Crazy World is the oldest song on the album.
I started writing it over two years ago while on holiday in Cape Town. I remember the vast, crazy contrast while I was there: the immense opulence of Camps Bay versus the in-your-face drags of Khayelitsha. I remember how foreign both ways of life were to me. I pondered over it for weeks. In the end, I could see that people in both circumstances had the same need.
When you’re on the bones of your bum… or when you’re not… the instinctive desire of the human experience is to share it.
Shortly after that Cape Town visit, I went to watch the film Into The Wild, directed by Sean Penn and starring Emile Hirsch. A great movie, and one which has some interesting philosophical ideas. One of them stood out for me – that “happiness is only happiness when shared”. I thought about that for a long time, and it cemented my initial reflections on how life could be so polar opposite.
Crazy World talks about two opposing worlds – the rich and excessive in the first verse, and the poor and downtrodden in the second verse. Both worlds have their problems, their own crazy elements, either from the inside looking out or from the outside looking in.
Musically, this was a deliberate diversion for me in songwriting. The starkness of the guitar and the vocal harmonies give the song a haunting quality which, to me, speaks about the weightiness of the lyrics and the ideas in the song: that this is a crazy world of haves and the have-nots, and some things are just not fair. Some things are just so ridiculous, and we wonder why they occur.
But through it all, the saving grace is being able to share this crazy journey with those we hold dearest to our hearts. The last line in this song – “When the darkness stays, I’ll get by if your love remains” – might sound like an ultimatum, or laying on a guilt trip on someone else… but I see it as an important reminder that we surround ourselves with those we can really trust and rely on.
The world is a rough place, we need to know who we can put our hope and our trust in.