Posted by: Mark Nielsen | August 29, 2012

Hazy – A crazy little country-ish breakup song

It’s been a musical week here at MT. From my Sunday night excursion through a flash flood to hear Americana troubador Bill Mallonee in Hyde Park, to my near-compulsive viewing of the Dutch-produced “Classic Albums” series on Netflix (Dark Side of the Moon, Aja, Joshua Tree, Petty’s Damn the Torpedoes… and who knew guitarist Tommy Iommi from Black Sabbath was so good? Certainly not me…).

And now, posting my second self-penned song of the week!

Like Monday’s “Steven Tyler Is the Devil”, this lyric below is intended to be darkly comic (as opposed to serious and confessional). Black humor might just be my latest mode –a phase or “period”, if you will– as I work through some tough emotions.

Musically (w/ chords in my head, not put to paper yet), think of this falling somewhere between Drive By Truckers, Grateful Dead, Hank Williams & Ben Folds. (one of these things is not like the others…)

by Mark Nielsen, July/Aug 2012

You’re like a half-remembered radio song
Woven into my dreams while I slept,
But now the noise ain’t on the radio
It’s just you rattling ‘round in my head.

You got under my skin, and I can’t begin
To tell you how bad I hurt.
But that was a thousand whiskeys ago
And I forgot enough now to get back to work.

[Chorus: ]
It’s all hazy, hazy,
And I suppose I went a little bit crazy,
For awhile back then, I know.
But now I’m straightened out
And there ain’t no doubt
I’ll be missing you less tomorrow.

I thought I forgave you on whiskey 480,
A beautiful single malt scotch.
But after that those next few months are hazy,
So it’s best I don’t remember too much.

It’s all hazy, so hazy,
I admit I got drunk and lazy,
For awhile when you let me go.
But now I’m straightened out
And there ain’t no doubt
I’ll be missing you less tomorrow.

[Slow down tempo, last verse sung softly, sleepily?]

I can’t sleep tonight, even though we don’t fight
Since you sneaked out our back door.
Y’see I can’t quite shake the memories
Of how I thought we’d amount to so much more.

[Roar back uptempo on Chorus, X 2 — on second go-round, change last three lines:]

It’s all hazy, so hazy,
And I admit I went a little bit crazy,
For awhile back then, I know.
Now I’m straightened out
And there ain’t no doubt
I’ll be laughing it off in a month or so.

–  –  –  –  –

Author’s note: This is not strictly autobiographical. I haven’t got a drinking problem… I don’t think. It was just the next fanciful, odd stage of my “moving on” process last month.

What coulda been… what was… what’s coming up next? Divorce raises these basic doubts and questions for everyone. If we can’t treat it with creativity and a sense of humor, we’re in for more pain than just the tedious legal process and untangling of two lives.

So in the tradition of Steve Earle (the classic cowpunk/ex-junkie)– I threw this slightly apologetic, slightly angry, slightly tipsy little ditty together to put some stuff in my rear-view mirror. Hope you enjoy it.


  1. Well-written Mark. Not to be a downer but I still have dreams I’m married. But I’m not stuck on it during the daytime. I don’t know why I still have those dreams.

    Do you know someone who could put that to music? Have you?

  2. I could put it to music, but have not quite done so.

    Like the dozen or twenty other songs I’ve “written” the past decade or so, I’m not sure if or when I would do the second half of that work (the musical and/or recording part). Usually I have a clear sense of the melody in my head, enough that I could sing it acapella on demand, but I only occasionally try to add the bedrock of chords or production.

    I also have a decent sense of how it should “feel”– which has a lot to do with the chords, rhythm, instrumental arrangement (gimme my slide guitar, baby!), i.e. whatever roughness to leave in, or polish to apply. But as a non-musician without a band (or maybe without a writing partner… the Elton John to my Bernie Taupin act?), I’ve had to live with the tension of my music & lyrics being sort of “homeless” for the time being. Maybe homeless forever, but I’m not giving up my rockstar dreams just yet. Whether I’m an undiscovered singer-songwriter in the making, or just another loser fanboy in search of something more fulfilling in his life, the writing process itself has its inherent merits. Besides which, I can’t help doing it anyway, so I just go ahead. Nobody needs permission to fiddle around with words and music, unless he/she has a hard time GIVING himself permission. I got over that awhile ago, and in the meantime, I write in musical pictures and sing karaoke now and then, to get stuff off my chest.

    If you wanna be Elton, go right ahead. I’ll share credit gladly with anyone who also catches a glimpse of these strange visions that come my way

  3. I was thinking of the musician’s that Caleb lives with, though they are, none of them for the most part in a position to appreciate the words like these quite like we I do. But standing by while Reggie Williams recorded a song ending with “I’m not my father, not my father, just my father’s son!” with such skill and feeling, well, certainly not superficial stuff.

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