"Anna Begins" as written by Martin Jones, Charles Gillingham, Steve Bowman, Matthew Malley, David Bryson, Adam Duritz, Toby Hawkins and Lydia Holly....
My friend assures me "it's all or nothing"
I am not worried, I am not overly concerned
My friend implores me: "For one time only make an exception"
I am not not worried
Wrap her up in a package of lies send her off to a coconut island
I am not worried, I am not overly concerned
With the status of my emotions "Oh", She says, "You're changing."

But we're always changing
It does not bother me to say this isn't love
Because if you don't want to talk about it then it isn't love
And I guess I'm going to have to live with that
But, I'm sure there's something in a shade of grey or something in between
And I can always change my name if that's what you mean

My friend assures me "It's all or nothing"
But I am not really worried, I am not overly concerned
You try to tell yourself the things you tell yourself to make yourself forget
I am not worried
"If it's love", she said, "then were gonna have to think about the
consequences"
She can't stop shaking and I can't stop touching her and.....

This time when kindness falls like rain
It washes her away and Anna begins to change her mind
"These seconds when I'm shaking leave me shuddering for days" she says
And I'm not ready for this sort of thing

But I'm not gonna break and I'm not going to worry about it anymore
I'm not gonna bend and I'm not gonna break
I'm not gonna worry about it anymore
It seems like I should say "as long as this is love..."
But it's not all that easy so maybe I should just:
Snap her up in a butter fly net and just pin her down on a photograph album
I am not worried, I've done this sort of thing before
But then I start to think about the consequences
Because I don't get no sleep in a quiet room and...

The time when kindness falls like rain
It washes me away and Anna begins to change my mind
And every time she sneezes I believe it's it's love and
Oh lord.... I'm not ready for this sort of thing

She's talking in her sleep
It's keeping me awake and Anna begins to toss and turn
And every word is nonsense but I understand and
Oh lord... I'm not ready for this sort of thing

Her kindness bangs a gong
It's moving me along and Anna begins to fade away
It's chasing me away
She disappears and
Oh lord, I'm not ready for this sort of thing



Lyrics submitted by dank

"Anna Begins" as written by Martin Jones, Charles Gillingham, Steve Bowman, Matthew Malley, David Bryson, Adam Duritz, Toby Hawkins, Lydia Holly

Lyrics © EMI Music Publishing, IMAGEM U.S. LLC

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Anna Begins song meanings
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  • +5
    General CommentSome of the awesome explanations compiled at annabegins.com... straight from Adam:

    "It's about denial -- how far you'll go to deny that somethings really happening because it's too complicated, too terrifying, too difficult. It's about me and Anna: The relationship was supposed to be light -- we met on vacation -- but we got further into it and it became harder and harder. It's about all the things you go through trying to, sort of squash your feelings. to sort of shut it down, and how much you can hurt other people and yourself by doing that. The people in the song are just continuously telling themselves they don't feel what they do feel, until the end when it's too late, and then they realize what they were really, really not ready for was, you know, never being able to see each other again."
    JAM4321on April 04, 2012   Link
  • +4
    General CommentFrom Adam's comments on the song, including on Storytellers

    “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 all the things you go through trying to, sort of squash your feelings. to sort of shut it down, and how much you can hurt other people and yourself by doing that. The people in the song are just continuously telling themselves they don't feel what they do feel, until the end when it's too late, and then they realize what they were really, really not ready for was, you know, never being able to see each other again.”
    thecoldparton May 21, 2007   Link
  • +4
    General CommentI always thought it was about a girl he (Adam) loved, but she didn't love him back, but I found some info about it and this is what Adam Duritz has to say:

    It's about denial -- how far you'll go to deny that somethings really happening because it's too complicated, too terrifying, too difficult. It's about me and Anna: The relationship was supposed to be light -- we met on vacation -- but we got further into it and it became harder and harder. It's about all the things you go through trying to, sort of squash your feelings. to sort of shut it down, and how much you can hurt other people and yourself by doing that. The people in the song are just continuously telling themselves they don't feel what they do feel, until the end when it's too late, and then they realize what they were really, really not ready for was, you know, never being able to see each other again."

    And this is the story that inspired the song:

    "There was this period where I got really really sick of playing music and I saved up some money from landscaping and I bought a backback and some boots and me and a friend got tickets and went over to Europe. Just to backpack around Europe. It was like the summer of 1989 and I ended up on this greek Island and I met this girl named Anna and I completly fell in love with her and I think vice versa.. which was a dumb thing to do in the middle of the summer on a greek island cause the girls from Australia and your from California..and the last thing, you should have is a fling, you know that the last thing you need to do is fall in love with a girl from Australia cause you don't have years you have weeks. You know and everyone goes home, and we were kids and plane tickets were to expensive. You can't change these things you know. And it was just really difficult you know because no one really wants to cop to how important they feel about it because it's a it's a hole your gonna fall into. So the song is really about denial, the characters in the song keep saying to each other "No, you know I'm not ready for this sort of thing" 'till the very end when it's too late. When they realize they weren't ready for the loss. "... And it's a terrible thing to find out because it's too late, which is what it ended up being at that point and... it's funny she's married now and she's got a kid and she still lives in Sydney. I still talk to her every once in a while, not too much but, and whenever I talk to her she says that she still loves this song, and I do too... and this is Anna Begins..."
    jtk1993on April 19, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI've always felt as though the guy in this song was in love with a girl who's emotionally unstable, and who doesn't trust herself to love anyone. I feel as though when he talks about her talking in her sleep and how he can't sleep in a quiet room, he's wrestling with her instability and trying to convince himself that he can get past it, but he's having trouble coping with her demons and it leaves him in this awful sort of limbo... he loves her but can't get close to her. He wants to be the one to break through her walls, because he believes he can heal her, that he loves her enough to overcome all of that... but instead he's facing a less promising reality in which he realizes that there's no one who will get through to her until she's ready and can trust someone on her own.

    Ugh. Been there. Done that. Got the t-shirt.
    jazzinjameson March 04, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General CommentAdam Duritz and the band are perhaps the best out there at capturing the most underlying of all emotions: helpless, forlorn confusion. I agree with most of these interpretations too a point, but I think they go too far.

    The problem isn't inability to admit love or consummate love or commit; it's flat out inability to identify love. Who hasn't had the feeling of, well, I think I love her, but am I *in* love with her? Have I ever been in love before? Would I know love if it ran me over with a truck? Will I ever love? Am I capable?

    "Seems like I should say, 'Oh well, as long as this is love', But it's not all that easy ... ". "Every time she sneezes I think it's love". This is one confused mofo.
    ballzofsnoon April 29, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI think this song is great because, at least to me, you see the progression of his feelings as the song moves on...

    I take it to be a guy who is sort of a player. He sees a lot of girls, but doesn't really take any of them seriously, never sees them becoming more serious. But Anna can sense that he might be "changing" towards the need for a more mature relationship. She wants to tell him but she's really unsure of how to deal with it. He starts giving in to his feelings ("I can't stop touching her") and this side of him freaks her out ("When kindness falls like rain/ it washes her away / and Anna begins to change her mind"). She backs away, and he realizes she is really what he wants, and he can't lose this chance. He's not ready, he wants to freeze the moment ("Snap her up in a butterfly net / Pin her down on a photograph album") but knows he can't do that. To me, the song sort of has a cliffhanger ending, where he goes after her but he is too late. But he is still in love with her. And has finally learned to love instead of just being a player :)
    JediBumblebeeon May 04, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThe thing I love, particularly about Counting Crows, is that different people can interpret the music differently into their own lives, that's how music should be in my opinion but... I agree, to at least some extent, with everyone who's commented, but to me, I relate this song to a girl, oddly enough, named Anna, who I had a relationship with and I fucked it up, to me it's about not being sure about loving a girl who loves you, a girl who you have loved but at other times you question that love and only realise how much of an idiot you've been once you've let any chance with her go
    Dandercoolon November 25, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentA friend of mine told me to get this song because it had my name in it-- At first I didn't like it-- but it's grown on me.

    I thought this was about a guy who doesn't want to admit that he's falling in love (or that he's scared to fall in love ) with this girl (Anna)... and then when he finally realizes he loves her, it's too late because then Anna "begins to fade away" and disappear.

    But I do like caitlin's interpretation as well. :)
    anna118kon March 09, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti agree with you papillon this song is so diverse it can be seen many different ways. To me this song is like a guy sees a girl somewhere a bar or something and goes to talk to her. Hes more of the one night stand kinda guy, not looking for a relationship with her. They start talking and he realizes this girl is really cool. They begin to get closer and he slowly realizes hes falling in love with her. But hes been treating her like shes just a friend and shes fed up with it... anna begins to fade away... is just that, to me its the perfect tale of what happens to guys who think that they;re never going to fall in love. they just wanna have fun. Love finds us all in so many different ways and it will find us when we're least expecting it. Which to me is what this song is about.
    LiveUrLifeon April 12, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentYes this song can be seen tons of ways, hey, I thought he wrote it just for me. :) My very personal view on it is that it's about someone who just falls in love a helluva lot too easy (quoth everytime she sneezes I think it's love) but then he finds himself in a relationship that *gasp* actually might work out. However slowly he realizes that it's just not going to happen for him, once again, and so the cycle continues...if that makes even a bit of sense.
    lyprulzon April 17, 2002   Link

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