Sing a Simple Song

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"Sing a Simple Song"
Single by Sly and the Family Stone
from the album Stand!
A-side "Everyday People"
Released 1968
Format 7" single
Recorded 1968
Genre Funk, psychedelic soul, funk rock
Length 3:57
Label Epic
Writer(s) Sly Stone
Producer(s) Sly Stone
Sly and the Family Stone singles chronology
"Everyday People"/"Sing a Simple Song"
"Stand!"/"I Want to Take You Higher"

"Sing a Simple Song" is a 1968 song by the soul/rock/funk band Sly and the Family Stone, the b-side to their #1 hit "Everyday People". The song's lyrics, sung in turn by Sly Stone, Freddie Stone, Rose Stone, and Larry Graham, with spoken word (or, rather, shouted word) sections by Cynthia Robinson, offer a simple solution for dealing with the problems and paradoxes of existence : "Sing a simple song!" As with nearly all of Sly and the Family Stone's songs, Sylvester "Sly Stone" Stewart was credited as the sole songwriter.

The song is one of Sly and the Family Stone's signature songs, and has been covered by a number of acts, including Dusty Springfield, Diana Ross & the Supremes, The Temptations, The Jackson 5, The Commodores, Miles Davis (during the Jack Johnson sessions), The Meters, Booker T. & the M.G.'s, Prince, The Budos Band, Maceo Parker and others. It has also been sampled by numerous artists, including 2Pac, Jodeci, Wu-Tang Clan, Public Enemy, De La Soul, Digital Underground ("Humpty Dance"), Cypress Hill, Gorillaz and Adina Howard.

The bass line for this song was used by Jimi Hendrix and Band of Gypsys two years later in the 1970 song "We Gotta Live Together". Whether the bass line was knowingly plagiarized is the subject of much debate by musical scholars.[citation needed]