Simple Man (Lynyrd Skynyrd song)
|Song by Lynyrd Skynyrd from the album (Pronounced 'Lĕh-'nérd 'Skin-'nérd)|
|Recorded||April 30, 1973 at Studio One, Doraville, Georgia, U.S.|
|Length||5:57 (album version)
6:39 (live version)
|Label||Sounds of the South|
|Writer(s)||Ronnie Van Zant
The song is one of Lynyrd Skynyrd's most popular songs. Since the song became available for digital download, it has become Lynyrd Skynyrd's third best-selling digital song after "Sweet Home Alabama" and "Free Bird". It has sold 1,333,000 copies in the U.S. as of November 2013.
Live performance popularity
Frontman Johnny Van Zant discussed this song in a track-by-track commentary to promote the band's 2010 CD/DVD Live From Freedom Hall. He said: "Well that's a great song and something that I think we all live by. I think anybody out there needs to respect their mother, and the words of their mother. It's mama talking to you in that song and I think it's probably one of my favorites if not my favorite to do live. It's just a great song and that one stays in the set and the crowd always goes crazy on that one."
Simple man is written in the key of A minor/C major. The song begins with an acoustic arpeggiated chord sequence made up of the chords C major, G major and A minor. This intro is accompanied by a bass line and cymbals before the drums and vocals come in for the verse. Lyrically the song is about a mother talking to her child about life, inspired by the passing of Ronnie Van Zant's grandmother and Gary Rossington's mother. The chorus's of the song include electric guitars imitating sections of the arpeggiated intro progression. The guitar solo is performed by Gary Rossington and is regarded as one of the bands' best solos.
The Lynyrd Skynyrd original of the song was made available to download on April 15, 2008 for use in the Rock Band music gaming platform, and on March 1, 2011 for PRO mode which takes advantage of the use of a real guitar/bass guitar, along with standard MIDI-compatible electronic drum kits/keyboards in addition to up to three-part harmony vocals.
This song was also used in the Supernatural television series in Season 5 episode 3 titled "Free to Be You and Me".
The song was covered by alternative-metal band Deftones, appearing on two of their albums, B-Sides & Rarities (2005) and Covers (2011). The song was also covered by rock band Shinedown off the deluxe edition of their album Leave a Whisper, having an acoustic version and a rock version. The country rock band Confederate Railroad covers the song in the Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute album Skynyrd Frynds.
This song was briefly used in My Name Is Earl episode "Number One".
This song is currently used as a warm up song by New York Mets pitcher Jacob DeGrom.
- Lead guitar: Gary Rossington
- Bass: Ed King
- Organ: Al Kooper
- Keyboards: Billy Powell
- Lead vocals: Ronnie Van Zant
- Drums: Bob Burns
- Rhythm & co-lead guitar: Allen Collins
- Grein, Paul (2013-11-27). "Chart Watch: Eminem Returns to #1, Gaga Sinks to #8". Yahoo Music. Retrieved November 27, 2013.
- "Simple Man Songfacts". songfacts.com.
- Gaddo, Kyle (2011-02-25). "Eleven Legacy Rock Band Tracks Getting PRO Upgrades On March 1st". The Gaming Vault. Retrieved 2012-11-08.
- "UFC 137: Penn vs Diaz". MMA Entrances. 2011-10-30. Retrieved 2013-09-24.
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