Have you ever wanted to escape from a situation, a person, or a relationship? I’m sure that most of us have thought about running away from something at least once in our lives. There are times when we want to get away from our surroundings for a while, and there are also times when we want a more concrete and permanent solution. Since these feelings are so common, many songs about running away have been written over the years.
Whatever predicament you may find yourself in, here is a great list of songs you can listen to that may either give you the inspiration you need to take that first step or that you can use as a temporary escape from your everyday life.
Table of Contents
1. A Sweeter Place by Selena Gomez (Featuring Kid Cudi)
Although she became a household name by being the star of the show “Wizards of Waverly Place,” Selena Gomez is now carving out a path for herself as a musical artist. You can check out her album “Rare,” which features the track “A Sweeter Place,” if you want to hear proof of how she is evolving as a singer and a pop music icon. Though this track tells the familiar story of wanting to run away from your old life in hopes of finding a new one, it’s Gomez’s style that makes it a great song.
2. South Of The Border by Ed Sheeran (Featuring Camila Cabello & Cardi B)
|Album||No.6 Collaborations Project|
Have you ever loved somebody so much that you would be willing to risk practically anything to be with them? Much like the rest of us, I’m sure you have. Love has been known to make people do irresponsible things, like leaving everything just to be someone. That’s the kind of love that Ed Sheeran must have experienced when he wrote the song “South Of The Border” from “No.6 Collaborations Project,” which tells the story of Sheeran being smitten with someone so much that he is willing to flee to Mexico with her.
3. Runaway by Bon Jovi
|Genre||Glam Rock, Hair Metal|
Bon Jovi is known for being one of the most successful hair metal bands of the 1980s. In 1984, they burst onto the scene with their self-titled debut album, including the massive radio hit “Runaway.” While this upbeat, piano-driven track may have you wanting to start dancing, its message is far from bright and cheerful. Instead, this song serves as a warning to both parents and children alike, cautioning against both the perils of living on the streets and the dangers of shielding your children from what goes on in the real world.
4. Leaving On a Jet Plane by John Denver
|Genre||Indie, Folk, Country|
|Album||Babe I Hate To Go|
John Denver is one of those singers and musicians who seems to transcend genres, whether it’s country, folk, pop, or soft rock music. His song “Leaving On a Jet Plane” from the 1966 record “Babe I Hate To Go” exemplifies how he can float effortlessly between multiple genres of music. This track is about someone who has great difficulty committing to his partner in their relationship. He wakes her from her slumber to let her know that he’s leaving, although he has the audacity to ask her for him.
5. Band On The Run by Paul McCartney & Wings
|Album||Band On the Run|
When The Beatles called it quits in 1970, Paul McCartney formed the band Wings with his wife, Linda. By 1973, Wings had released one of their most successful singles and albums ever, with both titled “Band On the Run.” Wings waste quite a sonic departure from The Beatles, both musically and lyrically. This song is a fictional account of a band of thieves breaking out of jail and running for their freedom. What ensues is a mad search by everybody from the jailor to the crooked judge. However, the band was never caught.
6. Runaway Love by Ludacris (Featuring Mary J. Blige)
|Genre||Rap, Hip Hop|
Rapper and actor Christopher Brian Bridges, better known by his stage name Ludacris, is one of rap and hip hop’s top-selling artists. However, his fifth studio album, “Release Therapy,” was met with mixed reviews because he departed from his usual comedic style of rapping, instead deciding to tackle darker themes. One example of this can be heard on the track “Runaway Love,” which delves into the horrible subject of young girls running away because they are suffering from some form of abuse at home, even if nobody believes them.
7. Hold Me Down by Halsey
|Genre||Pop, Dance, Electronica|
Ashley Nicolette Frangipane, although she is known professionally by the moniker Halsey, is a platinum-selling artist who got her start by releasing her music via social media. Her single “Hold Me Down,” which appeared on her 2015 debut album “Badlands,” is a simple, sample-driven track about someone who is running away from their demons and right into the arms of somebody that they know is bad for them. Although she knows what she is doing is wrong, she continues to seek out her lover and pursue their forbidden relationship.
8. Runaway by Linkin Park
|Genre||Alternative Rock, Nu Metal|
In the early 2000s, a new genre of music called Nu Metal was thrust into the spotlight by bands such as Linkin Park, thanks to their unique mix of hip hop and rock. Their debut album “Hybrid Theory,” featuring the track “Runaway,” has gone on to sell over 27 million copies worldwide. Like most of the songs and the album, the lyrics to this “Runaway” were based on lead singer Chester Bennington’s childhood. In this song, Bennington recalls feeling isolated at home and details the experiences he had when he decided to run away from home.
9. I Am Born To Run by American Authors
|Genre||Indie, Alternative Rock|
|Album||What We Live For|
The alternative and indie group American Authors had a breakout hit with their 2016 album “What We Live For.” The track “I Am Born To Run” was the fourth single from that album and is an anthem for people who are unable to stay in one place for long. Lead vocalist Zac Barnett knows that there will be consequences he must pay for his lifestyle. He will gladly pay the price if it means that he can live life on his own terms. He knows that a sedentary lifestyle won’t work for him.
10. Break Away by Rascal Flatts
|Album||Feels Like Today|
Rascal Flatts is one of country music’s most successful bands, with multiple platinum-selling albums and awards under their belts. In 2004, they released their hit record “Feels Like Today,” which has sold over five million copies in the United States. One lesser-known song from that album is the ninth track, “Break Away,” which is a simple tune about wanting to get away with that special someone. Lead singer Gary LeVox entertains the notion of going out for a Sunday drive but not coming back. He just wants to keep on going.
11. Runaway by Kanye West
|Genre||Rap, Hip Hop|
|Album||My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy|
Known for being a brilliant and controversial rapper, Kanye West finds no topic too taboo to rap about. His entire fifth studio album, “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy,” was recorded while Kanye was on a self-imposed hiatus in Hawaii. “Runaway” was the second single released from that album. This song is about a less than desirable person who treats his partner terribly and then tells her that she needs to run away from him as fast as she can because he’s no good for her. Sadly, it’s a little late for that.
12. Forget Me Too by Machine Gun Kelly (Featuring Halsey)
|Album||Tickets To My Downfall|
Whether he is in the middle of a feud with Eminem or Corey Taylor, Machine Gun Kelly is known more for other artists’ disdain for him than his music. However, he turned lots of heads when he transitioned from rap to pop punk on his 2020 album “Tickets To My Downfall.” The fifth track from that album, entitled “Forget Me Too,” tells the lurid tale of two people who are cheating on their partners, although both of them know that they should flee from each other as quickly as possible.
13. Running Kind by Merle Haggard
|Album||A Working Man Can’t Get Nowhere Today|
Merle Haggard has the distinction of being known as one of the Godfathers of outlaw country music, and he has more than earned this title. He was particularly in his heyday in the 1970s when he released the song “Running Kind,” which appears on “A Working Man Can’t Get Nowhere Today.” Known as one of the few troubadours who would give you the God’s-honest truth, Haggard wrote many of his songs about life experiences. This tune could be indicative of both his refusal to settle down and his time spent in prison.
14. How To Disappear Completely by Radiohead
With a string of critically-acclaimed albums that were adored by their fans, few bands are as beloved as Radiohead. Their album “Kid A” is a prime example of why they are adored by critics and continue to set the bar for the genre. “How To Disappear Completely Disappear” is a master class on how some artists relish the spotlight while others grow to resent it and flee from fame as quickly as they can. In his signature falsetto, lead singer Thom Yorke cautions us about how easily this can happen.
15. Run Away With Me by Carly Rae Jepsen
What sets Carly Rae Jepsen apart from most other artists in pop is that she has a significant hand in writing her music. This talent is showcased on her third album, “Emotion,” which features the song “Run Away With Me.” In this tune, Carly Rae entertains the idea of wanting to run away with her lover because the people who are around her don’t approve of it, as indicated by the lyrics, “This is the part, you’ve got to say all that you’re feeling. Packing a bag, we’re leaving tonight when everyone’s sleeping.”
16. Run To You by Bryan Adams
Canadian-born singer and musician Bryan Adams is known for writing some of the most recognized songs of the 1980s, including a handful of ballads. Upon first listening, the single “Run To You” may not sound like a typical love song. However, don’t let the slightly upbeat tempo of this tune distract you from the” Reckless” album’s message. While he may be indeed playing the role of a philandering husband, Adams is expressing his desire to be with his mistress so badly that he is willing to risk being caught by his loving wife.
17. 502 by Megadeth
|Album||So Far, So Good… So What|
There are times when running away from something may seem like the best option you have, and there are other times when it appears to be the only option available. The latter option must be what thrash metal pioneer Dave Mustaine is singing about on the track “502” from the 1988 classic album “So Far, So Good… So What,” which chronicles his attempt to escape from the police via a high-speed chase. Mustaine’s signature snarl is reflective of his desire to get away, while the music backing him is as fast as the chase.
18. She’s Leaving Home by The Beatles
|Album||Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band|
When The Beatles released “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” they were already the biggest band in the world, and their 1967 classic record only solidified their status. Lost amongst the more popular tracks was the hidden gem “She’s Leaving Home,” which chronicles the story of a young lady who has decided to run away from home, told from the perspective of her parents, who are trying to figure out where they went wrong with their little girl. Although there is nothing they can do, her parents regret sheltering her and not preparing her for a life of her own.
19. Don’t Follow by Alice In Chains
|Album||Jar Of Flies EP|
This song from their acclaimed 1994 EP “Jar Of Flies” showcases s softer and more somber side of Alice In Chains. Starting with “Hey, I ain’t never coming home. Hey, I’ll just wander my own road. Hey hey, I can’t meet you here tomorrow. No, say goodbye, don’t follow,” it’s apparent that the narrator is running away from a failed relationship, or several of them. Masterfully sung by Layne Staley, the pain in his voice is evident as he makes the agonizing decision to say goodbye to his life, family, and friends.
20. Runaway by Ed Sheeran
As tragic as it may sound, some children wake up every day not knowing what they are going to have to face at home. Sadly, they are often subjected to various forms of abuse that usually stem from their parents being addicted to a chemical or substance. It’s during these times that they feel like their only option may be to run away from home and seek asylum somewhere else. Although this may be a hard subject to talk about, that’s what the track “Runaway” from Ed Sheeran’s album “x” brings social awareness to. If you’re into pop songs about running away, this is a great one to consider adding to your playlist!
21. Run To the Hills by Iron Maiden
|Album||The Number of the Beast|
Running away may not always be an escape from something in your personal life. There are times when it is the only solution if you want to survive. “Run To the Hills,” from Iron Maiden’s 1982 metal masterpiece “The Number of the Beast,” is the tragic tale of the European settlers crossing the Atlantic Ocean and colonizing America, told from the perspective of the Cree Indians. Bruce Dickinson’s soaring, operatic vocals portray the fear and anguish felt by the tribe n in this Iron Maiden classic track written by bassist and composer Steve Harris.
22. Gimme Three Steps by Lynyrd Skynyrd
|Genre||Southern Rock, Classic Rock|
|Album||(Pronounced ‘Lĕh-‘nérd ‘Skin-‘nérd)|
One of the most basic instincts we learn about from a very young age is when confronted, we either choose to fight or flee. This instinct is called “fight or flight” and refers to the dilemma that our narrator faces when he is caught having an affair with another man’s wife in the track “Gimme Three Steps” from Lynyrd Skynyrd’s 1973 debut ‘(Pronounced ‘Lĕh-‘nérd ‘Skin-‘nérd).” This southern rock anthem is about a man who is confronted by his girlfriend’s husband. When given the option, he chooses to flee, but not without a head start.
23. Keep On Runnin’ by Journey
Journey has had a career that has spanned several decades with several multi-platinum selling albums and 19 top-forty singles. Although the Steve Perry era of Journey began in 1978, it hit its stride in 1981 with the release of their album “Escape,” thanks to tracks like “Keep On Runnin’,” which is the story of a blue-collar worker who has grown weary of his mundane existence. As he and his girlfriend are out on the town on a Friday night, they entertain the notion of running away together to escape their daily lives if they keep on running. This is one of my personal favorite songs about running away.
24. Running Away by Bob Marley & The Wailers
With his Caribbean rhythm and lyrics that were reflective of the times and political climate in which he lived, Bob Marley was the outspoken voice of his generation. The Jamaican singer was the epitome of the expression “Do the right thing.” “Running Away,” from the 1978 album “Kaya,” is another track in which he shows how introspective his lyrics can be. This tune is about not being able to run away from your conscience, even if you have been able to conceal your true personality or the bad things you do from others.
25. Sleep On the Floor by The Lumineers
|Genre||Indie, Alternative Rock|
Have you ever felt the need to get away from somewhere that was so urgent that you felt like if you didn’t get out now, you never would? That’s the topic The Lumineers cover in their track “Sleep On the Floor.” Taken from their album” Cleopatra,” which was released in 2016, this song is about someone who wants to get away so badly that he feels like if he doesn’t leave now, he will never be able to get away. The narrator tries to convince his significant other to leave with him.
26. Runaway Baby by Bruno Mars
|Album||Doo-Wops & Hooligans|
There are times when although you are completely smitten with someone, you know that you would not be good for their well-being. In this case, you have two options. You can either do the selfish thing and pursue a relationship with them, or you can attempt to warn them about the kind of person you are. Thankfully, on the track Runaway Baby, from the Bruno Mars album “Doo-Wops & Hooligans,” the main character of the song does the right thing by telling her to run away from him as fast as she can.
27. You Keep Running Away by The Four Tops
|Genre||R&B, Soul, Motown|
|Album||Four Tops Greatest Hits Vol. 2|
Although the Four Tops originally recorded the song “You Keep Running Away” in 1967, it was not released until 1971, when it made its first appearance on the album “Four Tops Greatest Hits Vol. 2.” In quintessential Motown fashion, The Four Tops tell the tale of a young lady who can’t seem to commit to the guy who is in love with her. He begs her to stay with him, although she keeps running away and taking a little more of his pride and self-esteem with her every time she leaves.
28. Runaway by Avenged Sevenfold (Featuring Warren Fitzgerald)
I have always thought that Avenged Sevenfold is one of the most criminally underrated bands in rock and metal today. Taken from “The Stage,” which was their most recent studio album, the track “Runaway” is a cover of the Del Shannon classic about a guy who loses the love of his life and is left searching for her. While I normally don’t like to include cover versions of songs (because I usually prefer the original versions), I thought this modern rendition of the original was too good not to be included.
29. Breakaway by Kelly Clarkson
After she won American Idol in 2002, Kelly Clarkson became one of the hottest artists of the early 2000s, with over 25 million albums sold worldwide. “Breakaway” is the title track from Clarkson’s second studio album and is the story of a young girl who feels suffocated and unheard. In this simple pop-country ballad, the main character longs to break away from these
restraints, and she’s more than willing to take her chances by betting on herself. In actuality, all she wants to do is to find a place where she belongs.
30. Escape by Metallica
|Album||Ride The Lightning|
The thrash metal titan’s 1984 release “Ride The Lightning” sees Metallica trying to escape those who are out to invade your thoughts, poison your mind, and control your actions in the song “Escape.” Although this is from one of the band’s heaviest releases, this track remains one of the more melodic and more thought-provoking titles in their illustrious catalog. James Hetfield’s vocals range from seething to reflective, while the band sounds tighter than ever in one of Metallica’s most introspective and underrated hidden gems from their early years.
31. Running Scared by Roy Orbison
|Album||Roy Orbison’s Greatest Hits|
Roy Orbison had a knack for storytelling and songwriting that has made him one of the most revered and respected artists in music. His talents were on full display in the ballad “Running Scared,” which was originally released in 1961 as a single and later included in “Roy Orbison’s Greatest Hits.” This song has Orbison and a girl sneaking around so her significant other wouldn’t discover that the two were having an affair. He finds out and catches them red-handed. When she is forced to choose, the girl chooses her boyfriend.
32. Take the Money and Run by The Steve Miller Band
|Album||Fly Like an Eagle|
The Steve Miller Band was one of the most popular bands of the 1970s, with over 24 million albums sold in three number-one hits on Billboard in the United States alone. Originally appearing on their 1976 album “Fly Like an Eagle,” the track “Take the Money and Run” is about a couple who decide to commit a robbery. As you may expect, complications arise, and they must spend the rest of their days running from the law. However, the two were never caught. As the song says, “they’re still running today.”
33. Before They Make Me Run by The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones are one of rock and roll’s most successful acts of all time, with 37 top 10 records, nine of which have climbed to the number one album spot. Although” Before They Make Me Run” it’s not one of their most well-known tracks, it appeared on their wildly successful 1978 album “Some Girls.” In a rollicking, uptempo blues rock style, the legendary band accounts a story about someone who wants to make the most out of their time in the spotlight but also knows when to bow out.
34. Running Away by Three Days Grace
Sometimes, relationships are complicated. People who are looking in from the outside never know the whole story about how a seemingly good relationship turned bad. This track from their 2006 album “One-X” is the perfect example of how both people’s actions in a relationship can make things go awry. In this song, the narrator is cheating on his girlfriend. He does not shy away from confessing his wrongdoings, although he claims that the reason he was driven into the arms of someone else was due to his girlfriend running away from him.
35. The Champ by Ghostface Killah (Featuring Trife Diesel)
|Genre||Rap, Hip Hop|
Although he is primarily known for being one of the founding members of Wu-Tang Clan, the artist Ghostface Killah has established himself as one of rap and hip hop’s most well-respected solo artists. “The Champ,” taken from his album “Fishscale,” pertains mostly to things that he has seen on the streets of New York City. However, if you pay attention, there is a hidden message in the lyrics. Ghostface Killah is saying that you can put on an act while you are running the streets, but you can’t run from yourself.
36. Always On The Run by Lenny Kravitz
Lenny Kravitz is known for being quite an accomplished rock musician and singer and has sold millions of albums in a career that has spanned three decades. Featured on his second studio album “Mama Said,” the track “Always On The Run” is a story of a man recollecting all of the advice that his mother has given him over the years. Unfortunately, he hasn’t followed any of that advice. To me, the meaning of this song is that he never paid much attention to it because he was always too busy.
37. Run (I’m a Natural Disaster) by Gnarls Barkley
|Genre||Hip Hop, Experimental|
|Album||The Odd Couple|
The pop and hip hop duo Gnarls Barkley began as a side project of Cee-Lo Green and Danger Mouse, although it became much more successful than either of them could have anticipated. In fact, due to an album leak, they were forced to release their 2008 album “The Odd Couple,” which features the track “Run (I’m a Natural Disaster)” earlier than they had planned. This song sees the narrator admit to having a checkered past and warns people not to get too close to him for fear that they may get hurt.
38. Cowboy Take Me Away by The Chicks
Formerly known as The Dixie Chicks, the country music group The Chicks has never been afraid to go against the status quo while simultaneously being highly successful. Their song “Cowboy Take Me Away” from their hit record “Fly,” which sees a woman longing to be rescued from the hustle and bustle of her everyday life, exemplifies their desire to be out of the spotlight while continuing to do things on their terms. She yearns for a much slower and simple life and is waiting for somebody to rescue her.
39. Gotta Get Away by The Offspring
The Offspring broke onto the Southern California punk scene with their 1994 breakthrough album “Smash” and singles like “Gotta Get Away.” This track plays on the narrator’s ever-increasing struggles with paranoia and proves that sometimes the worst place that you can be is inside of your own head. As the title suggests, sometimes you have to get away from yourself. Written by guitarist and lead vocalist Dexter Holland, this song’s frantic lyrics don’t reflect its catchy rhythm and sing-along chorus. Who knew that a song about mental illness could be so fun?
40. I Ran (So Far Away) by A Flock of Seagulls
|Genre||New Wave, Synth Pop|
|Album||A Flock of Seagulls|
If you were to describe the 1980s New Wave band A Flock of Seagulls, the expression “one hit wonder” would seem like an understatement. The track “I Ran (So Far Away)” from the band’s 1982 self-titled debut album was easily one of the biggest hits of the decade and has spanned multiple generations of music lovers. It details an account of a chance meeting between two people. The narrator is so captivated by this woman’s beauty that he is rendered speechless in her presence. Instead of overcoming his fears, he runs away.
41. Runaway by Avril Lavigne
|Album||The Best Damn Thing|
Canadian pop-punk vocalist Avril Lavigne’s third studio album, “The Best Damn Thing,” cemented her status as the genre’s reigning queen, thanks to tracks like “Runaway.” In this song, Avril dreams about having the chance to get away from everything after she’s had one of those days when nothing seems to go right. This is something that I’m sure the majority of us can relate to, right? Just when you think that all hope is lost and she’s going to call it quits, she proclaims that she’s not about to give up the fight.
42. Walking Away by Craig David
|Album||Born to Do It|
Craig David seems to have it all figured out on his song “Walking Away” from his 2000 album “Born to Do It.” On this track, the English R&B singer decides to step away from everything in his life that is causing him unnecessary stress and anxiety. Instead of letting these people get him down or starting any type of conflict, Craig throws his hands in the air and decides that it’s not worth fighting over. If more people would take this approach, the world would be a better place.
43. Run For Your Life by The Beatles
In my opinion, the 1965 album “Rubber Soul” was the greatest record The Beatles ever released because this was when they proved to the world that they truly were ahead of their time. If you want to see for yourself what I’m talking about, you don’t need to look any further than “Run For Your Life,” which is about a guy who is warning a girl that he would rather see her dead than with another man. What’s shocking is that they do this with catchy melodies and a sing-along chorus.
44. Getaway Car by Taylor Swift
Why am I not surprised when Taylor Swift sings a song about a relationship that has ended badly? “Getaway Car,” appearing on Swift’s album “Reputation,” is the retelling of a relationship that started terribly and only got worse after that. I guess it’s fair to say that it was doomed from the start. After all, the couple in the song met while they were in a getaway car. Although Taylor doesn’t sound very surprised as she sings, “Don’t pretend it’s such a mystery. Think about the place where you first met me.”
45. Old Town Road by Lil Nas X (Featuring Billy Ray Cyrus)
|Genre||Rap, Hip Hop|
|Album||Ultratop Hit Connection Best Of 2019.3|
Have you ever felt the desire to give up the fast-paced life of living in the city and move out to the country where life seems to move just a little slower? If you answered yes to this question, then you can probably relate to “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X. Yes, I’m sure you’ve probably guessed, this track is about the simple things in life, like going on long horseback rides and riding around on tractors. By the end of the song, he’s back in Beverly Hills, although he seems much more relaxed.
46. Running Away by Sly and The Family Stone
|Genre||R&B, Soul, Motown|
|Album||There’s a Riot Goin’ On|
Sly and The Family Stone became bona fide superstars with their album “There’s a Riot Goin’ On.” This was the album that gave them their number one billboard hit “Family Affair” and their follow-up single “Running Away.” There’s been a great deal of mystery surrounding the meaning of the song, although the band initially joked that it was about hippies having to cut their hair and get jobs. In actuality, this track is about the fact that everybody feels the need to run away from something at some point in their lives.
47. Be My Escape by Relient K
Don’t let their clean-cut image catchy songs for you. Relient K has a knack for writing some pretty dark and bleak songs. Their track “Be My Escape” is a song about people who run away from having meaningful relationships with other people. However, there is hope as our narrator finds someone with whom he shares a bond as he says, “I am a hostage to my own humanity, self-detained and forced to live in this mess I’ve made, and all I’m asking is for you to do what you can with me.”
48. Nowhere to Run by Martha & The Vandellas
|Genre||R&B, Soul, Motown|
Martha & The Vandellas was just one of the groups that epitomized the R&B and soul sound of the 1960s, which became known as the Motown sound.” Nowhere to Run” plus one of their most successful singles, reaching number eight on the Billboard charts, and it became one of the group’s signature songs. Originally found on their 1965 album “Dance Party,” this song is about a woman who is afraid to fall and love because of the heartbreak that comes with breaking up. Instead, she chooses to run away from love.
49. Paradise by Coldplay
There are times when our dreams provide us with the only opportunity we may have to run away from our current situation. When we dream, we are free to feel whatever we want without fear of being persecuted by anybody. That is the feeling that Coldplay is trying to convey in their song “Paradise,” which is found on the British alternative group’s fifth studio album “Mylo Xyloto.” This album became Coldplay’s fifth consecutive album to debut at number one, and “Paradise” was met with critical acclaim, and fans praised their new sound.
50. Run Through the Jungle by Creedence Clearwater Revival
The 1970s were filled with songs protesting the Vietnam War, and the song “Run Through the Jungle” by Creedence Clearwater Revival was no exception. First appearing on the band’s 5th studio album “Cosmo’s Factory” in 1970, this song was about the plight of the American soldiers who were fighting in Vietnam, most of them for a war they didn’t believe in. Where this song differs from most is that while they are about running away from relationships or your past, this song was about people having to run to save their lives.
51. Runaway Train by Soul Asylum
|Genre||Alternative, Post Grunge|
|Album||Grave Dancers Union|
In the summer of 1993, the alternative rock group Soul Asylum had its biggest hit with the track “Runaway Train” from the album “Grave Dancers Union.” This song tackles the tough subjects of teenage runaways and child abuse and is most notably known for its music video that featured photos of abuse victims and missing children. Despite its disturbing subject matter, “Runaway Train” reached number five on the Billboard top 100 singles chart. Although the sound of the song is distinctly from the 1990s, it would still fit in on rock radio today.
52. The Distance by Cake
When someone runs away, it doesn’t always have to be from a person or a place. Sometimes, we need to run away from our thoughts. In Cake’s single “The Distance” from their 1996 album “Fashion Nugget,” we hear the story of a race car driver who is trying to escape his past. Over a thumping bass line and John McCrea’s deadpan delivery, we learn that the race has been long over, but the driver continues around the track to avoid going home to an empty house and being alone with his thoughts.
53. Running On Empty by Jackson Browne
|Genre||Soft Rock, Singer-Songwriter|
|Album||Running On Empty|
“Running On Empty” is the title track from singer-songwriter Jackson Browne’s 1977 hit album of the same name and was one of the most commercially successful songs of his career. As did many other songs of the 1970s, this song talks about the restlessness of youth and the need to get out on the open road and find yourself. You keep running until, eventually, you are running on empty. Unfortunately, I don’t think that Browne was able to find any answers. At least, the song didn’t indicate that he did.
54. Run by Foo Fighters
Dave Grohl may be known as the nicest guy in rock, but he has worked incredibly hard to make it big in the music industry. “Run,” which was released as a single by Foo Fighters in 2017, won the 2018 Grammy award for Best Hard Rock and Metal Performance. When asked what the song meant, he responded by saying that he wrote the lyrics after hearing that Donald Trump was running for
President. He said that he wished he could just run away somewhere where he could find some peace and quiet.
55. Come Fly With Me by Frank Sinatra
|Genre||Big Band, Swing|
|Album||Come Fly With Me|
Something tells me that Frank Sinatra hasn’t ever had to run from anything, but if he had, Old Blue Eyes would be sure to do it in style. This is probably why he recorded “Come Fly With Me,” which is a song where he is convincing someone to run away with him to various locations around the world. He wants to be able to enjoy things certain regions are famous for, and he wants to enjoy them where they were made famous. It must be good to be Frank Sinatra.
56. Stand Up And Run by Billy Talent
|Genre||Alternative Pop, Indie|
Isn’t it funny that you can never tell when and where inspiration will strike? If you happen to be the frontman for the alternative indie rock group Billy Talent, it can strike when you are watching old television shows. As the story goes, Ben Kowalewicz was watching “The Wonder Years” when he got the idea for the song “Stand Up and Run,” which is found on Billy Talent’s 2012 album “Dead Silence.” Kowalewicz has gone on the record as saying that the song is about how true love never dies.
57. Already Gone by The Eagles
|Album||On the Border|
Although they are traditionally defined as a classic rock band, the Eagles have had success across multiple genres. This includes their country and western-inspired hit “Already Gone,” which is featured on their album “On the Border.” In this song, the narrator tells us that he has gotten word that his partner plans to split ways with him. However, he is convinced that he is going to get the last laugh in the relationship because he will break up with her long before she has the chance to dump him unceremoniously.
58. Run by George Strait
|Album||The Road Less Traveled/Holding My Own|
When it comes to big names in country music, they don’t get much bigger than the incomparable George Strait, who has sold over 70 million albums around the world. In addition, he is the only performer in history to have a number one hit each year for three consecutive decades. Needless to say, everything this man touches turns to gold, including “Run” from his record “The Road Less Traveled/Holding My Own,” which is about a guy who has been left by a girl. Now, he wants her to run back into his arms so they can be together again.
59. Out Ta Get Me by Guns N’ Roses
|Album||Appetite For Destruction|
With their 1987 release “Appetite For Destruction,” Guns N’ Roses put the Los Angeles hard rock and metal scene on notice that they were a force to be reckoned with at a time when heavy music was dominated by hairspray, makeup, and glam metal. They were gutsy, bluesy, straight-up rock and roll. This band’s debut album was filled with sordid tales of debauchery and excess, including the track “Out Ta Get Me,” which details the exploits of an individual who is running from the police while repeatedly maintaining his innocence in Axl Rose’s signature style.
60. I Am Disappeared by Frank Turner
|Album||England Keeps My Bones|
When indie folk singer Frank Turner was asked what his song “I Am Disappeared” from the album “England Keeps My Bones” is about, he slyly answered by saying that the song was about nothing more than a dream he had where he was riding around in a car with Bob Dylan. What the song is really about is two people who are in a failing relationship. Both of them want to run away from each other as fast as they can, but for some reason, they stay together, even if they are miserable.
61. Runaway by Del Shannon
|Genre||Rock N’ Roll|
|Album||Let’s Have A Party! – 35 Party Hits!|
“Runaway” is easily the biggest hit of Del Shannon’s career, reaching number one on Billboard for four consecutive weeks in 1961. However, while this track may have been his only hit, Del Shannon’s classic made its way onto ten movie soundtracks and several television shows. This song tells the Timeless tale of young love and having lost in love. The narrator falls deeply in love, although she pulls a disappearing act when he thought the two were meant to be. He searches high and low but is unsuccessful in finding her, no matter how hard he tries.
62. Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen
|Genre||Rock N’ Roll|
|Album||Born to Run|
Bruce Springsteen has had a career that most musicians dream of. The Jersey-born singer has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and has five songs listed in Rolling Stone’s “Top 500 Songs of All Time.” Although success did not come immediately, the title track from his 1975 album “Born to Run” was his the breakthrough his career needed. This song is the story of a guy who works hard all day and drives around at night, dreaming of being able to escape from his small hometown with his girlfriend, Wendy.
63. Sweet Escape by Gwen Stefani (Featuring Akon)
|Genre||Pop, Hip Hop|
|Album||The Sweet Escape|
Gwen Stefani is one of those few lucky artists who have seen success both with their bands and in their solo careers. She got her start with No Doubt and later transitioned to her solo records. The title track to her 2006 album “The Sweet Escape” is a perfect example of this. This song tells the familiar story of two people who are bad for each other and know that they should run screaming from each other as fast as they can. However, something inside of them makes them stay with each other.
64. Time To Run by Lord Huron
Have you ever watched one of those old western movies where the majority of the film was spent following the bad guy, who was running from the law? Well, if you have, you have seen the motion picture equivalent of Lord Huron’s track “Time To Run.” Even the rhythm of the song and the music video follow this thing, with the song having a distinct country western feel and the video being filled with old western imagery. The lyrics are also about someone who has committed a crime and is running from the long arm of the law.
65. Free by Broods
|Genre||Alternative, Industrial, Synth Pop|
Some relationships are doomed from the start, although most people don’t get the memo until it is much too late. For the rest of the relationship, one person desperately tries to escape the clutches of the other. Sometimes, this ends disastrously, while there are times when that person can get away. That’s exactly what the song “Free” from the alternative, industrial, synth pop group Broods album “Conscious” is about. Sadly, the person that feels trapped says that as long as they are with the other person, they will never be complete.
66. The Getaway by Red Hot Chili Peppers
|Genre||Funk Metal, Alternative|
The Red Hot Chili Peppers are no strangers to success. After all, the funk metal Pioneers have been making music together for close to 40 years. You don’t make it that far in the music industry without having a few interesting stories to tell, which leads us to their 2016 track “The Getaway,” from the album of the same name. This tune is a semi-autobiographical account of Anthony Kiedis’s love life when he was 50 and dating 19-year-old supermodel Helena Vestergaard. The two broke up due to their age difference.
67. Desperado by Rhianna
Not to be confused with the hit song from the Eagles of the same name, “Desperado,” is a track from pop singer Rihanna’s album “Anti.” Originally released in 2016, the track pertains to two people who are growing weary of the status quo where they live and decide to run away together. Now, I know what you’re thinking. This is a message that we heard hundreds of times before, and you’re right. However, where this song differs is that the two people are not in love. They are running away from the prospect of love.
68. Runaways by The Killers
In the early 2000s, the alternative rock band The Killers had a brief moment in the sun with a few albums that sold well based on the strength of several edgy, catchy, radio-friendly hit songs. By 2012, their success had faded somewhat, although they were still releasing albums like that year’s “Battle Born”, which contained the track “Runaways.” This song is the story of a young girl who becomes pregnant and then chooses to run away with her boyfriend and get married rather than face the consequences of her pregnancy with her parents.
69. Escape by The Devil Wears Prada
|Album||Dead & Alive|
Hailing from Dayton, Ohio, The Devil Wears Prada is a metalcore band that originally made waves in the genre due to their heavy sound combined with their Christian beliefs. They have gone on to become one of the most popular bands in that scene because of songs like “Escape,” which was included on their album “Dead & Alive,” which was released in 2012. Although its meaning has been debated amongst fans, the band has said that the song is nothing more than a straightforward tune about the dangers of the zombie apocalypse.
70. Till I’m Gone by Tinie Tempah (Featuring Wiz Khalifa)
|Genre||Rap, Hip Hop|
|Album||Livin the Life|
British rappers like Tinie Tempah have become much more prominent in the hip-hop genre thanks to tracks like this. Its strength is the lyrical prowess behind its message, which sees someone who is conflicted as to the choice he must make. If he stays where he is, he may never make it big. However, if he leaves, he knows that he is leaving a good thing behind. Although he promises that he will be back one day, he knows that this is a promise that he may not be able to keep.
71. Runaway by AURORA
|Album||All My Demons Greeting Me as a Friend|
Alternative electronic pop artist AURORA has a message unlike any other in her song “Runaway.” Found on her 2016 album “All My Demons Greeting Me as a Friend,” this track is about a person who has run away from everybody and everything throughout her entire life. Now, she finds herself tired of running. All she wants to do is have the chance to go home. One of the most common misconceptions about people who are always on the run is that they are running from something. In actuality, they may be trying to run towards something.
72. Save Your Tears by The Weeknd
|Genre||R&B, Pop, Soul|
With a Super Bowl Halftime show, several successful albums, and a number of Billboard hits, The Weeknd has become a musical force in the industry. His lyrical skills are showcased in the song “Save Your Tears,” which appears on his 2020 album “After Hours.” This crack is about a guy who knows that he is no good for the girl he’s with, and that’s a bitter pill to swallow. He notices that she is much happier when she is not with him, so he decides to run away from the relationship so she can be happy.
73. Vermilion Pt. 2 by Slipknot
|Album||Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses|
Because they made a name for themselves as being one of the heavier bands in the metal genre, Slipknot turned quite a few when they released their third album entitled “Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses.” How did they do this? I included acoustic tracks on an album for the first time in their career. One of these songs was “Vermilion Pt. 2,” which is the second part of the two-song story. It’s about a guy who admires a girl from afar. He repeatedly tries to convince himself to speak to her, but he just can’t bring himself to do it. Instead, he chooses to stalk her.
74. Must Get Out by Maroon 5
|Album||Songs About Jane|
Maroon 5 came out of seemingly nowhere in 2002 with the release of their debut album “Songs About Jane,” which sold well over 10 million puppies around the world and included three huge Billboard singles. While it gets frequently lost amongst the more popular tracks, “Must Get Out” is one of the most underrated songs on this record and is a song about a guy who wants to be loved, although the girl he loves doesn’t reciprocate his feelings. While he is trying to convince her to stay, she keeps trying to run away.
75. Getaway by Parachute
Parachute is a band that blends alternative pop with a head of country and western in the song “Getaway,” which is found on their 2016 release “Wide Awake.” This track has everything you might expect to find in a tune that combines these genres to make a new and unique sound. This song is about someone who has had enough of the trials and tribulations of everyday life and wants to run away from their problems to a place where life is much simpler, which is something that we can all relate to.
76. La La La by Naughty Boy (Featuring Sam Smith)
There are times when you need to get away from somebody, or there are occasions in which getting away from your physical location may be a good idea. However, Naughty Boy’s track “La La La” is about getting away from an idea. The title of the song is an onomatopoeia and reflects the sound a person makes when they are trying to avoid hearing something being said. In this case, Naughty Boy is rejecting the message of Christianity, possibly as a result of who it’s coming from.
77. (Don’t You) Forget About Me by Simple Minds
|Album||The Breakfast Club Original Soundtrack|
If you have ever seen the 1985 film “The Breakfast Club,” you will remember this song from its soundtrack. Masterfully performed by the synth-pop new wave band Simple Minds, this song is about a guy who falls in love with a girl but realizes that he is no good for her. Instead of being selfish, he tells her to run away as fast as she can, as long as she promises that she won’t forget about him. He then wonders if she will acknowledge what they once had if they meet again.
78. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For by U2
|Album||The Joshua Tree|
The Irish alternative rock band U2 had a career year in 1987, which saw “The Joshua Tree” sell millions of records. “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” was the second of two consecutive singles from that album to reach number one on the Billboard singles charts. While the track is not about running away from anything, it’s about running toward something but not being able to find it. What we don’t realize is that while we are running towards the unknown, we are running away from everything we have known.
79. Circles by Post Malone
|Genre||Alternative, Pop, Hip Hop|
Perhaps you have recently become aware of the legal battles surrounding Post Malone’s single “Circle,” which comes from his third studio album “Hollywood’s Bleeding.” He is being sued by an associate of his who claims that they helped write the hit song, which is about a couple whose emotions for each other keep running hot and cold, and they keep going around in circles while they are trying to decide if they should stay together or not. Neither of them wants to be the reason that the relationship failed, so neither of them leaves.
80. Run Like Hell by Pink Floyd
If you have ever seen Pink Floyd’s film “The Wall,” then you know that it is about a man who struggles with becoming a famous rock star, which is partially due to his strained and unhealthy relationship with his mother. The track “Run Like Hell” appears both in the film and on the album and speaks to the main character’s desire to run as far away from his mother as he can so that he can live his own life and become the man he wants to be. Spoiler Alert: He ends up becoming a drug-addicted recluse.
Hi, my name is Kevin and I’m from Butler, Pennsylvania. I’ve been obsessed with music and audio gear for as long as I can remember. I started this website to help people find professional advice related to a wide range of audio topics. We have a number of Audio Engineers on our team who have been designing and fixing audio gear for decades.