A long December and there's reason to believe
Maybe this year will be better than the last
I can't remember the last thing that you said as you were leaving
Now the days go by so fast

And it's one more day up in the canyons
And it's one more night in Hollywood
If you think that I could be forgiven
I wish you would

The smell of hospitals in winter
And the feeling that it's all a lot of oysters
But no pearls
All at once you look across a crowded room
To see the way that light attaches to a girl

And it's one more day up in the canyons
And it's one more night in Hollywood
If you think you might come to California
I think you should

Drove up to Hillside Manor sometime after two a.m.
And talked a little while about the year
I guess the winter makes you laugh a little slower
Makes you talk a little lower about the things you could not show her

And it's been a long December and there's reason to believe
Maybe this year will be better than the last
I can't remember all the times I tried to tell myself
To hold on to these moments as they pass

And it's one more day up in the canyon
And it's one more night in Hollywood
It's been so long since I've seen the ocean
I guess I should

Yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah


Lyrics submitted by Idan, edited by iroc-z

A Long December Lyrics as written by Adam Duritz, Ben Mize, Charles Gillingham, Daniel Vickrey, David Bryson, Matthew Malley

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

A Long December song meanings
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96 Comments

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  • +9
    General Comment

    This song is one of the greatest songs ever composed in the 90's. I think this song is about the lead singers ex-girlfriend is in a car accident and the song is about his visit to see her and his tries to make peace with his ex love. Parts like "The smell of hospitals in winter..." and "Drove up to Hillside Manor sometime after two a.m. And talked a little while about the year "

    ROCKMUSICIAN86on June 05, 2002   Link
  • +7
    General Comment

    the writer is obviously stuck in a life after a bad relationship that he wants to get back.

    "one more day up in the canyon....One more night in Hollywood" - is not about leaving but the day to day routine of this life he's stuck in

    The Hospital/Oyster references followed by the chours and "If you think that you might come to California... I think you should."

    He's done the remembering of the girl and he wants her to come to see his so he can try the relationship again.

    The Hillside Manor business - he has come to terms with what he did wrong the first time and he confesses these things to the girl. Embarassment and Pride cause people to not want to confess the things of the past. He doesn't want to remember the past but he must, if only for the good of his soul.

    But what does the whole song come down to? The singer confessing his wrong doings and FORGIVING HIMSELF. Hence the reference to water and a rebirth - "It been so long since I've seen the ocean....I think I should."

    mouchoirson May 24, 2002   Link
  • +5
    General Comment

    I attached myself to this song not long after I started a divorce. The emotion, memories, self-blame, and forgiveness all wrapped up in a nice package resonated perfectly with my own feelings.

    I agre wtih mouchoirs interpretation for the most part. I also agree with the low moods in December as well as that being a new beginning - what with the days beginning to get longer again.

    The relationship is over, and most of him knows it, but the longing wont go away; and yet, a dip in the ocean might help life seem to move forward, at least for another day.

    The Hillside Manor part is not a talk with the old flame, it's with a friend he can talk with about it all.

    Also the futility of trying to "hold on to these moments as they pass" is both a longing I share and something I know can't ever be attained - a romantic fools-errand, but in modelin moments, also something that one needs to cling to to put some value into all the effort that went into the relationship (cause it can't just be wasted time - can it?).

    kaputnikon March 06, 2010   Link
  • +4
    General Comment

    offers hope when all seems lost. always keep your head up. have many regrets, but still think the best is yet to come. awesome. the best verse- "The smell of hospitals and winter, and feeling that it's all a lot of oysters but no pearls. all at once you look across a crowded room to see the way that light attaches to a girl." life can suck- but meeting a great girl can change everything. Can make life seem not so bad after all

    tms6879on April 04, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    for me hoolywood is a bad thing and the song i about that one last day in whatevers hurting you before you go and find something really (a girl love, or freedom) of sorts, but he's caught and in a bittersweet tone...his last night in hollwood is his day before leaving. He's scared and unsure but excited..he's reliving regrets in his life, but he's gonna get out. The final "yeah" expresses his happiness and uncertainity. Of course that's just my opinion i could be wrong

    hookahon April 27, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    this song is great ... i agree with tms6879 ... meeting a great girl can change everyhting. ure just so much happier and u enjoy life more . but sometimes i think that love is stupid . its hard to get up and wan another girl after u have been involved in a break up . thats how i feel . i didnt want to have a girl friend for a ver ylong time cause i had broken up with someone and didnt want to go through all that sadness. but now i have learnt from my mistakes and kinda want to try it agani...its just a matter of finding the "one" ... if there is such a thing......

    craiggon May 09, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    yeah, adam said it was about when i friend of his had an accident and was in hospital and he was going to visit them. i think it was kind of a low point and one night in (at two am) he drove up to his friends place (which has the nickname 'hillside manor') and had a deep and meaningful... and then he went home and wrote this song

    it's about hope that things can and will get better, no matter how bad they are at the moment...

    melismaon August 26, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    this is my favorite song. its deep and makes me want to cry. i totally feel how the winter is long (in upstate ny it is) and december is always the worst because you go through two holidays and if you have no one to hold and be close to it makes them last all the longer. reminds of good times with friends and forgetten memories.

    tubagrlon April 18, 2003   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    i know that many ppl think this song is about a relationship or a breakup. but the meaning of this song totally changed for me yesterday. i found out that a friend of mine who i'd known for my whole life had died in a car accident. then they played this song last night at the bar after new years, and it just reminded me of how awesome of a guy he was and how we can't take life for granted. "I can't remember all the times I tried to tell my myself To hold on to these moments as they pass" that line really hits home for me and who just like that everything can be changed forever

    sweetness7on January 02, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    I've got a live version of this song with Ben Folds Five.. What could be better? My favorite Counting Crow's song and my (well, actually one of my) favorite bands.

    anna118kon March 09, 2002   Link

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