Happily Mad

"Happily Mad"

Music & Lyrics by Scott Cooley.

A generation before they all had it made

They've had it better than us and now I'm afraid

When I think about the future I only feel sad

And I think I'm becomin' happily mad

With so little control mixed with so much pain

We keep on movin' along to keep from goin' insane

As opportunity dwindles, I feel I've been had

And I think I'm becomin' happily mad

I guess we just have to deal

With the cards we've been dealt

And learn how to smile, and say

At least we've got our health

Sometimes I get angry wanna make things change

But it's a catch-22 seems like there's nothin' to gain

It won't do any good to do somethin' bad

And I think I'm becomin' happily mad

The boomers took all the jobs, and they've had 'em ever since

Now they inherit their wealth, just like a prince

It's no one's fault they're not appreciative or glad

And I think I'm becomin' happily mad

They can't help it they were all born after the war

But being in their shadow's become such a bore

They're all resource hogs, it's not a passing fad

And I think I'm becomin' happily mad

I guess we just have to be patient

With our unlucky fate

Maybe it's true that we're slackers, but

We have no right to hate

They call us generation X and we've had a raw deal

It's like a bad dream but our unemployment is real

While we grin and bear it, we still live with mom & dad

And I think I'm becomin' happily mad

Copyright Β© β„— 2014 by Scott Cooley. All rights reserved.

I wrote this song a really long time ago, like in about 1996 maybe earlier.Β  I polished it up in 2013 when I was re-recording some old "borderline keepers" because I'd run out of new songs to record and the muse was absent for a while.Β  This improved it enough that I thought I would release it.Β  It's the first time I've tried to record melody notes on a harmonica to go with the singing melody.Β  You can hear I kind of got better at it as the song goes on.Β  Since I'm a first take kind of a recorder, it was good enough.Β  I practiced for a few minutes before I hit record to have an idea of where those notes were on the harmonica - you know, which holes to suck or blow and how many holes apart from each other.Β  It's probably the most advanced and focused harmonica playing I've ever done.Β  Usually I just totally wing it.Β Β 

Another reason I decided to release it was because back when I played it live once at a Border's bookstore open mic night on Miller Rd. in Flint, Michigan - back in 97 or so when bookstores still existed - there were some baby boomer ex-hippie folkie types in there drinking coffee who clapped a lot for this one and several even complimented me afterward and wanted to hang out and talk to me.Β  I think they liked the rebelliousness and social commentary, even though it was negative and about them.Β  They respected the youthfulness of it, I suppose.Β  You can't blow off a good reception from an audience like that.Β  I also imagined at the time that I'd written an actual folk song, even though I didn't then, nor do I still, know what the heck a folk song is exactly.Β Β 

This is probably the closest I've come to writing one anyway.Β  This was a from-the-heart pouring out of anger about hiring freezes and unemployment and downsizing and outsourcing while I was a job seeker in Michigan at the time.Β  It really seemed like the baby boomers took all the good jobs, and then kept them forever, and no employers hired anyone my age after that.Β  It was hard to find work in Flint at that time for people my age.Β  Still is.Β  So, I was mad at the world, and blaming them, but realistically admitting it wasn't their fault necessarily.Β  A gen-x song of frustration.Β  And there you have it, the rest of the story.