This week, I’m covering “Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley, a musical collaboration between CeeLo Green and Danger Mouse. (Disclaimer: I just found out Gnarls is not a real person.) According to the internet, the two drew inspiration from the song “Last Man Standing,” which was used in the 1968 spaghetti-western film Viva! Django. The lyrics are said to have been inspired by a conversation CeeLo Green and Danger Mouse had about how people “won’t take an artist seriously unless they’re insane.” CeeLo turned the idea of insanity into “Crazy,” and then recorded the vocals in one take. Although everyone who records a hit song claims they did it in one take, I still love this song.
I respect when popular songs aren’t about love. Music these days tends to gravitate towards lovers and romance in general, because it’s usually the easiest thing to write about. But realistically, your entire world does not revolve around your love life. CeeLo and Danger Mouse wrote about exactly how they felt in the moment, and created something real and relatable.
“Crazy” describes exactly how hectic my life has been lately. It’s been stuck in my head for weeks. Does that make me crazy? Probably.
Words and music by Katie Hwang.