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Jackson Browne's "My Stunning Mystery Companion": What I Am Listening To Write This Minute -by Alysom Camus

What do I know about Jackson Browne? Not a lot actually, I know he is a very respected songwriter, a sort of Californian icon. I heard about him in the 70’s-80’s, he was with Daryl Hannah, the blond mermaid, that’s what I remember,.. oh but they had some kind of problems, I don’t want to go there though.

‘My Stunning Mystery Companion’ is a quiet love declaration, with clear and direct lyrics over an acoustic folk guitar, and it is one the last songs of his 2008 album ‘Solo Acoustic Volume 2’, although it originally comes from his 2002 ‘Naked Ride Home’ studio album.

With its peaceful tone, the song breathes with an instrumental part just before the last two verses, and the crystal clear vocals are harmonious with a touch of country. Jackson Browne is someone you listen to closely, and because the music is acoustic and stripped down, you don’t miss a word of the delivery.

It’s honest and personal, or at least you get the impression you know him a little more after sentences like ‘What with all my expectations long abandoned/And a future I no longer saw my hand in’,… Was he in a bad place before he found this stunning companion?
But why is the companion stunning and a mystery at the same time? Is it because he does not want to reveal who is this person? Or is it because it’s still a mystery to him she is staying with him?

Or rather, is it just because the two words stunning and mystery sound good side by side? They really do. Just as two persons who have met and know they are right for each other. This is a mystery indeed, but a true benediction’ beyond his understanding’, as he is saying.

And it’s always easy to complain, but not very easy to tell you’re happy, and especially to say it as elegantly as he does.

2 Comments

  1. silvia Rosenberg on September 28, 2020 at 1:22 am

    I have no doubt that the song is dedicated to his mystery partner Diana

  2. DT on November 24, 2021 at 3:19 am

    I think Silvia is correct. He’s been with Diana Cohen for 20+ years. The song was written after a very public break up with a celebrity more famous than Jackson (Daryl Hannah) follow accusations of domestic violence. Very messy stuff. Apparently Diana was once referred to in the media as his “stunning mystery companion” even though their relationship was not a secret. I like the deeper meaingyou also find in the song.

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