It is a peculiar aspect of a project like “Certain Songs” that entire albums that are pretty great can be ignored if they don’t have that one cut that I will defend to the death. So it goes with Counting Crows second album, Recovering The Satellites which I think is their most consistent record, but without a single track (not even “Monkey” or “A Long December,”) that I have anything to really say about.
And that’s even when I point out that when Rox & Jimmy lived on Hollywood Blvd in 1995, one of their neighbors was Counting Crows’ drummer. I think he was their new drummer, Ben Mize, who powers maybe the best song Adam Duritz will ever write, 1999’s “Mrs. Potter’s Lullaby.”
The second song on their 3rd album, This Desert Life, the piano-driven “Mrs Potters Lullaby” is a kissin’ cousin to the the ace Dylan outtake “She’s Your Lover Now.” Reportedly written about actress Monica Potter — though shock of shocks, the internet is unclear on that fact — it’s seven-plus minutes of aching, longing & lust.
Hey, Mrs. Potter, don’t turn
Hey, Mrs. Potter, I burn for you
Hey, Mrs. Potter, won’t you talk to me
With David Bryson’s guitar commenting like Jamie Robertson in 1966, “Mrs. Potter’s Lullaby” is as good of a depiction of losing it at the movies and falling in love with someone on the silver screen as we’re ever going to get.
Well all the blue light reflections that color my mind when I sleep
And the lovesick rejections that accompany the company I keep
All the razor perceptions that cut just a little too deep
Hey, I can bleed as well as anyone but I need someone to help me sleep
So I throw my hand into the air and it swims in the beams
It’s just a brief interruption of the swirling dust sparkle jet stream
Well I know I don’t know you and you’re probably not what you seem
Aw, but I’d sure like to find out
So why don’t you climb down off that movie screen
In his most famous song, Adam Duritz said that he wanted to be Bob Dylan. And for the 7:46 of “Mrs. Potter’s Lullaby,” he got his wish.
Official Video for “Mrs. Potter’s Lullaby”