Soft Rock Music
Well, while there might be 50 ways to leave your lover, but only five are mentioned in the song. These are the following: slip out the back, Jack; make a new plan, Stan; you don’t need to be coy, Roy, just set yourself free; hop on the bus, Gus; and drop off the key, Lee. The other 45 ways are left to our imagination. Paul Simon wrote the song in 1975. The story is that he was teaching his son how to rhyme (although the song’s subject matter is a tad adult). Simon released it on his 1975 album Still Crazy After All These Years. Later in the year, Simon released it as a single, backed with “Some Folks’ Lives Roll Easy.”
The song was an international hit. By 1976, it went to #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, U.S. Easy Listening chart, and #1 in Canada. It also rose to #2 in France and #18 in New Zealand. It sold more than one million copies and earned RIAA gold certification.
On the track are Paul Simon (lead vocal, acoustic guitar) with Patti Autin, Valerie Simpson, and Phoebe Snow (backup vocals). On the instrumentation are John Tropea and Joe Beck (electric guitar), Ken Asher (organ), Tony Levin (bass), and Steve Gadd (drums)
There have been numerous covers of the song — and parodies. These include versions by The Jacksons, The Muppets, Enimem (i.e., sampled in “Murder, Mueder”), Brad Mehidau, Sophie Milman, Sage Francis, Miley Cyrus, Julia Louis Dreyfus, Heather Small, and more.