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March 22, 2017

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

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 [email protected]

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