13 Darling One – Cracker/Adam Duritz/Susanna Hoffs/Mark Linkous: A Sunny Song/A Shady Backstory

This song appears on the latest Cracker Album “Sunrise In The Land of Milk and Honey” (2009). But the song is quite old. It was written by Mark Linkous and I in 1993 or 1994. Perhaps it is fitting that this pretty song appears on a Cracker album that is about things being not what they seem. The sun comes up and in the light of day their is a bit of a reckoning. I’m not talking about the song itself. The song is an innocent bystander. The tiny seed of negativity is in the backstory. It involves some shady business dealings with this song.


But first let’s talk about the song. The song itself is on the surface a simple love song. It rocks but has an undertone of soul to the the arrangement. At least the Cracker version. Marks original version reminded me more of something from one of Neil Youngs rock records.

Not much to say about the story in the song except it is one in which the protagonist wishes to relieve his loves emotional burdens. Of course there is a deeper meaning. Mark Linkous is really speaking about himself. He wishes he could stop “looking for something that’s not lost”. He wants the burden of his depression, the gnawing dissatisfaction and unhappiness lifted from his soul.

Mark wrote the majority of this song. The body of the song. I wrote the chorus which is quite small and inconsequential in the scheme of the song.


Shortly after Mark finished the song, my friend and producer Dennis Herring was looking for someone to fill out a band and co-write with Susanna Hoffs. I don’t remember if he had already met Mark or if he knew of Mark from the working tapes of the first Sparklehorse record. But somehow Mark made his way to Los Angeles and began recording with Susanna Hoffs and former Cracker bass player Davey Faragher. Eventually Dennis was fired from the project along with Mark Linkous. I have tapes of some of the songs. It’s actually a nice raw Indie/Folky recording. Later the album was re-recorded with Matt Wallace and Jack Joseph Puig (or JJP as he insisted he be called when i met him?!!). I don’t know which of the pair fucked up the Susanna Hoffs version of the song that comes out on the 1996 Susanna Hoffs. But someone did. But as usual I digress.


Hunter S. Thompson was purported to have said “The music business is a long plastic hallway, a shallow money trench, a place where pimps and theives run free, where good men die like dogs. And then there is a negative side”. Whether he actually said that is open to debate. Throughout most of my music career i’ve been artful and guarded enough to not get ripped off. To not get ripped off by the “pimps and theives” That is why it was such a shock to me to when recently i went to look up the publishing information for this song. Look what i found:

WTF? forget the fact that i only ended up with 10% of the song. How did Mark Linkous end up with only 40%. The song was written when he took it to Susanna Hoffs. And my old bandmate Davey Faragher grabbed 10% and he wasn’t anywhere near the song either. I’m sorry but someone has some explaining to do. There will be a reckoning.

The Cracker track was recorded mostly in Richmond at Sound of Music. It was at first gonna go on my solo record. So it’s mostly the studio house band on the recording. Miguel Rodriguez-Rrbiztondo on drums. David Immergluck on bass and guitar. Craig Harmon on organ, all my favorite girls on backing vox (Kristin Hott, Shannon Worrell plus Brooke Fauver) and of course Johnny Hickman on lead. Later It seemed that the record company would prefer it be a Cracker song. So it became a Cracker song. It already had me and Johnny on it anyway, so in our mind that made it a Cracker song.

Oh and that guy from Counting Crows, sings with me on this song. David immergluck’s old roomate?… Can’t remember his name…


Seriously. It was super sweet for Adam Duritz to sing this song with me. He’s always been such a loyal friend and a huge Cracker fan. It also made a difference in the sales of this song.

Please make some donations

Darling One performed by Cracker

Darling One. Mark Linkous with Susanna Hoffs. Dennis Herring Recording

Darling One- Susanna Hoffs-Album version with JJP or MW


[Gm] [Eb] [Bb]
[Gm] [Eb] [Bb]
[Gm] [Eb] [Bb]
[Gm] [Eb] [Bb]

[Gm] [Eb] I hear a voice [Bb] that fights the wind [Gm]
And the [Eb] rain that keeps [Bb] falling
[Gm] And [Eb] I feel a ri-[Bb]-ver rushing in [Gm]
Be-[Eb]-tween you and [Bb] me.

[Ebmaj7] You keep look-[Bb]-ing
For some-[Eb]-thing that’s [Bb] not lost
[Gm] I wish [Eb] that [Bb] somehow
I could carry [Gm] you [Eb] a-[Bb]-cross.

[Cm] Why don’t you [Gm] rest your worries
Dar-[F]-ling one
[Cm] Why don’t you [Gm] rest your worries
Dar-[F]-ling one
[Gm] [Eb] [Bb]

When they told you the great parade
Had long since passed
I saw you waiting there
For the good times to come back.

Feeling blue
‘Cause there’s so much to live up to
I wish that somehow
I could give it to you.


Oh, [Gm] Oh, oh [Eb] [Bb]
[Gm] [Eb] [Bb]
[Cm] [Gm] [F] [Cm]

Why don’t you rest your worries
Darling one
Why don’t you rest your worries
Darling one

[Gm] [Eb] [Bb]

27 Responses to “13 Darling One – Cracker/Adam Duritz/Susanna Hoffs/Mark Linkous: A Sunny Song/A Shady Backstory”

  1. Michael Dill Says:

    I have been wanting to say this for the past 12 blogs, and now I just can’t refrain. I want to thank you, David for being the great friend to Mark Lindous that I know you were. I didn’t know him but his music has deeply moved me and I still mourn him everytime I play his music. Not only are you an artist of stature, you are a good man. Rewards for you, I hope.
    Every musician I have ever talked to about the industry says the same thing: in a word, whether Hunter S. Thompson actually said it or not, it is spot on.
    Again, thanks so much for all the insight into the songs. I’m treasuring every post.

  2. Chris Rathman Says:

    The Hofs’ version seems to be lacking a solid or consistent rhythm line – with an uneven flow throughout – the players are seemingly trying to avoid stepping on each other.

    As a point of contrast, one of my favorite Cracker songs is the under appreciated “We All Shine A Light” (also from Sunrise). In that song everyone seems to want to be their own rhythm section – switching off at different places in the song. All the instruments are going full force – managing to come together to make a cohesive sound. No timidness to be found in that song.

  3. Marty Hunt Says:

    I love this song, and totally get where he is coming from on the lyrics. I just wouldn’t have put it so eloquently. Thank you.

  4. HST was talking about journalism, specifically TV journalism if I recall correctly.

    I think this one is my runner up fave from Sunrise, after the title track. Wish there could be some Cracker-Crows shows in the future…

  5. B1g D1pper Says:

    Wow, I really don’t like the Susanna Hofs version. The arrangement is nice but her voice is on the verge of unbearable…and I used to like her singing and think she was hot. I’m glad that you put it on Sunrise and did the song right.

  6. Jerry Johnson Says:

    the break down to the rights of the song is amazing. Can’t imagine how you must feel but as a fan I am truly happy where it ended up. Land of Milk and Honey….a wonderful album. (although I knew this song for a long time.)

  7. zendixie Says:

    if you had not met mark, we might never had known his music. now, that would have been a great loss. i used to think there would someday be a reckoning.
    now, not so much. i never knew mark or my other missing brother, vic c. but, the world is certainly less without them.

  8. Here’s a link to the original 1994 Mark Linkous/Susanna Hoffs version:


    Thanks so much for this blog David!

  9. I must be the only one who liked the version on Susanna Hoffs’ solo album! It’s a strange album, with some songs sounding like the Bangles, but then a Lightning Seeds cover version, Mark & David’s song about a dog (Happy Place), and most strange of all, the brilliantly Sparklehorse-like tape-loop rock of “Enormous Wings”. Somewhere I’ve got a bootleg of the demo album from 1994 (the ditched version, I guess), which someone was selling on a website years ago. It has two more songs by Mark Linkous. One eventually became “Ghost Of His Smile”, but the other one never got released in any form, as far as I know. It’s called “Sleep” (http://www.the-van.co.uk/songs/index.php?item_id=722).

    So, having listened to the Hoffs version a lot, when Darling One was put on Sunshine I had a slightly hard time with it at first. It rocked, but the way the chorus was sung was changed, which bugged me. After one listen of the album it was my least favourite track. Now, I’d put it in the top 3, the initial irritation gone, and now if I hear the Susanna Hoffs version, THAT’s the one that sounds wrong…

    Zendixie is correct, by the way. I, like many, only discovered Mark Linkous through Cracker, through the guest-singing on “F**king Up”, and discovering that “David Charles” had produced albums by these bands I’d never heard of called September 67 and Sparklehorse. Hearing Viva… was a complete revelation to me, the production, as well as the songwriting, on that album is incredible.

  10. The first time I heard of Mark was when he was interviewed on BBC Radio 2. Instead of someone advertising their latest record, I found him a warm and genuine person. I miss him.
    I have to second Mungo’s opinion by also liking Susanna Hoffs (although my daughter said Susanna’s voice was putting her to sleep). I was always a fan of haunting female voices. Thanks for putting this on.

  11. The song always sounded familier to me…now i regonice why!
    In the late 90 i bought everything which included David´s or Johnny work!
    Every F+cking soundtrack,Magazine,Chords Books,Sampler or Album From ohter bands wich David Produces.Rember “Blue Dogs” Caroline Heartache with David singing?i just grapped my CD to listen again….I nearly gone broke by buying all the Stuff.There is only one Person who´s got more Cracker&Camper Stuff in Europe….guess Who?

  12. Love this song! Johhny’s solo kicks ass! Oh, and Susanna’s totally hot!

  13. David, is the Hunter S Thompson quote related to the CVB song “The Long Plastic Hallway” on new roman times?

  14. Had no idea this was an old song, but I’m real glad you put it on “Sunrise”,(which is an amazing album. Wake up Grammy’s!) Absolutely love this song. The B3 and gtr lick that comes out of the chorus gets me everytime. Thanks for the blog, and thanks for the music.
    bob j

  15. Just Andrew Says:

    So let’s see if I understand the ramifications of the bizarro BMI registration above: The booklets for Sunrise will need to be recalled and reprinted to reflect that it is a cover song, used with permission?

    Between that crime and the HST quote, I’m reminded of this old joke:

    One morning a blind bunny was hopping down the bunny trail, and he tripped over a large snake and fell right on his nose. “Oh, please excuse me!” said the bunny. “I didn’t mean to trip over you, but I’m blind and can’t see.”
    “That’s perfectly all right,” replied the snake. “I didn’t mean to trip you, but I’m blind too, and I didn’t see you coming. By the way, what kind of animal are you?”
    “Well, I really don’t know,” said the bunny. “I’m blind, and I’ve never seen myself. Maybe you could examine me and find out.
    “So the snake felt the bunny all over, and he said, “Well, you’re soft, and cuddly, and you have long silky ears, and a little fluffy tail and a dear twitchy little nose, you must be a bunny rabbit!”
    The bunny said, “I can’t thank you enough. But by the way, what kind of animal are you?”
    The snake replied that he didn’t know, so the bunny agreed to examine him.
    When the bunny was finished, the snake said, “Well, what kind of an animal am I?”
    The bunny had felt the snake all over, and he replied, “You’re cold, you’re slippery, and you don’t have any ears … you must be a Music Industry Exec*.”

    *The punch line is frequently ‘music producer’, but within the CVB/Cracker world, I’ve always really been impressed with the production values (and yes, I know David, sometimes it took me a while to come around, but I always have) so I changed it so as not to insinuate that I might have meant it to reflect on David and crew(s).

  16. Ah yeah, the 1994 version is much better than the 1996 version! Thanks Daniel.

  17. Dr. F. Zen Hinkopf Says:

    The “long plastic hallway” riff is all to real, and appears in Hunter S Thompson’s analysis of the TV industry’s inroads into journalism, part of his larger dystopic chronicling that came to be collected in “Generation of Swine.”
    But he might as well have been talking about the music industry’s inroads in the art and soul, from what you say.
    Sadly, Messrs. Thompson and Linkous are casualties, and we have been rpbbed of whatever else they had to say.

  18. David Rodger Says:


    I have just stumbled upon this posting. Thank you for it. I still can’t believe that Mark is no longer with us and my deepest condolances to you, scott minor and Marks wife and family.

    I saw him play in Scotland many times (probably every time) and he was a huge influence to me. At least we still have his music which is fantastically brilliant. Just too few people realise it.

    With best wishes.
    David (Paisley, Scotland)

  19. thank you for posting this, for telling your stories
    I did the reverse way, first I knew sparklehorse, and then cracker and cvb.
    here you can donwload a tribute to mark that I’d make at the first month of his death, just calling a few artist that loves sparklehorse, here in buenos aires: http://autochocador.blogspot.com/2010/04/homenaje-espontaneo-sparklehorse-un-mes.html
    sorry for my english… I’m getting late to work



  20. Johnny Reb Says:

    David, thanks so much for posting the Mark Linkous version of this. Great to hear him tearing it up on this one. Among his many other talents, that dude could sure play that goddamned guitar. So missed…

  21. Compressed audio file Susanah Hoffs sounds a bit like like Victoria Williams.

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