We’re celebrating Music Week on Citius Mag and so we gathered as a staff to discuss what some of the best songs with some variation of the word “run” or “running” and such in the title. Some songs didn’t make the cut and then we also toyed with the idea of including songs that had “run” or “running” as a repeated lyric without it being mentioned in the title but that opens the floodgates. Behold, our final results.
We’re always welcome to feedback and criticism, which you can direct to our Twitter feed or email inbox. Our contact information is located at the bottom of No. 1 so you have to at least flip through the next couple pages to shout at us. Enjoy!
50. “Run” – BTS 방탄소년단
We have zero clue what’s being said here except that they’re running through a field in the chorus and a badass pillow fight for a few seconds. This video has a lot of views on Youtube. – Chris Chavez
Best line: Sorry. Can’t understand.
49. “Run” – Awolnation
The song opens with “I am a human capable of doing terrible things.” One of those things is making this song. The only good thing that came out of it were a handful of funny Vines but that was it. For a song that’s the first Youtube search result for “Run lyrics” it’s not that good. If you’re looking for an AWOLNATION song to pump you up, stick with “Sail.” – CC
48. “A River Runs Through It” – Mark Isham
I found this song by googling the phrase “a river runs through it” because that stuck in my mind for some reason. Turns out the reason is that it’s a collection of stories by Norman Maclean that was later turned into a Robert Redford-directed film starring a young Brad Pitt among other actors. This track is listed as a special edition score for the film. It’s nice! I guess! Reminds me of the Sound of Music, or maybe the Titanic, but that could also just be the pictures of giant icebergs that the youtube uses as background imagery. – Jeanne Mack
Best Line: There are no words! Who knew! It’s one of those songs.
47. Let the River Run – Carly Simon
Oh god. I’m going to preface this by saying that my hate for this song doesn’t come from a place of insecurity. There are a number of 80s and 90s divas that really do it for me, and I’m a fan of Carly Simon’s biggest hit “You’re So Vain.” This song, though, is trash. Lyrically, it’s cryptic. It makes me feel like I’m witnessing some sort of proletariat uprising, but one that has been indoctrinated by some New World Order spooky business. Musically, it’s sleepy, and dull, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I saw it on the track listing of “Funeral Parlor Hits Vol. 3.” -Ryan Sterner
Spookiest line: It’s asking for the taking/Trembling, shaking/Oh, my heart is aching/We’re coming to the edge/running on the water/coming through the fog/your sons and daughters.
46. “The Running Kind” – Merle Haggard
Many runners have had a relationship go astray and had their soon-to-be-former significant other tell them “you always run from your problems.” We don’t always take this as a negative, and this is Merle’s ode to that feeling of “running free.” – Pat Price
Best line: I know running’s not the answer, but running’s been my nature / And a part of me that keeps me moving on
45. “Running on Empty” – Jackson Browne
Okay – just queued up this song. Never heard it before. Live report to follow. :45 – “I don’t know where I’m running now.” It took a shockingly short time for Jackson to get lost. I don’t get lost 45-seconds into my run. But I’m also not a melodramatic singer-songwriter. 1:45 – I’ve given this song another minute, and he stills seems lost. He keeps rambling on about how he’s running on empty. This is what us in the writing community call a metaphor. I think. 2:40 – He did again you guys. He did metaphor. It was something about how the road is rushing under his wheels. His wheels are actually his feet. In the running community, we oft refer to our feet as wheels. I’m part of multiple communities. 2:45 – I’m over this song. I can’t imagine anyone exists who has listened to this whimsical garbage, and won’t mind my disparaging words. – Stephen Kersh
Best lyric: it’s all lousy.
44. “Running out of Time” – Hot Hot Heat
Holy shit I haven’t heard this song in over a decade. It’s a decently catchy little pop number from the most recent golden age of U.K. pop-rock bands, and essentially plucked up from the time capsule of mid-2000s songs that may or may not have been featured in an episode of The O.C. If I were to hazard a guess, this track’s only ranked this low because it’s not instantly recognizable; it’s far more enjoyable to listen to than probably 90% of songs with “run” or “running” in their title, which we’ve established is perhaps the worst genre of art in existence. – Paul Snyder
Best lyrics: Self-appointed sheriff of a popular ghost town/I’m open to bribes but I’ve arrested no one
43. “Middle Distance Runner” – Sea Wolf
This song isn’t bad. Not only does it pull at my indie emo heartstrings with soft guitar, some nice tambourine jangling, and angsty boy voice, but it also has good ole rhymin lyrics that manage to just scrape by without being too corny. I.e. pairing track with lack. I also used to swear to everyone including myself I was a middle distance runner mainly to fit in with my friends who were all, unlike me, clearly Mid-D so this song takes me back to those delusional days. – JM
Best Line: And it’s stamina that I lack. Worst Line: Well I’m so proud tonight of the woman you’ve become. [Creepy]
42. “Run to the Hills” – Iron Maiden
During the peak of Iron Maiden’s fame in the early ‘80s, many folks in the United States whose body composition was 70+% mayonnaise clutched their pearls over the mere mention of the group, after deeming their schtick darkly satanic and too sinful for our society. Nowadays, you can pick up an Iron Maiden t-shirt at Target for the aspiring subversive tween in your life. Listening to this track, it’s easy to see how the band’s music translates to modern audiences poorly, but their use of cool fonts and dark imagery aged like a fine wine that you can only purchase at your mall’s Hot Topic. – PS
Best lyrics: Run to the hills, run for your life
41. “Run Thru” – My Morning Jacket
What’s this list if not an opportunity to do a headstand on top of a soapbox and blow loudly from the proverbial reggaeton horn, as paid sign-twirlers gesticulate wildly in our direction? If I may proselytize, My Morning Jacket’s pretty good, but I’m going to instead hype up a song by a lesser known act that influenced them greatly, and whose story is far more compelling and tragic. Give “Farewell Transmission” by Songs:Ohia/Magnolia Electric Company a listen, and contextualize it with the fact that this recording was done with zero previous rehearsal. Frontman Jason Molina crammed ten Chicago-based musicians into Steve Albini’s studio, told them the song’s chord progression, and hit record. They didn’t even know when the song was supposed to end, Molina just sort of conducted things along and the result is pretty damn near perfect. And lyrically it hints at the demons of depression and alcoholism that Molina would grapple with, and that would eventually take his life. Sorry for the dark turn here, ya’ll, I just don’t see any other opportunity presenting itself for me to write about this song and to force people to read it. -PS
Best lyrics: There ain’t no end to the sands I been trying to cross/The real truth about it is/My kind of life’s no better off/If it’s got the map, or if it’s lost
40. “Runaround Sue” – Dion
It sounds like a sweet song but you kind of have to hate Sue in this song. She’s running around and flaunting herself from guy to guy. You kind of feel bad for Dion because he was once love with this type of girl but he’s doing great work by warning everyone about her. The wild part about this story is that in real life, Dion married a woman named Susan. She was not like the girl in the song. – CC
Best line: She took my love then ran around / With every single guy in town