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March 24, 2017

Your favorite running songs with “run” or “running” in the title

Well everybody, we made some mistakes with our initial list. Nationalities of bands were misremembered. Rankings were askew. Bad musical predilections of our staff were revealed. You know the drill.

But our greatest error came in forgetting about several great songs with “run” or “running” in the title. I’d go as far as to say, a handful of  the songs below that we glossed over belong in our top ten.

All-time-greats and geniuses like Neil Young and Lou Reed were excluded and we were deservedly reamed out on Twitter for it. So thank you, dear readers, for calling us out on our shit and educating us in the process. Unfortunately, there are some real stinkers here as well, that we mercifully skipped the first time around.

Good, bad, mediocre, doesn’t matter. Here they are! Also, Ryan and I didn’t listen to many of the songs this time around, so these write-ups tend to skew speculative.

Here was our list of the top 50 songs with “run” or “running” in the title.

Feel free to once again call us out, and feed the content-criticism loop that drives the e-economy!

“I Want to Run” – Mates of State

I think Paul put this song on here. While I urge everyone to listen to it and come to their own conclusions, I am about to tell you my conclusion. It is as follows: this is a very bad song. I’ve only listened to it once and I won’t ever purposely listen to it again, but what I gleaned was it had to have been used as some sort of intro music to a teen-pop show a la Hillary Duff. WELL I WAS RIGHT KIND OF. Citius Mag Fact-Checker, Ryan Sterner, told me it is the theme music to famed BYUtv-produced, sketch-comedy show called Studio-C. This would also lead me to believe this band is in morally good upstanding within the religious community. This is not something I look for in my music. I don’t know why this is number 1 on our re-rankings. This seems wrong to me. – SK

“Run From This City” – Purling Hiss

Ryan sent me this song with an instruction to “please enjoy.” Whoo baby, enjoy I did! I hadn’t given Philadelphia-based psych-rockers Hurling Piss the time of day until now, and I loathe all past iterations of myself for it. – PS

“Run, Baby, Run” – Sheryl Crow

Let the record show none of you nerds harangued us for missing this one, so the blame is burdened by us all That said, this one stings, ya’ll. I feel like an enormous piece of crap for glossing over Sheryl, because anything she touches turns to gold. This track is no exception. If you’re looking for a musical kick in the pants to get yourself up and moving today, obliterate the “play” button on the video below. We guarantee it’ll motivate you; Ryan and I have hypothesized that it wasn’t the drugs that fueled Lance Armstrong’s miracle Tour de France win streak, it was the fact he was dating Sheryl at the time.- PS

“Keep on Runnin” – Cat Power

While writing these I’m constantly forgetting whether or not we’re analyzing the song musically, or if it would be a good song to run to. Musically? This song is terrifying. It’s an indie sad song. It’s full of angst. It makes you feel like you’re sitting in a dark room, that’s probably haunted, and maybe the walls are bleeding. Is this a good song to run to? I don’t know, man. Why do you run most days? Are you running because you forgot you signed up for that corporate 5k next week and you’re just trying to cram fitness? Or are you running because you just saw a small child mutter “REDRUM” and spin its head 360 degrees? If it’s the latter, then this Cat Power song is yours my friend. -RS

“Run Baby Run” – Garbage

Off of Garbage’s debut album, this is another great song called “Run Baby Run.” Although it’s inferior to Sheryl’s not just in comma usage, but also in terms of being a memorable pop song. I don’t mean to be harsh here to Garbage, who rock, I just want to reiterate that if you go up against the Crow, you’re gonna lose. – PS


“Still Running” – Chevelle

I’ll be damned if I ever listen to a Chevelle song that isn’t “The Red,” and I’ll be further damned if I ever listen to “The Red” through a medium other than 99.5 KISS, San Antonio’s Rock Station. But if you’re less principled than I am, here’s a YouTube link to “Still Running.” Enjoy, I suppose. (Ah Jesus, this was featured in the soundtrack for The Punisher.) -PS

“Run it Up” – Jose Guapo, ft. Takeoff (of Migos)

Even if you don’t love this song (although you should, because it is good) there are two reasons to respect it. The first being that a dude from Migos contributed to it and Migos are huge right now. The second, and more important reason, is that Jose Guapo fucking tweeted at us suggesting his own song. Other artists take note. The way to make it in the industry is to have zero filter about who you share your music with online; Jose damn sure doesn’t draw a line at fledgling online running website. We wish him the best. – PS

“Run” – Gnarls Barkley

If contributing to these lists has taught me anything, it’s that the mid-2000s were a weird ass period musically, where artists rose to prominence who would be laughed off stage during any other decade. Gnarls Barkley is one such group. (Aside: in 2007 I saw the Red Hot Chili Peppers at a big basketball arena in San Antonio. It was a very mediocre experience. The Mars Volta was supposed to open for them which would have been fantastic. They had to bail or something, so Gnarls Barkley opened instead. It was uninspiring as well.) – PS

“Run Away With Me” – Carley Rae Jepsen

Really dragged my feet when it came to listening to this song. It’s not “Call Me Maybe.” What’s the point? Well, I’m trying to better myself by exposing myself to new art and intellectual stimulation so here we are, and this song ain’t half bad. – PS

“Run Run Run” – The Velvet Underground

The Velvet Underground was pretty good, but I haven’t ever really gotten all that into them, to be honest. But they’ve been super influential to a ton of musicians I love, so transitively I love them too. This album comes from the heavily-Warhol influenced Velvet Underground & Nico album, which was masterminded by the weirdo pop artist as a sort of manufactured fame experiment. (RIP Lou.) – PS

“We Come Running” – Youngblood Hawke

This was pitched to us as a loading song from FIFA 2013, a soccer video game. I decided to give it a listen to get a better sense of what that means. Gotta say, anthemic video game music where the vocals are basically provided by a children’s chorus dubbed over vaguely Euro-pop back beats does not do it for me. Color me unimpressed. – PS

“Run” – Ben Kweller

My girlfriend used to wear a sweater that said BEN KWELLER on it. She also ran cross country in high school. She also hates running. For the sake of this article let’s assume that Ben Kweller is the only thing that got her through cross country practice all those years ago. -RS

“Run Run Run” – Phoenix

I did a cursory google search of Phoenix to try to pepper this little write up with some context. The only thing I knew about them going in is that they’re French, and they had that one song that I mistake for Coldplay that came out like 5 years ago(?). I listened to 10 seconds of this song before I decided that it wasn’t for me. -RS

“Running Up That Hill” – Kate Bush/Placebo

The idea of Kate Bush is very, very good, and sort of brought weird British music into the limelight in the 1980s. She is a true artist and performer. Placebo is a chronically underrated band as well, that I’d listen to before a lot of high school cross country races. So regardless of which version of this song you listen to, you’re in for a treat! -PS

“Run” – Collective Soul

This song is confusing because I don’t hear anyone singing “WOOAAAAAOOOOAAAH HEAVEN LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE DOWN”. Since that’s the case, this song is not worth listening to. Do yourself a favor and listen to “Shine” on repeat for the next 72 hours. -RS

“Long May You Run” –  Neil Young

I have an idiot roommate who claims to hate Neil Young. The other day I heard his car pull into the driveway, the muffled sound of “Harvest Moon” permeating his rolled-up windows. I stood in the living room, and watched him sit in his car waiting for the song to finish. It was a beautiful moment, and confirms my suspicion that you can’t hate Neil Young. The fact that we overlooked this one means that we should probably shutter the website and bury our heads in the sand. -RS

“No One to Run With” – The Allman Brothers

If you grew up in the early aughts and could shred EXPERT on GUITAR HERO, then congratulations, you’re familiar with the Allman Brothers opus, “JESSICA.” If you grew up in the 90s and did a bunch of acid, then you’re probably more familiar with “NO ONE TO RUN WITH.” Anyway, this band is pretty interesting because they did a bunch of drugs in the 70s while arena rock rose to prominence and blame their demise on touring the country in the same plane the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin used. -RS

“Run Run Run” – Flobots

Born of the golden era of Banksy-style, over-simplified truisms, the Flobots championed a brand of quasi-woke white pseudo-rap that reminded a generation of suburban teens that Hitler was in fact, bad, through their breakthrough hit called “Handlebars” or something like that. Without listening to this other song of theirs, I’m fairly confident it contains lyrics like: “there’s evil in this world but there’s good in the light, so run run run, ya’ll, don’t give up the fight.” Like a bacteria that can only exist on the corpse of a very specific type of bog mummy, the conditions were just right in the late 2000s for the Flobots to enjoy their 15 minutes of fame. Thankfully, there will never be another band like this one. -PS

“Runnin’ Blue” – Boz Scaggs

Here we will paraphrase our overlord, Chris Chavez.

“I took a semester off during my sophomore year at Marquette to follow Boz Scaggs on his two month, 400 city North American tour. The fact that I forgot about this song during the first round of our running song charade probably has something to do with the hours I spent standing stageside with my shirt off, waving it over my head like a helicopter. Woot woot” -RS

“Roadrunner” – The Modern Lovers

Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers hail from Boston and their most famous song is called “Roadrunner.” It’s safe to say that this song, released in 1977, is an ode to Boston Billy. Modern Lovers aside, Jonathan Richman is a beautiful man who still tours the country playing his acoustic guitar and gyrating his hips harder than any man his age probably should. -RS

“Run” – Rainbow Kitten Surprise

I recently saw Rainbow Kitten Surprise in concert so I’m almost certainly jaded, but this song is really fucking cool. Hearing and seeing this song performed live makes it infinitely better because the frontman seems to suffer from a form of psychosis that latches on to anyone near him and make the crowd act like an 8-ball is shoved up their cornhole. It’s wild. This is a good place to end because I just made an apt analogy to an appropriate mental mindset when running. – SK

Reader emails:

Here’s some feedback that we received from our loyal readers:

From Russell Stevens:

“A song I think you missed is Roadrunner by The Modern Lovers. The song is about the joy of driving around Massachusetts but with lines like “Roadrunner Roadrunner going faster by the hour” and the repeated line of “I’m in love with Massachusetts” it could just as easily be about running the Boston Marathon. The song is pretty uptempo so it’s also a good song to run to. Bonus info about the song: In 2013 there was a bill brought before the Massachusetts State Legislature by the current Mayor of Boston to make Roadrunner the official song of the state.”

From Karen Lawson:

“Agree with your #1 pick (Bruce for life) but no k-os “Born to Run”? I don’t support your anti-mid-2000s-Canadian-MC bias…”

Jack Butler ethers our own Stephen Kersh:

“I don’t know how you had never heard “Running On Empty” before, why you didn’t like it, or why you placed it so low on your list. Actually, I think I might know why: You don’t understand what it’s about. Jackson Browne’s inspiration was the unshakable sense of ennui he would get while driving between shows, when his mind would wander and he’d think about how his life got to where it is now, and whether he’s happy with his past or will be content with his future. As with all art, “Running On Empty” turns something concrete into a way to speak about something universal: in this case, the sort of existential emptiness we all feel from time to time. I don’t blame you entirely for not understanding this, though, since I don’t think listening to this song for the first time the way you did is the right way to process it. The ideal way to listen to “Running On Empty” is some time into a long drive, preferably during summer and in the evening, maybe with the windows down. I think then you’ll find that there’s no better song for such an experience. To me, anyway, just listening to “Running On Empty” captures and recreates exactly what that experience is like, and, more broadly, speaks to that sense of nagging dissatisfaction about life we all feel sometimes. You should give it another chance.”

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