Creating connections through the arts and across cultures

“Give Me the Simple Life”—Song as Sign—Words inside the notes carry a simple message

The good thing about knowing a song and its lyrics is that it doesn't have to be sung out loud to hear it in your mind. When I walked into the Konocti room that fronts Clear Lake and hosts their weekend buffet, the Swingtones were playing this tune, "Give Me the Simple Life," and I could hear the words as clearly as if there were a vocalist in front of the stylish trio, singing her heart out in a sequin sheath gown.

I took it as a sign to think further about the simple life. The trio, in their 60s and 70s all wore something with little icons related to the instrument they played...a piano necktie, a saxaphone pin, a drum vest...and all three were virtuoso, vintage players who more than knew their way around their instruments as they slid around this classic swing tune. --JGR

Give Me The Simple Life
Words & Music by Harry Ruby & Rube Bloom
Recorded by Julie London, 1959
Chords by the Guitarguy

Em7 A7 D B7
I don't believe in frettin' and grievin';

C#m7-5 F#7 Bm D7
Why mess around with strife?

G Gm D Bm7
I never was cut out to step and strut out.

E7 Em7 A7
Give me the simple life.

Em7 A7 D B7
Some find it pleasant dining on pheasant.

C#m7-5 F#7 Bm D7
Those things roll off my knife;

G Gm D Bm7
Just serve me tomatoes; and mashed potatoes;

E7 A7 D
Give me the simple life.

Bridge:

Em7 A7 D
A cottage small is all I'm after,

Em7 A7 D
Not one that's spacious and wide.

C#m7-5 F#7 Bm
A house that rings with joy and laughter

E7 Em7 A7
And the ones you love inside.

Em7 A7 D B7
Some like the high road, I like the low road,

C#m7-5 F#7 Bm D7
Free from the care and strife.

G Gm D Bm7
Sounds corny and seedy, but yes, indeed-y;

E7 A7 D
Give me the simple life.

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