"It's a very, very mad world."
This is the chorus of the song that floated into Mark Changaris' mind when he reentered his Boulder home only to find the inside covered in thick mud left behind by Colorado's disastrous floodwaters. Instead of demonstrating a host of other first reactions, he sat down at the piano and began to play "Mad World" by Tears For Fears.
"We needed something beautiful amidst the destruction and mud, rocks and debris," his roommate Maren Keeley told People magazine. "Watching him play was the first time I actually felt sad and heartbroken by the events."
An earlier video shows water, mud and debris rushing through the house on Sept. 12 after a mudslide on Flagstaff Mountain:
"It's a beautiful piano, and it's been a part of my life for the past few years," Changaris told us in an email. "I guess in some sense I was saying goodbye. In another sense, it felt good to play, to just be in the moment and let the rest of the craziness drop off. It also helped make me feel more normal, that in the face of something so outwardly bizarre, something old and familiar could warm up the place."
Just days after uploading the video to YouTube, the video was shared on BuzzFeed, NPR, People and others. Topping it all though, it received the praise of Tears For Fears' frontman Curt Smith, who commented beneath that the video was "The most poignant use of "Mad World" I've seen."