Simple Man, Simple Dream

Album: Black Rose (1976)

Songfacts®:

  • In our 2011 interview with J.D. Souther, he told us that this was his most misunderstood song. Said Souther: "It wasn't exactly sarcasm, but it certainly wasn't me. If anything, I would love to be a much simpler man with a much simpler dream. It was more like imagining myself in somebody else's shoes and just writing from there. In the way that [Warren] Zevon would take a character or voice and go with it, or the way Randy Newman would write a song that is certainly convincing as a piece of work, but you know it's not exactly the way he feels about that. Or at least it's not the only way he feels about it."
  • Linda Ronstadt, who dated Souther in the '70s, recorded this song on her 1977 album Simple Dreams. Souther says that Ronstadt was a huge influence on him as a musician: "Linda and I played music for each other constantly. She played me most of the country music that I'd been aware of, because I didn't grow up listening to country music. My parents hated country music, so we never had it in our house. My dad was a big band singer and my parents were swing kids. My dad's mother was an opera singer and I was a jazz kid. So I didn't really get onto country music till I got to California, and I never even held a guitar till I was 23 or something like that."

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