"Simon the Bullet Freak" was written by Ken Hensley, who was with Uriah Heep throughout the '70s and wrote most of their hits. In Hensley's interview with Songfacts
, he explained, "It's an early song and a little angry, looking at the futility of war. It bears some philosophical similarities to other, quasi anti-war songs I wrote at the time ('The Park,' 'Lady In Black
'), although I learned over time to say such things in a rather more eloquent way."
In regards to the lack of eloquence, as far as Hensley sees it, he's probably referring to lines like "ashes of destruction spread out so far" and "blackened others crying me," which sort of uses a mallet to get its message across.
Still, Hensley's probably a bit hard on himself, as there are also some intriguing images and plays with words in the song. One in particular is "tears of the flower man fill the sea."
When asked about whether or not that flower man was meant to represent the hippies (the song came out in 1971 after all), Hensley said, "No! He's an innocent street-seller and just another casualty!"