50 Ways To Shop Your Lover, Unused Lyric, 9 February 1992

This nasty lyric turns 25 today (the day I’m writing this Ogblog piece) so I thought its anniversary needs marking.

I had been engaging in correspondence with Spitting Image for some weeks before writing this lyric. At this juncture they were encouraging me to write slightly less topical songs as the Spitting Image songs tended to be topical-ish rather than up to the minute topical.

Indeed Bill Dare, Giles Pilbrow and others at Spitting Image were most encouraging and (in the end) recommended me to NewsRevue, where the rest was history.

I guess I was still on the very low foothills of my comedy writing craft in February 1992. Unsurprisingly, neither Spitting Image nor NewsRevue used it. Frankly, I cannot imagine this lyric being used by anyone professionally, unless it was a particular fit for a spoof musical. It has one or two quite clever lines but certainly lacks laughs.

The lyric is based on 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover by Paul Simon – click here or below for a link to a YouTube, where someone has also helpfully added the Simon lyrics.

An infinitely better spoof than mine on this Paul Simon song is Carol Brown by Flight of the Conchords; “there must be fifty ways that lovers have left me…” – click here or below for that wonderful comedy song and video.

And finally, my modest lyrics from early February 1992:


(sung to the tune of “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover”)




“The problem is all inside your head”, she said, “It’s fair,

“To want to get even at the end of an affair;

“I’d like to help you in your struggle to get square,

“There must be 50 ways to shop your lover”.

She said,  “excuse me, but this point I must impress,

“With famous lovers you can always find redress;

“Pick up the telephone and notify the press,

“There must be 50 ways to shop your lover”.

50 ways to shop your lover.




Just call Private Eye, Guy, spill out the works, Dirk;

Unbutton your lip, Chip, I know it sounds kitsch.

Give out the scoops, troops, make sure they’re the hot poops;

Blow out the gaff, Taff, and ruin that bitch.


Just spill all the beans, Jean, go shoot the breeze, Denise;

Give out all the dirt, Flirt, the bastard won’t sleep.

Sing like a canary, Mary, say he’s really a fairy;

Sell a bum steer, dear, just nail that creep.




She said, “you shouldn’t view loves ending as defeat,

“The story is valuable, you’ve landed on both feet”;

I said, “I appreciate that, but would you still repeat,

“About the 50 ways……….”

She said, “this conversation has really turned me on,

“Why don’t we sleep on it and talk some more at dawn?”

And then she kissed me, and I realised, her tape machine was on,

There must be 50 ways to shop your lover.

50 ways to shop your lover.




Put a tap on the phone, Joan; record every date, Kate;

Make sure you’re both seen, Jean; and hardmouth that worm.

Bug the latrine, Katrine; that’s bound not to be clean;

Make sure you’ve got dabs, Babs; and make the slime squirm.


Just burgle the flat, Matt, Keep a line up your sleeve, Steve;

Break into the safe, Ralph, And lift all the muck.

Put a mike in your crutch, Dutch, you don’t need to record much;

Then sell on the dirt, Kirt, you’ll make mega bucks.

copyright © Ian Harris 1992

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