When pondering Simple Pleasures, at first I thought I was going to write about roots. This guy’s left his simple pleasures behind, severed his roots, and clearly regrets letting them go. But I’ve changed my thinking about what this song is about.
As I write this I’m living in Singapore, about as far from my home as I can possibly be. One of the things I like to do while exploring this part of the world is visit temples, but not because I’m deeply religious or anything. I like temples for the same reason that I like listening to old “folk” music. It’s about vibe. So since I’ve been visiting a lot of Buddhist temples, I’ve been boning up on Buddha a little. Not enough to make me Buddhist, but enough to affect my way of thinking.
This is really a song about impermanence. Buddhism basically teaches that it is our clinging to impermanent things that trips us up. The person in this song regrets not appreciating the simple pleasures he once took for granted. But the truth is, those days he took for granted when he lived with his family are gone. There’s no going home again.
So I like to think that the message of this song isn’t really about regret for the roots we gave up. It’s more about living in the moment, to appreciate the simple pleasures that we have while we have them. “For once they are gone they will never come back.” So at this very moment, I’m about to go indulge in one of the simple pleasures that bored me in my youth. I’m going to go take a good little nap.