"This is another new song. If you're a guy and you are sorta YEAHHH! You know about those girls who are all fucked up and fragile. And it just kinda fucks them up because you're addicted. I speak as one of those guys. Anyways, this is about the coolest, most fragile girl."    Adam Duritz

This description, if I'd read it, and not heard this song, would probably have pissed me off. I think I would have thought Adam Duritz's words insensitive, and shallow. Sometimes though, a songwriter's description falls miles short of explaining just what a song's all about. The words they choose simply don't do justice to what they've created, and sound thin in comparison to the words they sing. Fortunately, I have heard it, and I understand why Adam may have had trouble summarising this song.

It begins, nothing but a few simple chords, a lonely piano setting the mood...

Fading everything to black and blue
You look a lot like you
Shatter in the blink of an eye...

I don't think I could ever do justice to this song, by simply trying to provide meaning, or context to these words. Every line drips with emotion, and meaning. And through it all, there seems to be such an undercurrent of understanding. This is never really expressed through straight words, but as a whole - lyrics, vocals, music - combine into such a powerful, and touching song. Intensity, through simplicity and space. Soaring vocal harmonies that leave me with shivers from head to toe. It's easy to imagine this as a song which could bring a live audience to a standstill, eyes closed, afraid to make a sound.

To fall down on your knees
Cut your hands
Cut yourself until you bleed
Fall asleep next to me...

This could easily be an incredibly depressing song, but somehow it manages to become something more. I can't help but feel the love, and hope that shines out of the darkness in the words. The last verse, through to the final, quiet piano notes, feels like an embrace of incredible tenderness. Lingering, until the song doesn't simply end, but slowly, gently, fades away.

Have a dream I'm falling down
On my face
I scrape my knees
I scrape my hands until they bleed
Cause you're fast asleep next to me

Black and Blue is from the Counting Crows album, Hard Candy.

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