Sing away, sing away, my darling, we’ll sing away
This is our kingdom of days

7 thoughts on “Song of the Day #530: ‘Kingdom of Days’ – Bruce Springsteen

  1. Dana says:

    I’m not sure I agree that Springsteen’s recent output matches his earlier work. This is a fine song, but it ain’t no Born to Run, Thunder Road, Rosalita or Tunnel of Love.

  2. Clay says:

    Those are great songs but I’ve never been as sold on his full albums from that era the way I have been in the past decade.

  3. peg says:

    Great lyrics, I too am a sucker for songs about people growing old together (wonder why? 🙂

  4. Amy says:

    This reminds me of Billy Joel’s “This is the Time,” a song I like just fine but that Clay and Dana often mock. To me, this is a cross between that song and a song from “Mamma Mia” that I can’t quite recall (Dana?)

    Anyway, I like the song – and the concept – very much. However, I have to agree with Dana that it doesn’t hold a candle to the best songs on Tunnel of Love, which is an astoundingly good album (as so many break-up albums tend to be). I’m happy Bruce is living his kingdom of days,. but I liked his music better when he was wearing a brilliant disguise.

  5. Clay says:

    Tunnel of Love is one of my favorite Bruce albums as well but I don’t rank it higher than Devils & Dust, Magic and Working on a Dream.

  6. dana says:

    Wow–to me Tunnel of Love and Working on a Dream aren’t even in the same universe. Tunnel is a far better and more nuanced record (in my humble opinion).

  7. Clay says:

    For my money, about half of Tunnel of Love is filler around the truly great songs (which, I admit, are better than just about anything on the new ones).

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