"Just Be Simple" as written by and Jason Molina....
You'll never hear me talk about one day getting out
Why put a new address on the same old loneliness
Everybody knows where that is
We built that house of his

And when he's not home
Someone else you know always is
If Heaven's really coming back
I hope it has a heart attack

When they see how dangerous it is for guys like that
The night has always known when it's time to get going
When it's really been so long that it starts showing
It's always had that ghost who always almost

Tells me the Secret
How there's really no difference in who he was once
And who he's become
[I think he's been letting me win and I think he's been doing it again
thanks for letting me win]
And everything you hated me for

Honey there was so much more
I just didn't get busted.
I aint looking for that easy way out
This whole life it's been about

Try and try and try
And try and try and try
To be simple again

Just be simple again
Just be simple again
Just be simple again
Just be simple again
Just be simple again


Lyrics submitted by Mopnugget, edited by embassyrow, probalo, Dante Sint

Just Be Simple song meanings
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  • +4
    General Comment" You never hear me talk about one day getting out
    Why put a new address on the same old loneliness"

    Pure poetry!
    knawseyon April 06, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentYou missed a couple lines of lyrics. I copied the line before and after so you know where I'm talking about in the lyrics:

    ....
    And who he's become
    I think he's been letting me win
    And I think he's doing it again
    Thanks for letting me win
    And everything you hated me for...
    ...

    As for song meaning I don't have a great explaination but I'll give it a shot since nobody else did.

    It's obviously about a failed relationship. He starts off by saying he's not leaving though because he'd just do the same thing in another relationship. When he talks about that "house of his" I'm guessing "his" means love. So they built up a love but now that it's gone and he (her too?) cheats on her:
    "And when he's not home. Someone else you know always is "
    I'm not sure what the Heaven business is. Not sure about the night business too much either. I'm guessing by the time it gets to:
    "How there's really no difference in who he was once And who he's become"
    It's back to refering to love but I could obviously be wrong. The rest is fairly straightforward. I *love* when he just keep singing "just be simple again" at the end.
    aoeuhntson December 18, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"Why put a new address on the same old loneliness"

    I love that line. My mum has moved a few times thinking well it'll be better there, and the grass is always greener and dull as dirt where you stand.
    zion_roseon July 19, 2007   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationNot so sure this song is about something as focused as single failed relationship. It seems to me to be more on the common Molina motif of the sickness of loneliness. Anyway my take on this song is laid out below.

    "You'll never hear me talk about one day getting out
    Why put a new address on the same old loneliness?
    Everybody knows where that is"

    'Where that is' being inside the individual

    "We built that house of his
    And when he's not home
    Someone else we know always is"

    The 'house' is the house of loneliness with the entity referred to by 'his' is loneliness itself. This figurative house is within the narrator. With the only times that loneliness isn't 'at home' being when 'Someone else' is. I interpret that 'someone else' as being love (the classic counterpoint to loneliness).

    "If Heaven's really coming back
    I hope it has a heart attack
    When they see how dangerous it is for guys like that"

    This may be another of Molina's common subjects. With Heaven being the rapturous end, but how devastating it would not have overcome the overwhelming sense of internal loneliness by the time that time comes. A wasted and unfulfilled life.

    "And the night has always known when it's time to get going
    When it's really been so long that it starts showing"

    Here the 'night' is a figurative analogy for the depression that accompanies chronic loneliness and lack of self worth. But Molina is saying that there always comes a time when you pick yourself up and drag yourself back towards love and life. The 'always' implies that this is a recurring theme. And that when that time comes it is usually because it has been a long time, so long in fact that 'it starts showing'. There is a desperation implied by this phrase.

    "It's always had that ghost
    Who always almost tells me the secret
    Now there's really no difference
    In who he was once and who he's become"

    The 'night' has always had THAT ghost; i.e. the central character loneliness. This character is always there in the back of the mind saying that what the narrator has found when he 'has got going' has not changed anything really. Still depressed and a natural home for loneliness despite this new adventure with love.

    "I think he's been letting me win
    And I think he's doing it again
    Thanks for letting me win"

    To me implies that the narrator feels that the dark perpetual loneliness is somehow allowing interim presence of love, but is all the time controlling the play. The narrator is perhaps sarcastic when he offer up his thanks to this dark controlling force as he knows it is all doomed to failure in the end.

    "And everything you hated me for
    Honey, there was so much more
    I just didn't get busted"

    My interpretation of this section is not that the whole some has been about this 'Honey'. But that she is the current recipient of the inevitable failure due to his being the house of loneliness. His depression and lack of self worth has led him to be a bad partner and he never gave full disclosure about these issues and she never rumbled them. The 'so much more' is the depth of his depression and its continual recurrence that he never truly revealed to her. That deep down he always knew he would fail and he was not 'busted' in terms of his never having revealed this, nor she recognising it.

    "I ain't looking for that easy way out
    This whole life has been about
    Try and try and try and
    Try and try and try to be simple again
    Just be simple again"

    In the context of chronic depression the 'easy way out' requires little by way of interpretation. Being 'simple again' seems to refer back to a time before loneliness and depression took hold. Perhaps this is a time in childhood or at least earlier times where love was clear and unsullied depression a thing not dominating life. A time with lack of complexity and minimal demands or expectations upon him. The narrators whole life has been taken up with trying to get back to that 'simple' state. This is understandable in the context of depression, but in the context of adult relationships with the depression undisclosed this is not where the effort need to be to make a go of things. This trying to get back is part of the 'whole lot more' which the current partner does not know or understand.
    untitled1on August 03, 2014   Link
  • +1
    General CommentRIP Jason Molina...
    voltianon June 17, 2013   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationThis was originally a comment to one of the posts above, but I figured I'd post it here as well since you have to expand comments and it's easy to not notice.

    At the start of the song he seems to be singing about resigning to his loneliness, and not bluffing to friends about how he has a new plan to escape from the home he built. To me he's singing about himself in third person throughout the song, like when he says "We built that house of his"- the 'we' being his mind and body. They built that house of loneliness, why move somewhere else and rebuild the house there? This is a song about a man who has lost faith in everything.

    With that in mind, heaven would seem to be an ideal which has came and gone before but this time if it comes back he's hoping it fails before it even arrives because he's lost faith (in the sense of confidence/trust in things and people). Heaven is a dangerous ideal because it provides a person with a temporary sense that things will be alright when deep down he feels that they wont be.

    Like you mentioned, the night would be depression/darkness, and at least it knows "when it's time to get going." The night has always had that ghost who almost tells him that he's still the same person he always was- despite the fact that the woman thinks that he's changed and she hates him for it. I really relate to the line "Honey there was so much more- I just didn't get busted." Toward the end of our relationship my most recent ex said "I don't know why you're so damn sad all of the time." All I was doing was listening to music ("Whiskey in my Whiskey" by the Felice Brothers) but it was enough to affect her mindstate/feelings, I've been this same person ever since I was a small child- just because she didn't hear my music doesn't mean my feelings were different.

    The refrain of "Try and try and try" could be the most simple, but complex part of the song, my interpretation is that he's longing for the simple sorrows of yesterday- something that I think back to often as I didn't have any lasting sense of happiness as a child.

    I see how many of the other posters could interpret the song as being about a failed relationship because it is in a sense- a relationship he had with himself and his inability to overcome his own sadness and the consequence this had for future relationships.

    This song offers an interesting contrast to The Raven by Edgar A Poe:
    The narrator of this story has already built a house of sorrow and filled it to the brim with thoughts. The Raven would seem to be a more humanized version of the ideal of Heaven, it was similar in that it was also suggested that it would leave him as "Other friends have flown before— On the morrow he will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before." In the Raven, the narrator began to cause himself to suffer by asking questions of the Raven when he knew the answer would be the same repetition. He went from curiosity, to anger, to resignation, which is the state that Jason, or the narrator of Simple Man would seem to be in.

    Of course the wife died in The Raven while the girlfriend left him because she was seemingly unable to deal with his sadness so this would explain the much more intimate experience of Poe's tale and the torment of the narrator's soul.
    Dante Sinton April 12, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is about a failed relationship to me too. My favorite lines, "Everything you hated me for, honey, there was so much more, I just didn't get busted" going back to the cheating thing that aoeuhnts mentioned, he's like finally confessing that there were other times he cheated on her that she has no idea about. But I kinda feel like he wished it worked. "But I'm not looking for an easy way out." And "to be simple again" like when love is new and easy and uncluttered by fights and complications and all of that.
    Whatever it's about, beautiful song.
    adamanteveon July 10, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMy take on this song has pretty much been very well explained in the previous comments, however there was just a small chunk that was never clarified.


    "If Heaven's really coming back
    I hope it has a heart attack
    When they see how dangerous it is for guys like that"

    - If their relationship is going back to when it was good and simple (when it was like Heaven), they hope it stops before it goes back to it.


    "The night has always known when it's time to get going
    When it's really been so long that it starts showing"

    -The night, or the one he's cheating on her with, has always known when to leave, although the affair has been going on for so long that it's starting to become clear what's happening.


    "It's always had that ghost who always almost
    Tells me the Secret.
    How there's really no difference in who he was once
    And who he's become"

    - This is basically saying that there's been so many times when he was almost caught cheating, and how he's never changed his ways.

    I thought I should clear that up. It's really kind of funny because when I first heard this song, I liked it because of the musicality. I never would have thought it was so poetic.
    It's just an amazing song.
    Be_Gentleon July 23, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentEvery few months, this song lands on my playlist when I random. One of the few songs I just HAVE to listen to, I can't skip it.

    Damn!
    voltianon December 16, 2015   Link

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