Slip Out the Back, Jack

‘50 Ways to Leave Your Lover’ was a single by Paul Simon from his fourth studio album Still Crazy After All These Years released in 1975.  This became Simon’s sole #1 hit as a solo artist on the Billboard Hot 100 which went to #23 in the UK and the album won Album of the Year at the Grammys.  Simon split with Art Garfunkel five years earlier and the lyrics for this song came to him as he awoke one morning while he was in his Central Park apartment.  Paul Simon was married three times and he married his first wife Peggy Harper in 1969, with whom he has a son.  This breakup with Peggy came within days of the Jan 13 announcement that his previous album There Goes Rhymin’ Simon was nominated for a Grammy in the best album category, which he eventually lost to Stevie Wonder’s Innervisions.

Simon married his manager’s ex-wife Harper in 1969.  Five years later, after she kept interrupting his attempt to listen to the new Stevie Wonder album, he walked out and moved into a hotel.  Their divorce soon followed.  Simon did say that this song wasn’t about his wife, but it clearly represents the feelings of someone who feels trapped in bad relationship.  Simon’s younger brother Eddie, said that Paul made this song up while teaching his son how to rhyme.  Paul only gives us 5 ways in the song how one could leave their lover, using Jack, Stan, Roy, Gus and Lee, so clearly, he still owes us another 45 ways.

I could probably finish this song with a few more verses about, “Go for a swim Jim, Use your head Fred, Try again Ben, Find another babe Gabe, Kick her to the curb Herb, try being a dick Nick, you could be more lax Max, Send her a cable Abel, you may have to be crude Jude, Get out of bed Ed, Start being mean Dean, You could become a skeeve Steve, Use your brain Zane, Try not to be so sweet Pete, You could use your smile Kyle, Start lying Brian, Give it your all Paul, There is no need to be fake Jake, Stop being a good boy Troy and things of this nature.  If you have a line that you think fits in, then let me know.

“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
Ooh, slip out the back, Jack
Make a new plan, Stan
You don’t need to be coy, Roy
You just listen to me
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
You just slip out the back, Jack
Make a new plan, Stan
You don’t need to be coy, Roy
Just get yourself free
Oh, you hop on the bus, Gus
You don’t need to discuss much
Just drop off the key, Lee
And get yourself free
Slip out the back, Jack
Make a new plan, Stan
You don’t need to be coy, Roy
You just listen to me
Hop on the bus, Gus
You don’t need to discuss much
Just drop off the key, Lee
And get yourself free

Written for Song Lyric Sunday where the prompt is Jack/John.

36 thoughts on “Slip Out the Back, Jack

    1. Thanks Jen and there are a lot of songs that people have not picked yet. Just staying with Jack, there is: Ballin’ the Jack by Brenda Lee, From a Jack to a King by Bobby Darin, Billy Jack Bitch by Prince, Jack Tarr the Sailor by The Byrds, Jack Rabbit by Elton John, Fat Jack by Steppenwolf, Pack My Jack by J.J. Cale, Lil’ Jack Slade by Dixie Chicks, Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts by Bob Dylan, Boss Jack by Johnny Cash, Jack Ruby by Deep Purple, Jack in the Green by Jethro Tull, My Name is Jack by Manfred Mann, Jumpin’ Jack Flash by The Rolling Stones, and Jack & Diane by John Mellencamp. I hope that somebody choses some of these songs.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Great pick! “I don’t mean to be coy, Roy. You just listen to me” Is my fave line. If I made up one how about “Don’t be a pill Jill” hehe.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I love this song Jim and tend to use those lines quite oftenIn everyday chatter! Paul Simon is one of my favorite artists and I play his stuff all the time. I like your suggestions for some of the other 45 ways! 🤣

    Liked by 3 people

  3. OMG! I had this on a 45 and I can’t tell you how many times I played it in my room. Like so many other records, it got worn plum out! I absolutely love your extra ways to leave especially “Go for a swim Jim, Use your head Fred, try being a dick Nick”. My son & grandson names are Fred 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I remember this…another skating rink song. Love the drum intro on this song. Paul can write some sophisticated songs music wise.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You have a good point, he only gave us 5! You did a great job making up more. I thought of a couple more. Go find a new home, Rome (short for Roman). You got to go, Joe.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A great song, even though it’s a little creepy really, I’ve always loved it. One of America’s best songwriters. “Leave her at that rave, Dave”

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.