Simple Song (The Shins song)

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"Simple Song"
Single by The Shins
from the album Port of Morrow
Released January 10, 2012 (2012-01-10)
Format Digital download
Recorded 2011
Genre Indie rock
Length 4:15
Label Aural Apothecary, Columbia
Writer(s) James Mercer
Producer(s) Greg Kurstin, James Mercer
The Shins singles chronology
"Sea Legs"
"Simple Song"
"It's Only Life"

"Simple Song" is a song by American indie rock band The Shins from their fourth studio album Port of Morrow. Written by the group's frontman James Mercer, the song was released as the first single from the album.


In an interview with Q, the band's frontman, James Mercer, has stated that the song was "about my wife, our relationship and this whole new life we [had] ahead of us." Additionally, Mercer stated that the song was also, in part, about the departures of drummer Jesse Sandoval and keyboardist Martin Crandall from The Shins.[1]

Explaining the origins of the song, Mercer revealed that he wrote the song in the living room of his apartment, shortly following his marriage and in the period leading to the birth of his first daughter.[1]

The song gained widespread fame when it was used on the eighth season finale of the sitcom How I Met Your Mother as the backdrop for the reveal of the titular mother.



Chart (2011) Peak
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[2] 4
Canada Alternative Rock (America's Music Charts)[3] 11
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[4] 192
US Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles (Billboard)[5] 6
US Alternative Songs (Billboard)[6] 10
US Rock Songs (Billboard)[7] 19


  1. ^ a b "Simple Song by The Shins Songfacts". Songfacts. Retrieved April 3, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Discografie The Shins". Hung Medien. Retrieved April 3, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Canadian Active Rock & Alt Rock Chart Archive: Alternative Rock – April 3, 2012". America's Music Charts. April 3, 2012. Retrieved April 9, 2012. 
  4. ^ Zywietz, Tobias. "CLUK Update (31.03.2012)". Tobias Zywietz. Retrieved April 2, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles – Issue Date: 2012-04-07" (requires registration). Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved April 2, 2012. 
  6. ^ "The Shins Album & Song Chart History: Alternative Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved April 2, 2012. 
  7. ^ "The Shins Album & Song Chart History: Alternative Songs" (To access peak, one must click the white area around the respective song). Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved April 2, 2012.