"It's about denial -- how far you'll go to deny that something's really happening because it's too complicated, too terrifying, too difficult. It's about me and Anna..."
One of the most powerful, and beautiful Counting Crows songs released to date, Anna Begins is a song with a story to tell. From their debut album, August and Everything After, and never released as a single, it is still one of the most popular Counting Crows songs released, particularly amongst the trading community.
Anna Begins was written based on the experience of singer and songwriter Adam Duritz, on vacation in the Greek Isles in 1989. Anna was the girl he met while there, and formed a relationship with. Things were supposed to be light hearted, and nothing too serious - after all, a singer from California couldn't risk anything more with a girl from Australia, on holiday in Greece, could he?
"...the relationship was supposed to be light -- we met on vacation -- but we got further into it and it became harder and harder."
Of all the emotional songs Adam Duritz has written - and that's most of them - I find this one the most heartbreaking, and powerful. Confusion drips from almost every line, as the struggle between what is felt in the heart, and the reality of the situation that can't be denied, is turned into song.
"If its love," she said, "then we're going to have to think about the consequences." She can't stop shaking I can't stop touching her...
Although it's a song about denial, it contains some of the most beautiful lines you could ever hope to weave into song. As both of them try to rationalise where they find themselves, you hear a line like "and every time she sneezes, I think it's love", and wonder how something so incredible could ever die, no matter the obstacles in its way.
At the end of it all, they did both go their separate ways. Anna is now married, a mother and living in Sydney. Adam and Anna have never really lost contact with each other, still talking occasionally. She still tells him that she loves this song. Although I'm sure memories of times like this must bring a tinge of regret, a memory of what must have been an incredibly intense time, I can't imagine a more amazing way to remember than through the words of Anna Begins.
"She disappears, and oh Lord...I'm not ready for this sort of thing..."
Anna Begins is from the Counting Crows album August and Everything After