As you know, the catchy part of 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover is the rhyming of the word before a name, with the name. Some examples that come to mind are: get on the bus, Gus; make a new plan, Stan; slip out the back, Jack; and no need to be coy, Roy.
When it came out, most people thought this to be quite an original piece of songwriting. However, I recall this other oldie that used nearly an identical gimmick.
About all I can remember is you better pack, Jack; you better blow, Joe; and you better run, son.
Every time I hear 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover I am reminded of this earlier tune. Of course, lacking proof, no one believes me regarding this. Do you know anything about this?
Betty Murray, Winter Haven, Fla.
DEAR BETTE: Of course I do. It's my job to know these things. Or to put it another way: No need to fret, Bette. You shouldn't worry, Murray.
The year was 1954, and your mystery tune is The Man from the Moon, by Dean Barlow and the Crickets (Jay-Dee 795). It is the moon man that Dean Barlow is urging the likes of Jack and Joe to run from.
Since Newark-born Simon grew up in Queens, he would have been in one of the few radio markets playing The Man from the Moon. Perhaps its novel lyrics did inspire his 50 ways to leave either your lover, or extraterrestrial.
This group of Crickets is an R&B bunch, never to be confused with Buddy Holly's better-known Crickets.
It involves the part where Honey is taken by the angels. Exactly what happened to her? Did she die? Was she killed? Or does it mean she was taken by the Hell's Angels?
And if the Hell's Angels took her away, why did they?
This question has been a topic of discussion at her work place, and a girl she works with insists Honey was taken by the Hell's Angels.
DEAR VSHKY: While the exact fate of Bobby Goldsboro's Honey (actually written by Bobby Russell) is unclear from the lyrics, she absolutely did not ride off on a chopper with the Hell's Angels.
I believe the reference to the angels came to mean being heaven-bound.
If you don't already own it, an excellent collection of Goldsboro's goodies is The Best of Bobby Goldsboro: Honey (EMI CDP-7-96094-2).
Unlike most best of releases, this 22-track set really is. I can't think of anything from Bobby's United Artists years that they missed.
This allows one to pull a whole track off a CD, still in the audio format, for rewriting back to CD in an audio format. This is important if you wish to combine a couple CD EPs onto one disk.
J.P. Myrtle, St. Petersburg, Fla.
DEAR J.P.: I had no doubt that the PC CD-R software I use would also be available for Mac users. Thank you for the confirmation.