"50 Ways to Say Goodbye" (CD Single)

Music review by
Kim Alessi, Common Sense Media
"50 Ways to Say Goodbye" (CD Single) Music Poster Image
Playful pop with power hooks is fun for tweens, teens.

Parents say

age 18+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 5 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive Messages

Although this song's inventive and funny, there's really no positive message here because the guy can't be honest and is avoiding reality: "Help me, help me / I'm all out of lies / And ways to say you died."

Positive Role Models & Representations

Not the best role model since the guy lies to escape the reality of a failed relationship. "You said it's meant to be / That it's not you, it's me / You're leaving now for my own good / That's cool, but if my friends ask where you are I'm gonna say / She went down in an airplane."


The language and images surrounding the woman's fictitious death are graphic: "She went down in an airplane  /Fried getting suntanned / Fell in a cement mixer full of quicksand/ ... She was caught in a mudslide / Eaten by a lion / Got run over by a crappy purple Scion/ ... She dried up in the desert / Drowned in a hot tub / Danced to death at an east side night club."


The lyrics are not sexy at all, but the flippant video shows some sexual images, including men ogling women in tight, short dresses, a lion eating a bra, and a bare-chested construction worker.


The video features cameo performances by '80s TV star David Hasselhoff and singer/actress Taryn Manning.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

There's mention of the girlfriend getting "danced to death at an east side night club." 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Train's "50 Ways to Say Goodbye" is a silly and somewhat dark pop song about a guy who's been dumped and his only way to cope is to fabricate outlandish and graphic lies about how his ex-girlfriend died. There's no profanity, sex, or substance use. The video's a parody of the breakup and shows the forlorn boyfriend shopping in a grocery store, while a mannequin stand-in for the ex falls down stairs, gets buried in cement, trampled to death, and decapitated, all in a tongue-in-cheek and comical way.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

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Teen, 14 years old Written byIsabel14 February 20, 2013

Great song

My dad hates this song but I disagree with him. I really like this song.
Kid, 11 years old November 3, 2012

danced to death at an east side night club :D

Awesome song. Don't take it seriously.. just enjoy it :)

What's the story?

"50 WAYS TO SAY GOODBYE" is the second single from Train's sixth studio album, California 37. The video and song feature a mariachi band and stars Patrick Monahan, the group's lead vocalist, as an overcome romantic who parodies a breakup with his girlfriend. The melody from the song's verses has been compared to "The Phantom of the Opera" theme from the musical of the same name by Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Is it any good?

Mix cheesy humor with a bit of macabre, add a dash of mariachi, sprinkle in some power pop choruses, and you've got "50 Ways to Say Goodbye." Yes, the song and video are funny -- but they're not to be taken seriously. (Perhaps that explains the band's choice to blend mariachi into a pop-rock song.) The song is very melodic and catchy, and Monahan's smooth vocals are both a mix of appealing and appalling, and sure to get the attention of tweens and teens.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about lying. Why do people lie?  What are the consequences of lying? Do you trust people who lie to you? 

  • What do you think about the mariachi band Train uses in this song and video (mariachi is a style of folk music from the state of Jalisco in Central Mexico). Does it make the song and video funny? Does it seem out of place? 

  • "50 Ways to Say Goodbye" cleverly shifts among the melodic mariachi verses, the silly pop choruses loaded with a litany of lies, and the serious bridge: "I wanna live a thousand lives with you / I wanna be the one you're dying to / Love ... but you don't want to." Do you think these three parts work well together or not?

Music details

  • Artist: Train
  • Release date: September 11, 2012
  • Type: Single
  • Label: Columbia
  • Genre: Pop
  • Topics: Book Characters
  • Parental advisory: No
  • Edited version available: No
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

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