Paul Simon: 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover
When I saw this theme coming I asked myself, "What are the ultimate big-mammas of all advice songs?" The first song that came to my mind was Hey Jude. Is there a more popular and well known advice song in existence? I think not. However, I don't want to post it because it is so well known that there is probably not a single reader within the sound of my keyboard who doesn't own a copy of this tune (unless they don't want one). The second song that came to mind was Jim Croce's You Don't Mess Around With Jim. Cool song, but already ably featured by Dean. The third song that came to mind was the Paul Simon classic, 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover. If familiarity is your rubric, then those three songs together may very well constitute the ultimate triumvirate of advice songs.
I don't love this song for the oft-sung chorus. What's great about it is the verses. The sophistication of the chord progression, the drum line, the conversational lyrics, and the melody (which is the signature highlight of most Paul Simon compositions). The chorus is OK too, but I think of it as something that bridges the gap between the much more wonderful verses.
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