The top 50 songs with “Running” or “Run” in the title

By Citius Mag Staff

March 22, 2017

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


39.“The Loneliness of a Middle Distance Runner” – Belle & Sebastian

Ya know, I was ready to hate this song based on the title, and the fact that the only thing I know about Belle & Sebastian is that they “deeply affected” a few clownsI knew in college. It’s a deceptively jaunty song and at one point Sebastian (I think?) even mentions the word “race.” This may be the only song on here that could be tangentially related or inspired by skinny dweebs running? They also sound like they took a lot of musically cues from The Zombies, whom I love. But it’s not really a banger, nor should it rightfully be dragged into a “RUNNING PUMP UP MUSIC” playlist. That’s probably why it’s all the way down here. -RS

Best line: The future’s looking colorful/It’s the color of blood, chaos and corruption of a happy soul


38. “Running from an Angel” – Hootie and the Blowfish

A thousand years from now, when whatever we’ve evolved into sifts back through the ruins of our nuked-out, ruined society, their scholars will surely ask each other “how did those idiots let Hootie happen?” Look, I like “Let Her Cry” as much as the next guy, but this band really should have never been commercially viable, and if you want proof, just listen to this smoldering trash heap of a song. -PS

Some line: Sometimes we’d laugh and talk, seems like yesterday, then you let the white horse come and take you away

37. “Run for your Life” – The Beatles

John Lennon hated this song and it’s certainly not their best track. As noted in the top Youtube comment for the song, Lennon pulled the opening lyrics from Elvis Presley’s “Baby, Let’s Play House.” The lyrics did have a little bit of shock for fans since it sounds like Lennon is a little crazy. – CC

Best line (maybe not the best but most notable): Well I’d rather see you dead, little girl / Than to be with another man

36. “It keeps you running” – Doobie Brothers

Youtube viewers feel very strongly about this song’s superiority. Six months ago, someone with the username Count von Dankenstein hopped onto the comment section to post: “song peaked at #37 on billboard………proving once again that people wouldn’t know a good song if it bit them in the @#$%!” He has an extra letter in the swear he was attempting to censor I believe, but he was still met with 92 similarly-minded responses. So the youtubers don’t hunt me down, I’ll go on record and say this song isn’t terrible, but it does take until 1:42-3 in for it to get going. Before then, it’s ostensibly, what another youtube commenter aptly described as something belonging in Super Mario Bros. -JM

Best Line: Yep, you guessed it: It keeps you runnin’, yeah, it keeps you runnin’

35. “Running” – 311

Fact: Every white male in American knows the words to at least three 311 songs, despite not having listened to a lick of their stuff since they were in middle school. This is not one of those songs, but I guess if you’re one of the rare adult fans of this Nebraska-originating “alternative rock” outfit, you might enjoy it. If nothing else, props to 311 for remaining relevant all these years, in part due to Eric Andre, and also because there are plenty of California-style taco stands in cities of less than 100,000 people out there. -PS

Best line: Oh livin’ is a journey / Waking believing running / For shelter now / Slow slow lover

34. “Water Runs Dry” – Boyz II Men

What a stretch to land on this list but we had to throw a little bit of Boyz II Men on here. The song is definitely on baby-making playlists but since it has “run” in the title, it’s eligible for our rankings. – CC

Best line: Let’s don’t wait till the water runs dry We might watch our whole lives pass us by

33. “Runaway Train” – Soul Asylum

This song’s pretty clearly not about running; it’s about an out of control locomotive, and a metaphorical one at that. But that doesn’t stop it from being an extremely important artifact in tracing back the roots of contemporary butt rock. I feel a little bad mocking this song, because: a) its video is prefaced with a PSA about youth homelessness; and b) I like it, but each member of Soul Asylum looks like they’d be the guy in your intro philosophy class that begins every sentence with the word “actually.” And that’s why their magnum opus is ranked so low. – PS

Best line: How on earth did I get so jaded / Life’s mystery seems so faded

32. Take the Money and Run” – Steve Miller Band

The gist: Two young lovers named Billy Joe and Bobby Sue decide to rob some dude, shoot him, and then flee “down south.” Steve Miller then dismisses the detective on the case by saying he “makes his living from other people’s taxes.” I am anti-murder, anti-theft, and pro-taxes. I’m also pro-Steve Miller Band, so that earns this song some points. This song is appropriately placed at 24th. -RS

(Sidenote: A cover version of this song was used in a 2014 Taco Bell commercial promoting the spicy chicken crunchwrap slider.)

Best line: They headed down south and they’re still running today

31. “Run through the Jungle” – CCR

Don’t be fooled, dear reader, this one isn’t about Vietnam! The Jungle is actually America! And the reason it sounds so treacherous is because ol’ John Fogerty thought that we needed stricter gun control laws! That, back in 1970, with 200 million guns in circulation, you better “don’t go walking slow,” lest you get shot! It’s terrifying and goes to show that the problems of today, are the same problems we had nearly 50 years ago. Sad! But also this song is about literally running for your life, so I guess if our barometer for a good running song is “contains tips for survival,” you’d like it if this song were ranked higher. -RS

Best line: Over on the mountain, thunder magic spoke/ Let the people know my wisdom/Fill the land with smoke

30. “I Run” – Slim Thug

Slim Thug dropped a little bit of a banger by pulling some of the best elements from A Flock of Seagull’s “I Ran” but incorporated the streets into his mix as any credible rapper does. – CC

Best line: Call me on that burner cause them feds on my phone And I’mma run the streets ’til I’m under my headstone

29. “Runnin’ Up On Ya” – House of Pain

I think that as far as we’re all concerned, there’re only two songs canonized in the House of Pain universe. One’s by Everlast after he left the group to go solo, and the other’s about a verb that’s not running. After one listen, I’m inclined to say “Runnin’ Up On Ya” is receiving pretty charitable treatment with its 29th place ranking here; apologies to the maybe four fans of Irish rap who will read this. – PS

Best line: I’ll drop ya like acid, ya might get blasted


28. “Runner’s High” – The Hold Steady

I love The Hold Steady and think Craig Finn is a genius. I honestly hadn’t really listened to this album much, but I had always admired its title, Teeth Dreams, because I have had teeth dreams before (dreams where all your teeth fall out supposedly indicate a sense of anxiety and nervousness). Anyway, it’s a good track, off of an album that’s probably underrated since it was their first without a steady keyboarder. -PS

Best line: He jerked around when we joked about the runner’s high. He said now that is one high I’ve never tried.

27.“Fuck and Run” – Liz Phair

There are two Liz Phairs. The one that most people of my generation probably know (the one of “Why Can’t I?” fame who kinda sucks), and the one who put out Exile in Guyville and some self-recorded stuff before that. “Fuck and Run” is from the latter Liz (chronologically, the earlier Liz, though), who really shook up up the 1990s indie scene that was pretty damn dude-heavy with her searing and straightforward lyrical delivery. -PS

Best line: You got up out of bed / You said you had a lot of work to do / But I heard the rest in your head / And almost immediately I felt sorry

26. “100 Miles and Running” – NWA

Just one of the many songs that NWA put out involving the police and tensions with the African-American community. It was produced by Dr. Dre but one of the notable guys on the track is actually MC Ren, who wasn’t featured as much in the film “Straight Outta Compton.” He’s the one who fires a pretty big shot at Ice Cube on this track. – CC

Best line: Only reason n—– pick up your record is cause they thought it was us

25. “Ready to Run” – Dixie Chicks

Musically, this song is very depressing. Sounds aside, if you watch the music video, you’ll notice that they abandon their would-be grooms at the altar and use a garbage truck as the getaway vehicle. They also have running shoes under their wedding gowns, leading me to believe they never really wanted to get married in the first place? That they were planning on doing this the whole time? Costing a lot of people a lot of time and a lot of money? Three broken hearts? Angry relatives? Bewildered friends? This song sucks. But I just found out it was nominated for a Grammy. What do I know? -RS

Best line: God, it’s so hard to choose, so let’s go with the final time Natalie Maines crows “ready to run” and the song is finally over.

24. “Run Like Hell” – Pink Floyd

I’m not a huge Pink Floyd fan (the exception being the live version of “Comfortably Numb” that plays in The Departed when Leo and Vera Farmiga’s sexual tension boils over in her nearly vacant apartment), so I wasn’t exactly sure which song this one was. After listening, I recognize the opening, repetitive and echoey guitar riff, and would even argue it set the stage sonically for the even more iconic siren-y guitar stuff at the beginning of “How Soon is Now?” by the Smiths. -PS

Best lyric: Run run run run (etc.)

23. “Grandma got run over by a reindeer” – the Christmas Folks

It’s questionable that this song is on the list at all, since Christmas tunes are kind of a subaltern category of music, and this one is arguably one of the kitschier examples to boot. But, there’s “run” looking straight at me in the title, so I’ll shelf my curmudgeon opinions and Sterner said it should be top 10 which is preposterous but we found a spot that we comprised at. – JM

I guess the best line would be: She had hoofprints on her forehead.

22. “I Keep Running” – Ryan Adams

Ryan Adams once said in a 2014 interview about jogging: “after 15 minutes is when it gets hard. There’s a five minute interval where you’re like ‘God, I just wanna stop now because I’ve run now.’” This song came out in 2014, so it’s safe to say the line below references this. Wonder who RA listens to when he runs? – PP

Best line: I’m faster than the pain / That’s running through my veins / And you can’t break my heart if you don’t know my name / I keep running

21.“Take it on the Run” – REO Speedwagon

It’s such a good song that Pitbull sampled it for “Messin’ Around” with Enrique Iglesias. Upon doing some background search on the song, it was the ninth music video played on MTV but was not shown in its entirety due to some sort of technical difficulty. It’s not REO Speedwagon’s greatest hit – that title belongs to “Can’t Fight This Feeling” or “Keep on Loving You” – CC

Best line: You take it on the run baby / If that’s the way you want it baby / Then I don’t want you around / I don’t believe it / Not for a minute / You’re under the gun so you take it on the run

20. “The Long Run” – Eagles

Here we have the epitome of Dad Rock. If there’s one thing I know about most dads, it’s that they’re too busy tucking their t-shirts into their jeans to have the time for something as silly as jogging. I’m also not positive what this song is about. I think it could be about the importance of self care. It also seems to be about working on a broken relationship? Either way, it’s not a cool song, or an uplifting song, or even that entertaining of a song. I’m sorry I had to listen to it for as long as I did. -RS

Best line: Kinda bent, but we ain’t breakin’ in the long run

19. “Run Boy Run” – Woodkid

IMO the music video is what helps Run Boy Run crack the top 20. Though this song might be a relative unknown in the overall scheme of things, every listicle has to have that mid-major come out of the woodworks and take down the giant. This is it. It’s fast paced and intense start nearly elicits a fight or flight response. The build up at the end is a crescendo of good feelings. Bonus – the word run (running) is said 31 times throughout – JC

Best line: Run boy run! / This race is a prophecy / Run boy run! / And disappear in the trees

18.”Run Rabbit Run” – Eminem

A Youtube commenter breaks this song down perfectly: “No hook, no bridge. Just three minutes of absolute lyrical perfection. No one can fuck with Em’s pen game. No one. I don’t give a fuck who you name; Rakim, Nas, Pac, Biggie, Jay… NO one fucks with the white boy son. Rap is like a mountain, almost all black but the very top is white.”

17. “Run the World (Girls)” – Beyonce

This song doesn’t crack my top 5 Bey songs, and I’m partial to Party as the single off this album (4) but there’s no denying that this track has become quite the feminist anthem. I appreciate the empowering message (it’s really difficult to miss because it’s repeated at least 50 times, I may have lost count) that girls run shit, either “this motha” or “the world”. It true. And this wouldn’t be a synopsis of a Beyonce production without mention of the absolutely nutso accompanying music video in which Queen Bey moves her body in ways that the rest of us can only aspire to. She wears some Lady Gaga-esque shoes and has two spotted and drooling, possibly rabid, hyenas on thick chain leashes at other points in the video, too. – JM

Best line: This is how they made me (made me) Houston, Texas, baby

16. “Band on the Run” – Paul McCartney and Wings

The origins of the song are pretty interesting. Part of it comes from a comment made by Ringo Starr of sticking it to Apple. McCartney took the idea and made a song about “escaping, freedom, criminals.” It’s a pretty cool musical ride with the first 1:22 being a ballad, the next minute serving as a little rock and a closing act of country-rock sort of. The theme is pretty connected all throughout. I liked it’s short little appearance in the 2014 hit Boyhood, which should’ve won Best Picture at the Academy Awards. – CC

Best line: Well, the rain exploded with a mighty crash / As we fell into the sun / And the first one said to the second one there I hope you’re having fun

15. “Run this Town” – Jay Z

I remember being in the car when this song came out and I was very hype for The Blueprint 3’s release. The song is still on all of my running playlists and I made sure to hit play right after the cannon and I get my Sinatra fill from the NYC Marathon start. Rihanna’s “Ay! Ay!” can ring in my ear holes at any time. Before “Empire State of Mind”, this could’ve been New York City’s anthem. It’s a shame that the only video that has the song available on Youtube is a Kobe Bryant highlight tape. – CC

Best line: Walkin’ tall against the rain / Victory’s within the mile, Almost there, don’t give up now / Only thing that’s on my mind Is who’s gon’ run this town tonight


14. “Run” – Vampire Weekend

When Vampire Weekend released “Contra,” the members of the band were in their late 20s and attempted to release “Run” as a tribute to Springsteen. It’s a softer song and definitely could be featured in commercials. – CC

Best line: Honey, with you / Is the only honest way to go / And I could take two / But I really couldn’t ever know / Honey, with you / And a little battered radio

13. “Runnin’” – The Pharcyde

At this point, you and I both know these rankings are a farce, and beyond maybe the first four or five songs listed, things just got arbitrary. Because this song fucking bumps and when compared to a lot of mid-90s hip-hop tracks, it’s actually aged really well, which shouldn’t be a surprise, since J Dilla produced it. (RIP.) I’d like to see this one moved into the top ten but I just don’t have that power. – PS

Best lyrics: I don’t sweat it, I let the bullshit blow in the breeze/ In other words, just debris

12. “Runaway” – Kanye West

Off the My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy album, which is obviously the best Kanye album, here we see his softer side, with the mentally unstable genius acknowledging some serious commitment issues, and equating the “runaway” modus operandi in a relationship (more recently known as ghosting) to douchebaggery, scumbagness, and jerk-offhood. This was two years before he met Kimmy K, and subsequently became a father. – JM

Best line (actually from Pusha T’s verse): Ichabod Crane with that motherf***ing top off/ Split and go where? Back to wearing knockoffs, haha/Knock it off, Neiman’s, shop it off/ Let’s talk over mai tais, waitress, top it off

11. “Running with the Devil” – Van Halen

Van Halen, to me, is more of an idea at this point. They represent big hair, screaming guitars, the heyday of groupies, sex, drugs, rock’n’roll. So even though I’ve heard this song probably 1,000 times, I mostly just assumed that “running with the devil” was some sort of subversive act that I would never be privy to. However, after giving it a thorough listen, it sounds like Eddie & the gang were just exhausted of being on the road at the expense of interpersonal relationships. But it’s essentially a pop song, so you can make it mean whatever you want it to. -RS

Best line: Runnin’ with the devil (Woo, hoo)

10. “Run to You” – Bryan Adams

It’s a beautiful song about someone who chooses his affair over his faithful partner. Bryan Adams’ “Reckless” is just a powerful album from 1984. “Heaven”, “Summer of ‘69” and “Run to You” are pure hits. Adams playing his guitar in the snow and in the rain in this music video is so badass but we don’t condone adultery on this site. – CC

Best line: I got my mind made up / I need to feel your touch / I’m gonna run to you

9. “Runnin’ Down A Dream” – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

It’s not the only song that’s featured on a Grand Theft Auto soundtrack and it’s a great driving song. Family Guy also used the song for when Brian gets that runner’s high. It’s not the biggest Tom Petty song but it’s certainly one of the bests and that’s why it was used for the group’s 2007 documentary. It’s a little surprising that it never made it any higher than 23rd on the 1989 Billboard Hot 100 singles. – CC

Best line: (Enjoy the guitar solo at the end. That’s the best part more than anything)

8. “Ran” – Future Islands

For a band that likely does not do a lot of running, Future Islands music has always been amiable to join you for a jog. Frontman Sam Herring has been known for his stage endurance, but this song about the woes of ‘playing in a traveling band’ can be easily misconstrued as an ode to the ‘loneliness of the long distance runner.’ – PP

Best Line: On these roads / Out of love, so it goes / How it feels when we fall, when we fold / How we lose control, on these roads

7. “Run Rudolph Run” – Chuck Berry

This one hurt to write a little bit since we just lost Chuck Berry and we’ll miss him dearly. What i’ve learned in some of the tributes written and shared about him, this song actually pulls the melody from his 1959 hit “Little Queenie.” The song number 69 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for December 1958 but a version released by Whitney Wolanin (which is not as good as Berry’s) hit No. 2 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary charts. Chuck Berry deserves more love. – CC

Best line: Run, run Rudolph, Santa’s got to make it to town

6. “Run-Around” – Blues Traveler

Some time last year, Blues Traveler has performed this song live 1,000 times. The song brings back some awesome 90s memories. If you Google photos of John Popper (the band’s lead singer), he looks healthier now. Maybe he’s been running over the years but he’s reportedly not that great of a guy. – CC

Best line: But you, why you want to give me a run-around? / Is it a sure-fire way to speed things up / When all it does is slow me down

5. “I Ran” – Flock of Seagulls

The song is making a little bit of a comeback from Emma Stone dancing to this in LaLa Land. This was a personal favorite from the Grand Theft Auto: Vice City soundtrack but it’s a timeless classic and not just because of the band members’ hairstyles. We’re just fans of the synth rock. – CC

Best line: And I ran I ran so far away / I just ran I ran all night and day / I couldn’t get away (Doesn’t it sound like they’re singing “Iran’s so far away”)

4. “Run It” – Chris Brown

This was Chris Brown’s debut and it was the beginning of watching him grow up before our eyes. He was just 16 at the time and matched P. Diddy’s feat of having his debut single reach No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. As we learned in the years that followed, he wasn’t the best role model but this song brings back middle school memories and those are some good times. – CC

Best line: You’ll see, girl I can set you off, don’t believe my age is gonna slow us down/ I can definitely show you things to have you saying I can’t be 16

3. Anything by Run the Jewels

We’re gonna make exceptions to the title rule for the next two spots because we can. I’ve never “done” cocaine. I’m not using quotations to throw in a subtle wink and a nod to the fact that I have, in fact, ingested cocaine – because I haven’t; however, when I listen to Run the Jewels I feel like I may actually be cocaine. Human cocaine. I turn into 140 pounds of cocaine. Killer Mike and El-P cross my blood-brain barrier and I’m suddenly a 140-pound ravenous mongoose made of cocaine. Anytime I run on a treadmill, I listen to Run the Jewels. Because of the cocaine thing, it makes running on a treadmill bearable in the sense that I’m high on cocaine. Their song “Close Your Eyes (And Count to Fuck)” not only has a hard-to-conceptualize title, but it also makes me want to run through a brick wall. Killer Mike manages to keep a dulcet tone while also speaking about inciting riots and perhaps even violence against police. El-P angrily rants about a tattoo he got on his member “last summer,” and, all the while, we have Rage Against the Machine frontman Zack De La Rocha being noisy. Zack (can I call him that?) exists in my world as a person who blindly screams words, while jumping on a pogo stick, and protesting an anti-agrarian bozo-political movement happening in Peru. He does all this while shouting RUN THEM JEWELS FAST in my ear during this song. It’s the best. – SK

2. Anything by Run-DMC

I know I’m late to the party but I recently read Shea Serrano’s “Rap Yearbook.” In the book, Serrano selects and analyzes the most important rap song from every year since 1979. “Sucker M.C.’s” gets the nod for 1983. It’s certainly one of the greatest rap songs in history. It’s groovy. It’s powerful. The lyrics are sharp. It changed the way hip-hop and rap was made going forward. Being from Queens, NY, I get amped every time I hear DMC come in with the “I’m DMC in the place to be/I go to St. John’s University!” line. We’re going to reserve the No. 2 spot on here for a group with “Run” in the title. – CC

1. “Born to Run” – Bruce Springsteen

We are legally bound by content law to put this song first, because let’s face it, if it wasn’t high up on our countdown most of you would stop reading to draft a pissy tweet or try to steal Chavez’s identity. Anyway, I’m fine with our hand being forced, because Bruce Springsteen kicks fucking ass. I understand anybody disagreeing with our top seed. Bruce is one of those artists that may be easy to dislike, simply out of spite for his ravenous and loyal fanbase. I used to be a naysayer, myself. But then I wised up.

He’s a phenomenal songwriter, has an uncanny ability to get the most out of his band, and really manages to speak to just about every demographic of Americans imaginable. So even if you don’t love the guy and his work, you can surely appreciate that this is an important song and one that had to be included in the first slot. “Born to Run” is maybe the second best song of his third best album, but Clarence Clemons’ (RIP) tenor sax absolutely makes the song, both the solo and the driving deep notes, and ensures that it speaks both to desperate natives of crumbling Jersey factory towns, and high school cross country coaches alike.

I had a really hard time picking out my favorite line from the song. It’s got it all, lyrically. Sexy car innuendo (“strap your hands across my engines”), New Jersey road call-outs (“sprung from cages on Highway 9”), desperation, longing, desire, (“Someday girl I don’t know when/We’re gonna get to that place/Where we really wanna go”), and redemption (“Baby we were born to run”). And musically, glockenspiel and all, it’s simply iconic. -PS

Best line: When Bruce yells off-mic “One, two, three, four” to the E-Street Band at the 3:04 mark

There’s millions of songs out there and hundreds include some variation of the word “Run” or “Running” and we’re certain that we missed something. Let us know how we did by shooting us a tweet: @CitiusMag or make your case for another song and we’ll compile our reader rebuttals for a future post. Our email address is citiusmag@gmail.com

Citius Mag Staff