10 Best Songs About Running Away

The desire to run away from one’s problems is as old as time. The desire to flee has manifested itself in lyrics and melodies about getting away from it all in modern times. This list is comprised of 10 of the best songs about running away.

There are tunes about leaving home for an afternoon so that people can ‘figure things out and laments are asking where they will go when ‘they’re alone again. Some songs take a more serious note, and most make people want to put on their shoes, grab their coat and be on their way already.

“Runaway” – Del Shannon

Most people likely know of this song because the Rolling Stones covered it in 1965, but the original version is just as moving.

The version by Del Shannon made it to Billboard’s Hot 100 chart in 1961. The song’s narrator says he has done something wrong and cannot stay put anymore. He then says that one day he will return, but for now, he has to go.

“Lonely Avenue” – The Everly Brothers

This song was released almost three decades after “Runaway,” but it didn’t leave out of the same desire to go.

This one tells the story of a woman who wants to make a clean break from her boyfriend. She says it is so unappealing she says that “when I hear my own voice, I’m stunned.” 

“Running Scared” – Roy Orbison

Roy Orbison wrote this song when he was in his early 20’s. He was considered one of the most distinctive voices of that era, and his ability to tell a story with just a few words is what makes this song such an emotional masterpiece.

The song’s gist is that relationships can be good and bad because they run and hide. Sometimes people get lost they are traveling through, sometimes they warm themselves by a fire, but sometimes they run away.

“Runaway” – The Beatles

This may be the best song about running away in the entire canon of Beatles songs. In it, Paul McCartney plays a man who has been running away from his love and then decides to run away with her.

This song was originally released in 1969 and peaked at Billboard’s Hot 100. It also became a live staple for The Beatles and is one of their most often played songs live.

“Jealous Guy” – John Lennon

Like many of the songs on this list, this song has a dark message to convey. But because it is by John Lennon, it is one of the most upbeat.

The narrator laments how he tries to remind himself that he is not really in love with his current girlfriend, but then he remembers that she was just a friend at first, and now she’s become a lover.

It seems as though he hates himself for caring about her and loves her all the same. It is probably one of John Lennon’s best songs about running away because he tells a story about being jealous of someone else and regretting that relationship even though it had ended.

“Running with the Night” – Lionel Richie

This is a fun song about running away from trouble, even if it is just for a night.

The narrator says that he wants to spend time with someone who will make his life wonderful for a little while and then let him go without asking questions on what he does for the rest of the year.

It’s pure escapism that makes people want to get up and dance or suspend their cares until tomorrow morning.

“Run” – Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift describes the emotions of running away from one’s problems in this song. At first, she explains that she is running because she feels her life is spinning out of control and there are no solutions in sight.

Later, however, she says that this was her last chance to escape before it became too late and too painful to run anymore.

“Running on Empty” – Jackson Browne

This song deals with the folly and folly of youth. It is about running away from those emotions in the way and not getting caught up in the moment because people know it will pass and have to face all of their problems again.

The narrator’s desire to go out and ‘run on empty’ is a desire for freedom, but it also describes a strong sense of self. After all, what is freedom without self-knowledge?

“Running Away” – The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones put a twist on this song when they covered it on the “Black and Blue” album in 1976. The narrator says that he has been running away all of his life because he is afraid of being alone.

However, the twist comes at the end when the narrator says that he is taken aback by how easily someone can run away from him. He wonders if there will ever be a time when someone won’t choose to run away from him.

The Rolling Stones made this song more upbeat and less depressing than Del Shannon’s version, but it still has its own merits as one of the best songs about running away.

Final Thoughts

Every person has reasons for running away from something or someone, but that doesn’t mean that those reasons aren’t valid.

Some of the best songs about running away are because of those reasons. Some people run away because they have no other way to deal with a situation, and some people run away because it seems like the best thing to do at the time.

It depends on what people are running away from and why they are doing it, but when these things make sense, they will always be reflected in music somewhere.


Born and raised in Austin, David is a dedicated writer and avid fragrance lover. When he's not trying out perfumes, he enjoys traveling and exploring new restaurants.

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