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March 22, 2017

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

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

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