Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Song Two: (You Drive Me) Crazy.

Crazy is a word that in reality means you are insane, you have taken leave of your sense and you are not normal.  It means you are abnormal to the point where you are possibly dangerous, psychotic, and by implication you should be locked away from the normal members of society.

However through our popular culture and especially music we have taken the term crazy and bludgeoned it into submission to mean something less severe, something light, something almost humorous.

Crazy is not normal, but it is not dangerous, it is not creepy, no, crazy it seems is just another emotion, and if we believe the music of the last fifty years it usually results from love.

So what sort of songs do we mean?

Well let's start with Patsy Cline and "Crazy"

Crazy for feeling so lonely, crazy for feeling so blue – love is driving her crazy!  She finishes by saying I'm crazy for loving you.

Then you have the Fine Young Cannibals with She Drives Me Crazy –

He can't help the way he feels, people call him obsessed, but he has to be with her, he wants to be free but can't be, she drives him crazy.

Tellingly he also says “I won't make it on my own, no one wants to be alone”

So being crazy is better than being alone.
Then there is the epic by Pink Floyd – Shine on You Crazy Diamond.

This one is different, and is apparently a tribute to Sid Barrett, who did go quite crazy after a life of alcohol, and mind altering drugs.

This is a song which truly emotes from its core and affects the listener to the depths of their being.  It is long and mostly instrumental but there is at its central part, at its guts if you like something which shakes you, and leaves you ‘exposed in the light.’

Following such a song of such magnitude and depth, where else can you turn but Gnarls Barkly  Gnarls Barkly?  Yep and his song crazy
This song, almost a homage to the funk movement of the seventies, seems to embrace the concept of craziness, and with its vivid imagery in the film clip of moving ink blots, and telling us I'm crazy, you're crazy, we're crazy it is a confession of all of us having some sort of collective insanity.  If we are all crazy then are none of us then by definition crazy?

So we're do you go from there, well Madonna of course and her song Crazy for You.

I remember hearing this on the radio way back in 1985.  I had moved into my own place, the first place I lived in after leaving home and I did not have a TV.  I was listening to the radio and this song came on.  It actually changed my mind on Madonna, and for some time I was quite the Madonna fan.  (the attraction faded around her whole erotica period which was more boring than anything for me)

Anyway Crazy for You was the song from the movie in Australia also called Crazy for You but apparently in the USA called Vision Quest.

The clip shows actors from the movie including Matthew Modine.

And it really is the modern understanding of crazy.  I’m crazy for you.  I just want to be with you.

You are all I want, and I lose control – why?  Because of you.

So with that we come to another movie from 1999 – Drive Me Crazy and another sound track song, with another music video from the movie – yes the second song from her debut album Britney's “You Drive Me Crazy”

The movie featured Sabrina actor Melissa Joan Hart and she is in the clip.

The word Baby drops from 25 times in Baby one more time to 7 times in this song.  32 times in two songs, will the word keep up it's average in songs to come?  One thinks not!

Anyway enough of the argy-bargy here is the song -
 I would show you the actual music video but it appears Vevo have truly taken a leaf from Warner Brothers and have blocked access to this in Australia.  
 I can show you a photo of Britney in her waitress outfit she wore in the video clip.

Anyway in case you missed them, here are the lyrics - 

Baby, I'm so into you

You got that somethin, what can I do

Baby, you spin me around

The Earth is movin, but I can't feel the ground

Every time you look at me

My heart is jumpin, it's easy to see

You drive me crazy

I just cant sleep

I'm so excited, I'm in too deep 

Ooh...crazy, but it feels alright 

Baby, thinkin of you keeps me up all night

Tell Me, you're so into me

That I'm the only one you will see 

Tell me, I'm not in the blue 

That I'm not wastin, my feelings on you 

You drive me crazy

I just cant sleep

I'm so excited, I'm in too deep 

Ooh...crazy, but it feels alright 

Baby, thinkin of you keeps me up all night

Crazy, I just can't sleep

I'm so excited, I'm in too deep

Crazy, But it feels alright

Every Day and Every Night

You drive me crazy

I just cant sleep

I'm so excited, I'm in too deep 

Ooh...crazy, but it feels alright 

Baby, thinkin of you keeps me up all night

You Drive Me Crazy (You drive me crazy baby)

Ooh..Crazy, But It Feels Alright 

Baby Thinkin of you keeps me up all night

Baby Thinkin of you keeps me up all night

What do we make of these words?

From the very first line you feel obsession –

“Baby I'm so into you.”

But with that you also feel a  temporal sense of obsession.  I'm so into you could easily become I'm so over you,

Just that one line shows us a differentiation between obsession and love.  This is not love it is something else.

She then almost qualifies her obsession by saying

“You've got that somethin what can I do?

You have something and there is nothing I can do about it.  Her obsession then becomes not her own fault but the fault of the object of her obsession. 

Classic case of shifting responsibility, and used so often isn’t it.

“She made me do it”

“He made me do it”

This is not new in fact we can trace it all the way back to the garden of Eden and the origins of sin.

God asks Adam did you eat the fruit, does he say yes and admit it, no he blames Eve, and Eve blames a serpent.

From then on people have blamed each other.  I see it in my work everyday.  People bring the wrong paper work in and when you point it out they say “oh my partner gave it to me, I'm just doing what they said”

Then Britney tells us she is out of control, and again it is the object of her obsession which is moving her.

“Baby you spin me around

The earth is movin but I can't feel the ground”

In fact she goes bananas when she sees him.

“Every time you look at me

My heart is jumpin it's easy to see”

Two things to say here, firstly I think we all have had that experience when we see someone and our hearts leap, either in joy or in dread.  This time it seems to be joy, with this kind of obsession though it can very easily and very quickly become dread.  Again this is a pointer to not being love but something else.

The other thing is the lyric ‘can't you see  Part of us, when we experience this wants to scream can't you tell that I have these feelings for you?  Notice me!!!  The other part is screaming I hope this is not obvious, please I hope I am not such an open book that you will walk all over me.

It is wanting to be noticed and clear, and yet not wanting to be too open about it all.

And then we have the chorus.

You drive me crazy

I just can't sleep.

This is an obsession which affects her sleep.  This again shows a difference with love.  Love drives out fear and anxiety and gives rest.  Obsession gives you anxiety and leaves you awake and not being able to find peace and rest.

She then says

“I'm so excited, I'm in too deep”

Wow now this is a real interesting line – excitement it is great and yet can be dangerous.

The admission of being in to deep shows she knows she is obsessed and yet she is excited about it and wants it. 

Not always, without making a generalisation, but at least sometimes people are in dangerous relationships because it is exciting and they want to be there.

She backs that up with the next two lines

“crazy, but it feels alright

Baby, thinkin of you keeps me up all night”

Her thoughts of him keep her awake.  What thoughts of someone keep you awake.  They aren't love are they?

They would be in two categories surely, a sense of wanting them, lust and ownership or perhaps fear of losing them and what I should say, and regrets over what I did or did not say before.  If it was love again it would bring rest.

Then she pleads tell me it's not just me, don't leave me hanging.  Please share these feelings.

This is why she is up all night – the admission here is fear.  The love then is not perfect, for perfect love drives out all fear.

And so the song then repeats itself to its conclusion.

It is a great melody and again a good beat and probably better than the very average teen romantic movie it is featured in.

Perhaps I am reading into it too deeply.  My friend Emily says I think too much and that is a distinct possibility here, but I can't get over the feeling as I hear these words that this person, this character is more worried about losing the other and having her feelings reciprocated than actually loving them.

Is that how we are?  Is that how our relationships are?

Love then would be more giving and more restful and less demanding and less anxiety producing.

This song for me is again out of ten a score of 

So what do you think?

And what drives you crazy?