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50 Ways to Leave Your Lover

50 Ways to Leave Your Lover has not been seen in 460 Phish shows.
It was last played: 2011-08-08.
It was played at 0.05% of live shows.
It has been performed live 1 time(s).

Music/Lyrics: Paul Simon

Original Artist: Paul Simon

Original Album: Still Crazy After All These Years (1975)

Vocals: Fish

Debut: 2011-08-08

Historian: David Steinberg (zzyzx)

The 1970s were a weird time. Disco was considered a valid art form, fashion was taken to questionable extremes, and people made hit records celebrating the joys of infidelity. Four years before Rupert Holmes would record his song about a couple who tried to cheat, only to discover a new bond around coconut based alcoholic drinks, Paul Simon wrote a ditty for home-wreckers everywhere. 

Watch 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover on YouTube Paul Simon, “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover”

“50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” is a conversation between a man who is unsatisfied with his relationship and a female friend. She starts out as a friend just giving advice, but reveals her ulterior motive by the end. If this song were released today, it would be fraught with controversy but between Steve Gadd’s cool drum fill and the funny ways that one could end things – it just was a fun little sing-along. Even The Muppet Show thought this song was kid friendly enough to have it performed when Simon was a guest. Sure, there was a running joke about it being, “50 Ways to Love Your Lever,” but it was otherwise played completely straight. 

Watch 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover on YouTube The Muppets, “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover”

Phish debuted this at on 8/8/11 at The Hollywood Bowl in the middle of a "Weekapaug Groove” sandwich. Fishman took the vocals with a little bit of a hiccup in the second verse. The song was played straight (well, as straight as any Fishman song is) with no vacuum solo or any other wacky instrument. Instead we were just reminded that you could just “slip out the back, Jack” or “hop on the bus, Gus” if you needed to “set yourself free.” This is yet another reason why it’s questionable to take moral guidance from a man who goes by Greasy Fizeek. 

Watch 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover on YouTube Phish, “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover” – 8/8/11, Hollywood, CA


(Paul Simon)

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
Furthermore, I hope my meaning
Won't be lost or misconstrued
But I'll repeat myself
At the risk of being crude
There must be fifty ways
To leave your lover
Fifty ways to leave your lover

You Just slip out the back, Jack
Make a new plan, Stan
You don't need to be coy, Roy
Just get yourself free
Hop on the bus, Gus
You 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
And 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


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