Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Scorn Not His Simplicity Written by Phil Coulter

I debated on posting this one. You may know that I am interested in learning about disability history and also hearing music that relates to Down syndrome. Music can really help express emotions and experiences and help us cope and heal. Having a child with a disability can be a journey consisting of many different emotions, so I am drawn to songs about parenting a child who happens to have special needs. Usually I look for happy songs or songs about the meaning behind having such a child. I came across Phil Coulter’s song, Scorn Not His Simplicity. Coulter’s first born son had Down syndrome. A few months after his birth, Coulter wrote this song. I did find something on the internet that said that his son died at the age of three, although I am not sure how accurate that is. Luke Kelly intially performed the song, but I have attached a clip of Sinead O’Connor (I loved her music growing up afterall). You can find Luke Kelly recordings on YouTube.

I don’t like all of the lyrics (like the ones about emptiness and despair), but I am still drawn to the song because it says a lot of things to me - it speaks honestly about guilt, fears, and helplessness. Sometimes we have to go with our feelings in these areas too and express them - it is only natural (especially when your child is little). It talks about the early raw emotion in finding out about your child’s disability - it isn't sugar coated. We do have fears and rough times and that is ok. I have to remind myself of this, and that is what this song does for me. In addition, it also says a lot about how parents are impacted by how society views their child. I hope that everyone looks at Quinn as the beautiful child that she is and will be, but I know that there will be some who will not view her this way. This song speaks to those fears.

See the child
With the golden hair
Yet eyes that show the emptiness inside
Do you know
Can we understand just how he feels
Or have we really tried

See him now
As he stands alone
And watches children play a children's game
Simple child
He looks almost like the others
Yet they know he's not the same

Scorn not his simplicity
But rather try to love him all the more
Scorn not his simplicity
Oh no
Oh no

See him stare
Not recognizing the kind face
That only yesterday he loved
The loving face
Of a mother who can't understand what she's been guilty of

How she cried tears of happiness
The day the doctor told her it's a boy
Now she cries tears of helplessness
And thinks of all the things he can't enjoy

Scorn not his simplicity
But rather try to love him all the more
Scorn not his simplicity
Oh no
Oh no

Only he knows how to face the future hopefully
Surrounded by despair
He won't ask for your pity or your sympathy
But surely you should care

Scorn not his simplicity
But rather try to love him all the more
Scorn not his simplicity
Oh no
Oh no
Oh no



-Karyn

15 comments:

  1. Nice page...I love this song however Luke's version is the cream of the crop. When Phil Coulter wrote this song it was the early 70's in Ireland. No support structures, no public awareness of people with Downs Syndrome. I guess that's where the lyric of despair comes into play.

    You have a beautiful family and a beautiful daughter.

    May our Lord Jesus Christ continue to bless you.

    David from Ireland

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  2. Hello. I stumbled across your blog while looking for the lyrics for Scorn Not His Simplicity. I was thinking of them in reference to my 8 year old boy with down syndrome. :) A couple of other songs I think of: "It's Amazing" by Mindy Smith and "Wonder" by Natalie Merchant. My baby changed my life too!....for the better.

    With Love, Cheryl Marie Whitehouse

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  3. I just came across your page after seeing the Luke Kelly version of the song on Facebook. Your daughter looks so adorable, she is just beautiful and her brothers are so handsome too. My sister is disabled and I understand how proud and protective you feel towards her. From a sibling's point of view, my sister is as tough nails, I don't worry about her but when I think of the dept of worry, devotion and love my parents dedicate to her it breaks my heart its so lovely. So God bless you, and love to cutie Quinn and your boys. x

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  4. Beautiful song - legendary song about beautiful theme - innocence of children - beautiful !

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  5. was researching the backgrond of the song and came across this site. very nice x

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  6. hi there. thankyou for sharing your beautiful family pictures, have to agree that Luke Kelly's version is by far the best. i have two children with Autism, this song also rings true for them and me..Rosie, from Derry. (home of Phil Coulter)

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  7. I too just listened to Luke Kelly's version and was touched to see that Phil Coulter had written it. We have a 10-year old boy with autism, and the song could have been written for him. Music is amazing in its ability to hold our attention and make us pause and consider. Thanks for sharing this song with others.

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  8. Beautiful page. Best wishes to you & your family.

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  9. Beautiful song... All the best for Quinn <3

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  10. Phil Coulter's son sadly died at age 4

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  11. Yes his son Paul died when he was four - it is a beautiful song - may God bless you and your family - Vikki Ireland

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  12. Hi I always loved that song but only last week I found out the true meaning of it , it really touched me as we have a DS daughter who is a brillant child , but the devastation when we found out was terrible , but now she is nearlly 4 and going to play school and is really doing well

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  13. Hi, thank you for the beautiful interpretation.It brought tears to my eyes. This song is one that always makes me to pause and think..there is an intensity to it but i haven't really got it until i read your blog. i have been looking for proper interpretation of this song for a long time. i have no such experience but i always truly believe God has divine plan for each of His creation. No matter what challenges we have, We are Gods workmanship and there is a purpose to that. love your daughter, she's so beautiful and very special..looking at her makes me realize God's grace all over again. May God Bless her and use her for His Glory.New Delhi

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  14. Hi,

    I've just found your blog. I am from Derry and know Phil Coulter's songs well. I know something of the devastation families can feel when they hear this news,but know that children with Downs Syndrome are the most loving members of our Society, having worked for their care for many years

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  15. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful, heart-warming song.
    Your daughter, Miss Quinny, is a very beautiful child and she is indeed blessed to have such wonderful-caring parents and two very protective brothers. May God's blessings of love, joy, and peace be with you all.

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