Music Friday: Mr. Hyunh Channels Randy Travis and Sings About a Diamond-Plated Pearl in ‘The Simple Things’

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you fun songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, Mr. Hyunh from the animated Nickelodeon TV series Hey Arnold! channels country star Randy Travis in a ditty called “The Simple Things.” It’s a song that introduced to the world — in its very first line — the fictional, but fantastical, diamond-plated pearl.

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Hey Arnold! fans may remember the 1998 episode in which Arnold and Gerald discover that Mr. Hyunh — a Vietnam immigrant who lives in Arnold’s grandfather’s boarding house — has an incredible singing voice. The boys become his managers and try to lead him down the road to Country & Western stardom, but in the end Mr. Hyunh decides he would rather keep his simple life.

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In a voice provided by Travis, Mr. Hyunh sings, “You can offer me a diamond-plated pearl / You can send me all the riches in the world / You can tempt me with the palaces of kings / I’d give ’em back in a big ol’ sack and keep The Simple Things.”

We’ve never seen a diamond-plated pearl, but we’re sure that if such a thing did exist, it would be magnificent.

In the Nickelodeon episode titled “Mr. Hyunh Goes Country,” Travis’ animated persona guest stars as the character Travis Randall.

Although it was never released as a single, “The Simple Things” was featured as the 33rd track on The Best of Nicktoons, a 1998 compilation album. Among the songs on the album were “Happy Happy Joy Joy” from The Ren & Stimpy Show and the “Theme from Rugrats.” Hey Arnold! had a successful run from 1996 through 2004.

Besides being credited as the singing voice of Mr. Hyunh, the 57-year-old Travis has enjoyed a stellar career as a singer-songwriter, guitarist and actor. He has recorded 20 studio albums and scored 22 #1 hits on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.

We hope you enjoy the audio track of Travis singing “The Simple Things.” The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along…

“The Simple Things”
Written by Craig Bartlett, Steve Viksten, Jim Lang and Joseph Purdy. Performed by Randy Travis.

You can offer me a diamond-plated pearl.
You can send me all the riches in the world.
You can tempt me with the palaces of kings.
I’d give ’em back in a big ol’ sack and keep The Simple Things.

I’ve got The Simple Things; I’ve got the rain in spring,
Got spicy chicken wings, and French-fried onion rings.

You can line me up a mile of limousines.
For me it don’t add up to a hill o’ beans.
I got no hankerin’ for grabbin’ your brass ring.
It’s crystal clear I’ll stay right here and keep The Simple Things.

I’ve got the summer breeze, got 16 cans of peas.
A two-speed window fan when it’s 93 degrees.
So forgive me for not grabbin’ your brass ring.
It’s crystal clear I’ll stay right here and keep The Simple Things.

Credits: Mr. Hyunh screen capture via YouTube.com; Randy Travis photo (public domain).

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