50 Ways to Leave Your Lover

Paul Simon

About 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover

"50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" is a song by the American singer-songwriter Paul Simon. It was the second single from his fourth studio album, Still Crazy After All These Years (1975), released on Columbia Records. Backing vocals on the single were performed by Patti Austin, Valerie Simpson, and Phoebe Snow. The song features a recognizable repeated drum riff performed by drummer Steve Gadd. One of his most popular singles, "50 Ways" was released in December 1975 and began to see chart success within the new year. It became Simon's sole number-one hit as a solo artist on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States, and was his highest position in France, where it peaked at number two. Elsewhere, the song was a top 20 hit in Canada and New Zealand. The single was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), denoting sales of over one million copies. 


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The problem is all inside your head, she said to me
The answer is easy if you take it logically
I'd like to help you in your struggle to be free
There must be fifty ways to leave your lover

She said it's really not my habit to intrude
For the more I hope my meaning won't be lost or misconstrued
So I repeat myself, at the risk of being cruel
There must be fifty ways to leave your lover, fifty ways to leave your lover

Just slip out the back, Jack, make a new plan, Stan
Don't need to be coy, Roy, just listen to me
Hop on the bus, Gus, don't need to discuss much
Just drop off the key, Lee, and get yourself free

Just slip out the back, Jack, make a new plan, Stan
Don't need to be coy, Roy, just listen to me
Hop on the bus, Gus, don't need to discuss much
Just drop off the key, Lee, and get yourself free

She said it grieves me so to see you in such pain
I wish there was something I could do to make you smile again
I said, I appreciate that, then would you please explain about the fifty ways

She said, why don't we both just sleep on it tonight
And I believe, in the morning you'll begin to see the light
And then she kissed me and I realized she probably was right
There must be fifty ways to leave your lover, fifty ways to leave your lover

Just slip out the back, Jack, make a new plan, Stan
Don't need to be coy, Roy, just listen to me
Hop on the bus, Gus, don't need to discuss much
Just drop off the key, Lee, and get yourself free

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Paul Simon

Paul Frederic Simon (born October 13, 1941) is an award-winning musician whose talents in composing, performing, and vocal harmony placed him at the forefront of the singer-songwriters on an international scale. Simon's fame, influence and commercial success began as part of the duo Simon & Garfunkel, formed in 1964 with musical partner Art Garfunkel. Simon wrote most of the pair's songs, including three that reached No. 1 on the U.S. singles charts: "The Sounds of Silence," "Mrs. Robinson," and "Bridge Over Troubled Water." The duo split up in 1970 at the height of their popularity, and Simon began a successful solo career, recording three highly acclaimed albums over the next five years. In 1986, he released Graceland, an album inspired by South African… more »

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Written by: Paul Simon

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind


12 facts about this song

Song Origin
"50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" is a song performed by American singer-songwriter Paul Simon.
Album Details
This song was a part of Simon's acclaimed 1975 studio album 'Still Crazy After All These Years.'
Chart Success
It peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, making it Paul Simon's sole number-one hit as a solo artist in the United States.
Song Concept
The song humorously presents various options for ending a relationship, advising that there are '50 ways to leave your lover' while only five options are actually spelled out.
Production
The song's production has been acclaimed, particularly the hip-hop influenced drumbeat provided by session drummer Steve Gadd.
Songwriting
Simon wrote this song after his divorce from his first wife Peggy Harper, which is reflective in its theme about breaking up.
Grammys Honors
The album 'Still Crazy After All These Years,' including '50 Ways to Leave Your Lover' won Album of the Year at the 1976 Grammy Awards.
Backup Vocals
Patti Austin, Valerie Simpson, and Phoebe Snow provided the backup vocals to the song.
Iconic Drumbeat
Steve Gadd's drumming in this song has been described as one of the most sampled drumbeats in pop music history.
Other Artists' Covers
Many artists have since covered the song, including singers like G. Love, The King's Singers, Sophie Milman, and more.
Use in Film and TV
The chorus of the song was used in the 1999 film "Bowfinger", and has also been used often in TV shows like The Simpsons, and Saturday Night Live.
Distinctiveness
Many fans and critics noted that the sound of '50 Ways to Leave Your Lover' was distinct from much of Simon's earlier folk-rock and folk-pop influenced work, leaning more towards jazz and blues tones.

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    50 Ways to Leave Your Lover

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    Top Hot 100 Songs 1976

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