People sometimes use music as a way to explore the human condition. As a result, it makes sense that there are numerous songs about being crazy. Some are metaphorical. In contrast, others are much more literal. Regardless, songs about being crazy can be delightful, thus making them worth listening to.
Here are ten of the best songs about being crazy:
10. “Crazy Train” – Ozzy Osbourne
“Crazy Train” makes more sense when one remembers that Ozzy Osbourne released it in 1980. Mikhail Gorbachev didn’t become the de facto leader of the USSR until 1985, meaning his westward turn was still far off in the distance. That said, world events can impact personal mental well-being, meaning this song is more than qualified for this list. Indeed, “Crazy Train” is something old made new again, seeing the world seems to have entered another period of great power competition.
9. “People Are Crazy” – Billy Curington
Billy Curington released “People Are Crazy” back in 2008. Once again, the song isn’t about personal mental well-being. Instead, it starts with two differently-aged men chatting at a bar, followed by the older individual leaving his wealth to his younger counterpart rather than his kids. That enables the song to live up to its titular claim. Still, it also encourages listeners to wonder why the man did what he did. He might have had a good reason; he might not have. It is impossible to tell, particularly since people have different thresholds for such judgments.
8. “Psycho Killer” – Talking Heads
“Psycho Killer” came out in 1977. As a result, it was widely assumed to be about the Son of Sam. However, Talking Heads have always denied any connection between one and the other. Still, “Psycho Killer is a funky song that seems to be about the perspective of the titular individual, which might explain why its lyrics are so disjointed in places.
7. “Automatic Flowers” – Our Lady Peace
We know a fair amount about what is going on behind “Automatic Flowers.” As the story goes, Our Lady Peace frontman Raine Maida wrote it while envisioning a woman with little going on in her life. Due to this, she cheers herself up by opening a pop-up book containing pop-up flowers because there is nothing else. That is more than enough to paint the picture of someone living a miserable life, which is presumably taking a toll on their well-being.
6. “Pumped Up Kicks” – Foster the People
“Pumped Up Kicks” is the song that enabled Foster the People to break into the mainstream. It is famous for its cheerful, upbeat tune. The funny thing is that “Pumped Up Kicks” is nothing of the sort. Its lyrics are filled with visions of violence, which makes sense because it is from the perspective of a troubled youth thinking about shooting up their school. Foster the People wrote “Pumped Up Kicks” because the band is concerned about the growing trend of mental health issues in teenagers. That is particularly true for what that might mean for violence among that age group.
5. “Before He Cheats” – Carrie Underwood
People tend to have very poor reactions to betrayal. As a result, it isn’t uncommon for people to do things they wouldn’t do under normal circumstances when their significant others cheat on them. Even so, one can’t help but suspect that the narrator in “Before He Cheats” might be overdoing things a bit. After all, her words make it clear that she suspects but doesn’t know for sure what her significant other is doing. Despite that, the narrator is already moving into the getting revenge stage.
4. “Basket Case” – Green Day
Green Day released Dookie in 1994. The release propelled the band into the spotlight. Moreover, people have argued that Dookie was one of the main influences on several punk bands that rose to prominence in the 1990s and 2000s, meaning it can be considered the start of a post-grunge wave. Regardless, “Basket Case” was one of the singles that enabled that success. Famously, it is about Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong’s personal experiences. As the story goes, he wrote a song about his anxiety, which was so bad that he thought he was going crazy. Luckily, Armstrong managed to get it diagnosed as a panic disorder, which presumably provided him with a path forward for his condition.
3. “Crazy” – Gnarls Barkley
If people enjoy soul music, they should make sure to check out “Crazy” from the mid-2000s. Its lyrics have sometimes been described as surrealistic. Even so, many people manage to relate to them, which makes sense because it touches upon some common but important topics that everyone can relate to at some point.
2. “Let’s Go Crazy” – Prince and the Revolution
Chances are good interested individuals have heard “Let’s Go Crazy” at some point. It was one of Prince’s signature songs. Thanks to that, it received a great deal of airplay and continues to receive a great deal of airplay. The song opens with a sermon, which is fitting when it concerns itself with living a good life despite all of the woes of the world.
1. “Brain Damage” – Pink Floyd
Brain damage is one of the scariest things imaginable for many people. Simply put, we tend to strongly identify ourselves with our minds, so much so that we tend to do so even above our bodies. That said, our minds are tied to our bodies, meaning brain damage can produce fundamental changes in who we are.
This isn’t a new revelation. People have known this since ancient times because there are pre-modern stories about individuals experiencing personality changes after head injuries. Funny enough, Pink Floyd’s “Brain Damage” is somewhat more light-hearted, even though it is about the mental instability of the band’s ex-frontman Syd Barrett. Still, it is one of the band’s greatest releases, thus enabling it to claim the top of this list.
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