50 Ways to Leave Your Lover

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"50 Ways to Leave Your Lover"
Single by Paul Simon
from the album Still Crazy After All These Years
Released December 1975
Genre Soft rock, folk rock
Length 3:35
Label Columbia
Writer(s) Paul Simon
Producer(s) Paul Simon, Phil Ramone
Paul Simon singles chronology
"Gone at Last" / "Tenderness"
"50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" / "Some Folks' Lives Roll Easy"
"Still Crazy After All These Years" / "I Do It For Your Love"

"50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" is a 1975 hit song by Paul Simon, from his album Still Crazy After All These Years. Backing vocals on the single were performed by Patti Austin, Valerie Simpson, and Phoebe Snow.[1] The song features a recognizable repeated drum riff performed by drummer Steve Gadd.


Written after Simon's divorce from first wife Peggy Harper, the song is a mistress's humorous advice to a husband on ways to end a relationship. The song was recorded in a small New York City studio on Broadway.

Chart positions[edit]

"50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" was Paul Simon's biggest solo hit and broke in the U.S. in late 1975. It hit number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 on February 7, 1976 (his only number one on that chart as a solo act), and remained there for three weeks; it topped the adult contemporary chart for two weeks.[2] Overseas, on the UK Singles Chart, the song reached number 23 in January 1976. It was certified gold on March 11, 1976, and remained a best seller for nearly five months. Billboard ranked it as the No. 8 song of 1976.[3]

Covers, parodies and other notable versions[edit]

  • The Jacksons did a parody of the song in their TV show where they did humorous sketches in which they showcased the fifty ways to leave your lover, announcing them in a similar way to Simon's lyrics rhyming an activity with a guy's name. Among the ways they named were:

- Buy her a plant, Grant - Take her on a yacht, Scott - Knock over her daiquiri, Zachary - Pretend you're sick, Nick. - Mail yourself home, Jerome

  • The Muppets covered the song when Paul Simon appeared on that show. When appearing, Simon himself did a parody on the title when saying that there must be "50 ways to love your lever."
  • Eminem used a sample of the first verse of "50 ways to leave your lover" in his song "Murder, murder"
Chart (1975) Peak
Canadian Singles Chart 1
French Singles Chart 2
German Singles Chart 42
New Zealand Singles Chart 18
UK Singles Chart 23
US Hot 100 Singles Chart 1

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Marc Eliot (2010), Paul Simon: A Life, John Wiley and Sons, p. 142, ISBN 978-0-470-43363-8 
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 222. 
  3. ^ Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1976

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Love Rollercoaster" by Ohio Players
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
February 7, 1976 – February 21, 1976
Succeeded by
"Theme From S.W.A.T." by Rhythm Heritage
Preceded by
"Break Away" by Art Garfunkel
Billboard Easy Listening Singles number-one single
February 28, 1976 (2 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Lonely Night (Angel Face)" by Captain & Tennille