Lynyrd Skynyrd - Simple Man




The song is one of Lynyrd Skynyrd's most popular songs and is the last track on side one of Lynyrd Skynyrd's debut album (Pronounced 'Lĕh-'nérd 'Skin-'nérd).


Shortly after Ronnie Van Zant's grandmother and Gary Rossington's mother died, they got together in Van Zant's apartment and started telling stories about them. Rossington came up with a chord progression, and Van Zant wrote the lyrics based on advice the women had given them over the years. They wrote it in about an hour.


"We just put down in a song what our mama or grandma had said to us," Rossington told Paul Ingles. "They really wrote it, we just played it."

"Simple Man" epitomized Ronnie Van Zant, who enjoyed friends, family, and a good time far more than anything money could buy. He held true to these values even after he found fame.


Van Zant died in the 1977 plane crash that also claimed the lives of Skynyrd guitarist Steve Gaines and backup singer Cassie Gaines (brother and sister). When the band reunited and toured in 1987, they dedicated this song to him.


Even though the lyrics state, "Sit beside me, my only son," Ronnie was not the only son. He had two younger brothers along with one older sister and one younger sister. Those younger brothers are Donnie, who formed and fronted .38 Special; and Johnny, who took over as Skynyrd frontman after Ronnie's death.





Lyrics


Mama told me when I was young "Come sit beside me, my only son And listen closely to what I say And if you do this it'll help you some sunny day"

"Oh, take your time, don't live too fast Troubles will come and they will pass You'll find a woman and you'll find love And don't forget, son, there is someone up above"

"And be a simple kind of man Oh, be something you love and understand Baby be a simple kind of man Oh, won't you do this for me, son, if you can"

"Forget your lust for the rich man's gold All that you need is in your soul And you can do this, oh baby, if you try All that I want for you, my son, is to be satisfied"

"And be a simple kind of man Oh, be something you love and understand Baby be a simple kind of man Oh, won't you do this for me, son, if you can"

Oh yes, I will

"Boy, don't you worry, you'll find yourself Follow your heart and nothing else And you can do this, oh baby, if you try All that I want for you, my son, is to be satisfied"

"And be a simple kind of man Oh, be something you love and understand Baby be a simple kind of man Oh, won't you do this for me, son, if you can"

Baby, be a simple, really simple man Oh, be something you love and understand Baby, be a simple, kind of simple man




Songwriters: Gary Rossington / Ron Van Zant

Simple Man lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group