Mrs. Potter's Lullaby
by the Counting Crows (words by Adam Duritz)
Recorded on This Desert Life

Well I woke up in mid-afternoon cause that's when it all hurts the most
I dream I never know anyone at the party and I'm always the host
If dreams are like movies, then memories are films about ghosts
You can never escape, you can only move south down the coast

Well, I am an idiot walking a tightrope of fortune and fame
I am an acrobat swinging trapezes through circles of flame
If you've never stared off in the distance, then your life is a shame
And though I'll never forget your face,
sometimes I can't remember my name

Hey Mrs. Potter don't cry
Hey Mrs. Potter I know why but
Hey Mrs. Potter won't you talk to me

Well, there's a piece of Maria in every song that I sing
And the price of a memory is the memory of the sorrow it brings
And there is always one last light to turn out and one last bell to ring
And the last one out of the circus has to lock up everything

Or the elephants will get out and forget to remember what you said
And the ghosts of the tilt-a-whirl will linger inside of your head
And the ferris wheel junkies will spin them forever instead
When I see you a blanket of stars covers me in bed

Hey Mrs. Potter don't go
Hey Mrs. Potter I don't know but
Hey Mrs. Potter won't you talk to me

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
But I'd sure like to find out
So why don't you climb down off that movie screen

Hey Mrs. Potter don't turn
Hey Mrs. Potter I burn for you
Hey Mrs. Potter won't you talk to me

When the last king of Hollywood shatters his glass on the floor and orders another
Well, I wonder what he did that for
That's when I know that I have to get out cause I have been there before
So I gave up my seat at the bar and I head for the door

We drove out to the desert just to lie down beneath this bowl of stars
We stand up at the Palace like it's the last of the great Pioneertown bars
We shout out these songs against the clang of electric guitars
You can see a million miles tonight
But you can't get very far

Hey Mrs. Potter I won't touch and
Hey Mrs. Potter it's not much but
Hey Mrs. Potter won't you talk to me

A primary characteristic of songs written by Adam Duritz are that of him telling of his loneliness (see A Long December and Mr. Jones). Lyrically this is a very strong song with a powerful repeating rhyme scheme: most, host, ghost, coast; flame, fame, shame, name; floor, for, before, door; etc... This helps make it a song that is easy to remember and easy to get into your head.

This song appears to be rather autobiographical with Adam telling of the loneliness that accompanies stardom - hosting parties where everyone is a stranger, the tightrope of fortune and fame - where a single slip can cost a career. This subject has come up in several of his interviews where he expresses a conflict between what he wants to do and what he thinks he should do.

Maria is a fictional woman that appears in several of his songs including Mr. Jones, and Round Here. Throughout the songs, Adam expresses a regret when the subject of Maria comes up - one can only wonder if this woman he sings of is one of the lovesick rejections that he has experienced.

Hollywood abounds with 'bad behavior' of the super star elite. While one has to wonder who is the last king of Hollywood this returns to the question of 'what should I do' that was mentioned before.

"Mrs. Potter's Lullaby" was released as a two part single for Radio. The song previously to do this was "Another Brick in the Wall" by Pink Floyd (1980) though many songs were released in two parts in the 1970s. Unfortunately, I have not been able to identify where the division between part 1 and part 2 is (any help would be appreciated).

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