I was wasted in the afternoon waiting on a train
I woke up in pieces and Elisabeth had disappeared again
I wish you were inside of me
I hope that you're ok
I hope you're resting quietly
I just wanted to say

Goodnight Elisabeth

We couldn't all be cowboys
So some of us are clowns
And some of us are dancers on the midway
We roam from town to town
I hope that everybody can find a little flame
Me, I say my prayers,
Then I just light myself on fire
And I walk out on the wire once again
And I say

Goodnight Elisabeth

I will wait for you in Baton Rouge
I'll miss you down in New Orleans
I'll wait for you while she slips in something comfortable
And I'll miss you when I'm slipping in between
If you wrap yourself in daffodils
I will wrap myself in pain
And if you're the queen of California
Baby I am the king of the rain
And I say

Goodnight Elisabeth

Lyrics submitted by 3ssence

Goodnight Elisabeth Lyrics as written by Ben G Mize Adam Fredric Duritz

Lyrics © IMAGEM U.S. LLC

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Goodnight Elisabeth song meanings
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  • +2
    General Commentthis is from annabegins.com, and its Adam explaing his own songs.

    "One of the interviewers said to me yesterday "Ya, but how bad can it be...you can have any girl you want." OK, but what if the one girl you do want is at home studying for a Ph.D., and she can't come. She can't even come visit because on the weekends she interns at a clinic. What do you do. Life isn't about having any girl you want. That can seem great for a minute....and, I'm sure that if I was 21, that would be a lot better than it is now. Maybe that would be more fun. I don't know. I'm sure it would have been. The road gives a lot to you, and this whole business gives a lot to you, but it takes away too. I lost things that were really important to me...things that I thought would be with me my whole life. What do I have for myself from that period? I have a buncha money, and I have songs about periods of my life that are gone now. Like, I have "Goodnight Elisabeth". But Elisabeth just got married 2 weeks ago to somebody else. so, that's...that's gone..and that's gone because *I* was gone all the time. And not, like, doing anything wrong, not that I cheated on her ever, but it's gone. And, you know, that goes on...and, and...that's not heaven. The reason I said goodnight instead of good-bye is because I wanted it to be a lullaby... something she could remember it...us by. It’s a little sorded, that song, in places. Because I wanted to be honest about it too....I knew what I was going to do after I lost her. I knew that I would go out there and I would sleep with people. I would do anything to stop myself from thinking about her in the middle of the night.... where she was...with some other guy or something. It’s like it says: "I’ll wait for you in Baton Rouge, and I’ll miss you down in New Orleans, I’ll wait for you while that girl takes her clothes off, and I’ll wait for you while we’re having sex, and I’ll miss you while we’re having sex, but I’m still going to be doing that." That last verse is about that... the difference between me and her: You can wrap yourself in daffodils...me, the nut that I am, I’ll wrap myself in pain and mope about it all day long. But, you’re you and I’m the king of the rain.

    "We played here 10 years ago, we had our original record release party for AAEA here at bimbos back in 1993. How many of you were here? How many of you weren't born? I should tell you this story cause it has to do with this song. Because I had this friend "Betsy" and I had been begging her to go out with me for like a year and every time I saw her I'd say "come on", she'd say "no". And then we had this gig here that night and her friends were leaving and she decided to stay. We went up to her house in Berkeley. She had a big boulder behind her house we went and sat on the boulder all night long..anyways, it was very nice. (I was just remembering a really dumb joke she told me... ) It was like 2 in the morning, we were sitting on this enormous rock behind her house. and I said "Man this is so cool, I wanna rock". And she goes, "Adam, you do rock". So, anyways she ended up being my girlfriend, not because of jokes like that. And I thought my life had just completely come to fruit you know. We had a successful band, we signed a record contract, our record was coming out, we went out on tour, I had a great girlfriend. By Christmas..it was all gone. Being away on the road just screwed the whole thing up. And I came home at Christmas very bitter and wrote this song. I think it was the first song written for RTS. But I wrote it at Christmas..and its called Goodnight Elisabeth. "

    ""I Wish I Was a Girl" is a sequel to a Recovering the Satellites song, "Goodnight Elisabeth," about a former love. Duritz said he spoke to a friend of Elisabeth's at a wedding recently. The women claimed to be the person on whose shoulder Elisabeth cried when she thought Duritz was out on the road being unfaithful. "[It's] something that I didn't ever do," Duritz said, "but she was kind of crushed by that thought when we were going out. That song is about how 'I wish I was a girl so you would believe me.' If I was your friend you'd probably actually believe me when I tell you this."
    bfng3569on April 29, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think this song means wanting to love someone, and you actually get the chance to(love that one person that you always picture, maybe the person you know exists). You can only love this person for a short time though, and you eventually have to say goodbye to this person.
    FRoguy940on April 25, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Commentok, so i just returned from a Counting Crows concert at my college, and Adam actually talked about this song before they played it. He said that right when they went on tour (i think it was their first real tour) he was dating this girl Elisabeth. and he was thinking about how great his life was; they had just released an album, they were touring the country, and he had this great girlfriend. he felt like his life was really great and together. and she thought that he would cheat on her while he was on tour so she broke things off, and i guess he was fairly upset about it. but he didn't say that she died. ok, that's all i've got. oh, except to say that the concert was awesome, it was the second time i'd seen them and they were sooo good again.
    ixwillxcatchxyouon April 28, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti have a slightly different take on the song...it's about his life post-elisabeth everything is elisabeth he may be travelling and drinking and sleeping around but elisabeth is everywhere he's waiting for another girl to get undressed and all he can think about is elisabeth maybe the repetition of goodnight elisabeth is his own attempt to convince himself to let go of his memory of her...having just moved away from someone who i care about i can totally relate to this song. i really do love my new city...honestly and truly but he's always this gnawing little voice in the back of my head
    yeahyouknowmeon November 01, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI never liked the Counting Crows or even cared about them until I heard my boyfriend playing and singing this song. I'm not good at interpreting songs-to me it just seems like intensely loving someone who doesn't love you back for some reason or another. All I know is that it makes me sad.
    NewJersey415on January 08, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYeah, I agree with you froguy (are you french ? I'm too !) But actually, I think it's about his personnal experience with a girl cos in their last album, there's another song in which he talks about an Elisabeth... I may be wrong though. Maybe he uses the first name Elisabeth as the "emblème" (or representation) of relationships in general...
    skunkeron May 07, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYeah, I agree with you froguy (are you french ? I'm too !) But actually, I think it's about his personnal experience with a girl cos in their last album, there's another song in which he talks about an Elisabeth... I may be wrong though. Maybe he uses the first name Elisabeth as the "emblème" (or representation) of relationships in general...
    skunkeron May 07, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyeah maybe!
    corkyiversonon May 07, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI always thought this song was about a lover who'd died - Elisabeth - and he's missing her being around. He says he will wait for her, but she won't ever come, and he'll miss her when he's with another woman, because it's not her. I also get the feeling there's some "private jokes" going on here - "wrap yourself in daffodils" and the "Queen of Cailfornia" seem to suggest something that they had when she was alive, that only they found funny.
    As for the "other Elisabeth" you mentioned, I thought that too - but the only link I could find was in "Rain King", where he talks about the "Queen" - this could link to Queen Elizabeth, or to Elisabeth, the "Queen of California", or both in some way. He also says "I am the King of the Rain" in this song, which links to the aforementioned "Rain King". Maybe Elisabeth was a lover of Adam Duritz's who died? Who knows!
    Lilac Wineon May 08, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentits about loving someone who is gone
    rainanneon May 14, 2002   Link

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