Simple Man (Lynyrd Skynyrd song)

"Simple Man" is the last track on side one of Lynyrd Skynyrd's debut album Pronounced 'Lĕh-'nérd 'Skin-'nérd.

"Simple Man"
Song by Lynyrd Skynyrd
from the album (Pronounced 'Lĕh-'nérd 'Skin-'nérd)
RecordedApril 30, 1973 at Studio One, Doraville, Georgia, U.S.
  • 5:57 (album version)
  • 6:39 (live version)
LabelSounds of the South
Producer(s)Al Kooper

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.[1]

Musical structureEdit

"Simple Man" is written in the key of A minor/C major, though all guitars were tuned down a half step, effectively making it G# minor/B. The song begins with an acoustic arpeggiated chord sequence made up of the chords C major, G major and A minor (though with the tuned-down guitars, effective progression of B major, F# major and G# 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.[2] The chorus of the song includes electric guitars imitating sections of the arpeggiated intro progression. The guitar solo is performed by Gary Rossington.

In popular cultureEdit

The intro of the song was used in The Sopranos episode "Cold Stones".

The first half of the song can be heard in the 2000 semi-autobiographical film Almost Famous.

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.[3]

This song is used as the television theme song to History's Mountain Men.

Mixed martial artist Matt Mitrione uses "Simple Man" as his entrance song.[4]

The song was covered by country music artist Hank Williams Jr. on the 1991 album Pure Hank and 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. Shinedown dedicated their cover to their friend, guitarist Dimebag Darrell, who was murdered on-stage in 2004. The country rock band Confederate Railroad covers the song in the Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute album Skynyrd Frynds.



  1. ^ Grein, Paul (2013-11-27). "Chart Watch: Eminem Returns to #1, Gaga Sinks to #8". Yahoo Music. Retrieved November 27, 2013.
  2. ^ "Simple Man Songfacts".
  3. ^ Gaddo, Kyle (2011-02-25). "Eleven Legacy Rock Band Tracks Getting PRO Upgrades On March 1st". The Gaming Vault. Archived from the original on 2013-05-25. Retrieved 2012-11-08.
  4. ^ "UFC 137: Penn vs Diaz". MMA Entrances. 2011-10-30. Retrieved 2013-09-24.

External linksEdit