Counting Crows – A Long December

From their 1996 album, Recovering The Satellites. The song peaked at #5 on the US Hot Modern Rock Tracks chart and #1 on the Canadian RPM Top Singles chart… Happy New Year!

From Songfacts

During the taping of a VH1 Storytellers performance, lead singer Adam Duritz talked about the song: “In the middle of December of ’95 my friend Jennifer got run over by a car, just creamed. And I spent that whole month, while we were just beginning the record and most of January and February in the hospital. Each morning and early afternoon then I’d go to the studio, the house where we were recording, and we’d play all afternoon and all night.

It was a very weird time because there is a lot of stress, not that it’s a big deal being a second album, but any album. They’re just not that easy to make. It’s a very stressful process, especially when you’re first starting out. I spent a lot of time in the hospital which is pretty weird. But one day I just left the studio about 2 in the morning, and I went to my friend Samantha and Tracy’s house which is Hillside Manor, that’s what we call it anyway, it’s just a little house and I sat there talking with them. I woke them up, got them out of bed and made them talk to me for a couple hours, then I went home to my house. I wrote this song between about 4 and 6 and then went to the hospital the next day, and came to the house and I played it for the guys before dinner and taught it to them after dinner.

We played it about six or seven times. It was take number six. We just stopped, that was it. We recorded the song, it was done. We all went into the kitchen and had a cold beer, I grabbed Brad our engineer and ran back out about five minutes later, had him play the tape three times, just recorded all the harmonies, and we’ve never touched it since, that was it. It’s a completely live song except for the harmonies.

It’s a song about looking back on your life and seeing changes happening, and for once for me, looking forward and thinking, ya know, things are gonna change for the better – ‘maybe this year will be better than the last.’ And so, like a lot of songs on the end of an album it’s not about everything turning out great, but it at least it is about hope… and the possibilities.”

Courteney Cox, who was starring in Friends at the time, is the girl in the video (not her first – she was in Bruce Springsteen’s video for “Dancing In The Dark” and Toad the Wet Sprocket’s “Good Intentions”). She and Adam Duritz met on the set and dated for a while. Duritz, dated Cox’ Friends co-star Jennifer Aniston in 1995.
Lawrence Carroll directed the video, which finds Duritz playing a grand piano in the woods and does some serious longing. Carroll used many of the same elements – words scrawled on walls, cutaways to pretty girl looking plaintive – in the Collective Soul video for “Precious Declaration.”

A Long December

A long December and there’s reason to believe
Maybe this year will be better than the last
I can’t remember the last thing that you said as you were leavin’
Now the days go by so fast

And it’s one more day up in the canyons
And it’s one more night in Hollywood
If you think that I could be forgiven I wish you would

The smell of hospitals in winter
And the feeling that it’s all a lot of oysters, but no pearls
All at once you look across a crowded room
To see the way that light attaches to a girl

And it’s one more day up in the canyons
And it’s one more night in Hollywood
If you think you might come to California I think you should

Drove up to Hillside Manor sometime after two a.m.
And talked a little while about the year
I guess the winter makes you laugh a little slower,
Makes you talk a little lower about the things you could not show her

And it’s been a long December and there’s reason to believe
Maybe this year will be better than the last
I can’t remember all the times I tried to tell my myself
To hold on to these moments as they pass

And it’s one more day up in the canyon
And it’s one more night in Hollywood
It’s been so long since I’ve seen the ocean I guess I should

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah Writer/s: ADAM FREDRIC DURITZ, BEN G MIZE, CHARLES THOMAS GILLINGHAM, DANIEL JOHN VICKREY, DAVID LYNN BRYSON, MATTHEW MARK MALLEY
Publisher: Universal Music Publishing Group

3 thoughts on “Counting Crows – A Long December

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