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March 22, 2017

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

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

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