As I mentioned in my video breakdown of “Golden” this song is deceptively upbeat. I believe that’s because (like Harry admitted in the Beats 1 Interview) he was determined to make this album process (writing/touring/promoting) more fun that the last time. We can see that come to fruition even in the choices he made for the music video, making it a jovial excursion despite the subject matter being discussed. (Despite him crooning that he doesn’t want to be alone when he dies. 🤔😥😔)
The melody and the video are entirely contradictory to the lyrics delivered. These are lyrics from a needy, tortured, lovesick soul. In this song he is brandishing the sort of honesty that would make the receiver deeply uncomfortable, because it confronts them with the guilt of having left him in this condition.
WARNING: Rant ahead. You can skip if you like, I’ve already covered about all I wanted to say about “Golden.”
Finally let’s discuss the notion that Zayn is scared. In “Golden” Harry outlines that his lover is scared of two things. 1) Scared that hearts get broken. 2) Scared that Harry is so open.
Regarding the first fear, there is nothing unique to discuss here. Every person who has ever been in love is afraid of getting their heart broken. But after so many years of claiming to love a person, you either have to shit or get off the pot. Harry is clearly ready to shit, but Zayn is not. So get off the pot, Zayn, and let someone else who is ready to shit take a seat (what a horrible metaphor.) But of course you don’t want to let anyone else sit down. Not really. It kills you to think another man might.
If Zayn truly loves Harry he needs to stop fearing his heart will be broken. Grow a pair. He also needs to give up fears that Harry will be disloyal, since nothing shows loyalty like Harry’s steadfast love despite their uber unconventional arrangement where they have both been with other people during the course of their entire relationship. It’s time to trust and take a leap of faith off the Tightrope.
The vacillation about giving his love to Harry (which he deliberates in “You Wish You Knew”) needs to end. Just do it already and give him a real chance, or leave the man alone entirely. Stop the back and forth. Stop stringing him along and making him “wait” in hopes you might budge and give him the opportunity one day, only to continue with the same annoying, childish ambivalence year after year.
If you are that paranoid to trust this man who has been riding for you heavy, nonstop, and dedicating all of his music to you since he was a young boy, then you don’t deserve his love and need to stop making him think there is any hope things will change. Stop making him “wait” and “keep restrained” watching you get engaged and have babies with other people.
As far as the second fear, this is where I find I have a miniscule amount of sympathy for Zayn, because despite it being 2021, in some parts of the world, and in some cultures same-sex relationships are still frowned upon, or stigmatized. For a man to admit he has feelings for a woman can be a difficult thing. Men don’t like to express the things they feel, especially the icky vulnerable things attached to love. Men are factually less open about their innermost feelings in general. Therefore, imagine how much more heighted that reluctance and disinclination to share their feelings would be if it is concerning feelings they are harboring for another man?? By God it’s unthinkable! So I do have sympathy for him in that regard, and I can understand him wanting to keep their relationship private.
However, I draw the line in the sand and totally retract my sympathy when you still string that man along because he satisfies you physically (and maybe even emotionally) and continue to give him false hope that one day you two will work out, and in the meantime subject him to having to sing about his torment in his music because he’s not allowed to talk to anyone about it. And he is forced (probably even encouraged) to have a bunch of shallow fleeting relationships with females to keep up the charade of YOUR sexuality from his end (because God knows he wants to shout that he loves men from the rooftops! Hence the penis necklace!) and then watch you get engaged and have babies with other people.
And clearly this arrangement is damaging Harry, otherwise he wouldn’t still be singing about it in 2019, and will probably continue to sing about it in next album. At this point Zayn’s fears of being with Harry are just bullspit to me and seem more about protecting his powerful hetero Eastern male image for the sake of his ego and his family more than anything else. And that’s fine, whatever. He can do what he wants.
But at the very least Zarries need to stop making excuses for him in an attempt to make his actions seem noble, and stop coming up with bizarre conspiracy theories to pretend he is the victim of some grave evil. Sorry, I don’t even buy the popular conspiracy theory that he is being blackmailed to stay with the Hadids or that the DJ was sent to scare him back into the closet. I just don’t. Because if that’s the case, then what exactly forced him to get engaged to Perrie long before he ever met the Hadids or that DJ? His ego and wanting a hetero male image is the only explanation that holds up over the entire course of their relationship.
Last thing I want to mention here briefly is that we got such an intense confirmation that Zayn is aware Harry’s “Golden” is about him, when he immediately released two emotional covers the next day. You can tell he feels defeated in this video. His delivery seems super frustrated and almost angered? Almost like he’s pretending he’s being restrained from being with Harry or doing right by him by someone other than himself? I promise you, it’s all in your head, buddy. Get real, Zayn.