Sofa Slouching, Tears For Fears and It’s A ‘Mad World’

Last weekend I recounted the tale of my little altercation with a pothole, and explained why my foot will be in a boot for the next few weeks. The week it happened I was in great pain but still managed to get about a bit, doing odd jobs around the house, and keeping up with the daily admin required to run a small business. This week I seem to have lost my mojo and have simply holed up on the sofa for much of the last seven days. To be fair I think this is what I’m supposed to be doing to give my poorly ankle a chance to repair, but I can’t remember having done such a thing for many a year. The reason I mention it, is that I’m a bit short on inspiration for the weekly blog post so will have to dig deep.

I remember this particular Saturday from last year really well as life was still unaffected by the pesky virus that has changed all our lives so much. I had spent the morning writing about the Young brothers of Australia (by way of Glasgow). Between them they had not only formed the Easybeats and AC/DC in the 60s/70s, but also Flash and the Pan in the 80s. I love finding out about rock and pop family trees, so it was a really enjoyable blog post to write (link here).

Later on that day we were going to have a bit of a reunion with old friends who were visiting the Highlands for the weekend. I spent the afternoon deciding what to wear and I styled my hair. By early evening we were on our way to the house of mutual friends on the other side of town, and after a short debate on whether we should just bump elbows or actually hug, we hugged (at that stage it still felt rude not to). We then spent the next few hours laughing and reminiscing about our various adventures back in the day. I can honestly say we didn’t discuss the virus much at all, other than wondering whether visitor attractions would be open for our forthcoming holidays.

But that was a year ago today, and unbelievably I don’t think we’ve been inside anyone else’s house since then. We’ve been in a couple of gardens, but with quite strict rules here in Scotland right through the pandemic, it’s all been about sticking to them, and staying at home. Last week I both stayed at home and stayed on the sofa and you know what…

it’s starting…

to drive…

me…

MAD!

Mad World by Tears For Fears:


This song was of course written by the 19-year-old Roland Orzabal from Tears For Fears, and sung by his bandmate Curt Smith. (That’s Roland dancing outside on the deck in the video clip.) The song was their first chart hit and reached the No. 3 spot in the UK Singles Chart in 1982. The album it came from, The Hurting, reached the top of the Album Chart the following year. Roland might well have been a bit depressed when he wrote the song, but after all the success they achieved over the next few years, I hope he then put it all behind him.

As for me, I’m not depressed, just a bit fed up at being locked down (because of my injured foot) during a lockdown. As mentioned above, the whole concept of ‘lockdown’ wasn’t even a thing this time last year, but the term is now bandied about willy nilly as if it’s always been in use. In reality it has just become a convenient way to describe the widescale imposing of restrictions in order to preserve the capacity of our NHS to care for us. I don’t deserve to feel sorry for myself at all, as touch wood none of my family has contracted the virus (that we know of), and so far we have kept the wolf from the door in terms of still being able to earn. I know there are many out there who have not been as fortunate, and of course our healthcare workers are now beyond exhausted.

As I sit here however, reminiscing about that fun night out with friends exactly a year ago, I can’t help pinching myself to check whether it’s all just been a bad dream. Whatever, it certainly has been a mad, mad world.

Until next time…

Mad World Lyrics
(Song by Roland Orzabal)

All around me are familiar faces
Worn out places
Worn out faces
Bright and early for their daily races
Going nowhere
Going nowhere

And their tears are filling up their glasses
No expression
No expression
Hide my head I want to drown my sorrow
No tomorrow
No tomorrow

And I find it kind of funny
I find it kind of sad
The dreams in which I’m dying are the best I’ve ever had
I find it hard to tell you
‘Cause I find it hard to take
When people run in circles it’s a very very
Mad world
Mad world
Mad world
Mad world

Children waiting for the day they feel good
Happy birthday
Happy birthday
Made to feel the way that every child should
Sit and listen
Sit and listen

Went to school and I was very nervous
No one knew me
No one knew me
Hello, teacher, tell me what’s my lesson?
Look right through me
Look right through me

And I find it kind of funny
I find it kind of sad
The dreams in which I’m dying are the best I’ve ever had
I find it hard to tell you
‘Cause I find it hard to take
When people run in circles it’s a very very
Mad world
Mad world
Mad world
Mad world

And I find it kind of funny
I find it kind of sad
The dreams in which I’m dying are the best I’ve ever had
I find it hard to tell you
‘Cause I find it hard to take
When people run in circles it’s a very very
Mad world
Mad world
Halargian world
Mad world

Author: Alyson

Whenever I hear an old song on the radio, I am immediately transported back to those days - I know I'm not alone here and want to record those memories for myself and for the people in them. 50 years ago the song "Alfie" was written by my favourite songwriting team Bacharach and David - The opening line to that song was "What's it all about?" and I'm hoping that by writing this blog, I might find the answer to that question.

11 thoughts on “Sofa Slouching, Tears For Fears and It’s A ‘Mad World’”

  1. Last week I recounted the tale of my little altercation with a pothole, and why my foot will be in a boot for the next few weeks.

    And that didn’t inspire you to write some posts on your favourite bootlegs?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I think a lot of people are reaching the end of their ropes right now. (I, of course, reached the end of mine some time ago.)

    It’s hard to believe things were still normal a year ago, although we are rapidly approaching the first anniversary of it all kicking off. Crazy to believe now how it seemed like it would all be over in a couple of weeks…

    Stay strong, Alyson.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I know – my foot injury has kind of sent me over the edge I think, but temporary I hope. As for your situation, I really hope you can find a way through it all – Surely in the next few months things will become easier.

      Yes, this same weekend last year was my last “normal” blog post – By the following weekend we’d had Boris, Chris and Patrick addressing the nation, and I shared the song Blindsided by Bon Iver!

      Stay strong yourself Rol.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes, I think you ARE meant to be taking it easy on the sofa but I can understand how frustrating that must be! It is weird thinking back to a year ago, with no concept of what was yet to transpire, and in hindsight I realise I was particularly naive and over-optimistic at the outset, just not thinking the situation we have since found ourselves in to be a real possibility. Hopefully we are turning a corner at last but even now I feel a bit trepidatious about saying that! Fingers very firmly crossed.
    Tears For Fears are one of those bands I accepted as being perfectly good slightly indie-tinged pop at the time but I didn’t fully appreciate just how well-written and crafted their songs were until relatively recently! I think that’s all about age and other musical interests and contexts really, you know how we often only come to appreciate things from a later, more objective point of view! I think ‘Mad World’ is a piece of brilliance (also thought Gary Jules’ cover version was excellent too). I recently listened to ‘Everybody Wants To Rule The World’ with new ears and I just love it. There’s a superb instrumental version of it around (I found it on youtube) in which you can really appreciate the guitar and the fantastic arrangement, well worth a listen.
    Hope you’re heading in the right direction re. your foot now too, Alyson, here’s to getting back on both feet again and better days ahead generally, no matter how mad the world will always be.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha ha – yes, if ever there was an excuse to slouch on the sofa this is it but I can’t help feeling guilty about it. Have been a bit more productive this week so far but not been out yet as my right knee (the leg NOT in the boot) is still really sore so not very steady on my feet. Hopefully by the time I am on my feet again some restrictions will have lifted, and I’ll have had my jab (but no word yet).

      Yes, I quite liked revisiting this song and found out a bit more about the boys. Roland was the main songwriter and wrote this one at age 19 when he was being supported by his future wife who was holding down three jobs whilst he “stayed at home” honing his craft. I wanted to find out whether they stayed together long-term (I certainly hoped so) only to find they did but that she died in 2017 leaving him bereft. What a sad story. The version of Mad World by Gary Jules was one of the songs in an epic battle to capture the Christmas No. 1 spot in 2003 (before the X-Factor ruined that bit of pantomime), and it made it. Don’t think Gary Jules realised just what a big deal that was at the time. I remember they tweaked Everyone Wants to Rule the World into the charity song Everyone Wants to Run the World. I was working for BP at the time (as you did) and we did indeed organise a big crowd of us to run the required number of kms. It was a good day and although I semi-ran it, the chap I shared an office with took it very seriously and came in first. Don’t think I’d manage 10 metres at the moment! Anyway, thanks for the good wishes and yes, looking for better days soon.

      Like

  4. Coincidentally, I’m reading this post exactly one year to the day since I went to my last gig, my longest gap by far in 45 years – totally unreal. I also have a potential second lockdown birthday hoving into view, though following recent government announcements there’s at least a chance that restrictions will have been lifted just in time for me to properly celebrate my big 6-1, as the comedians at work like to call it! Many of my colleagues who had significant life events last year simply shunted their planned celebrations forward twelve months, so in 2021 we anticipate a range of strangely numbered celebrations like 26th wedding anniversaries, 22nd birthdays or, in my case, a 61st birthday!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s been rubbish hasn’t it and as you say some of us will be having a second lockdown event soon. All the weddings that were cancelled last year were rescheduled to this year but at the moment still no chance of making them happen. Maybe by 2022 we’ll be able to celebrate and recalibrate the number for the years we missed (like that idea a lot).

      Like

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