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59 Songs About Running

FlourishAnyway believes there is a playlist for just about any situation and is on a mission to unite and entertain the world through song.

Do you run for fun, run for health and exercise, or are you running away from something?  Make a playlist of pop, rock, and country songs about running.

Do you run for fun, run for health and exercise, or are you running away from something? Make a playlist of pop, rock, and country songs about running.

Why Do You Run?

There are two kinds of people: those who run for exercise, for the sheer exhilaration of it, and those who run only when chased. I'm the second type. Even then, I'd probably just as soon play dead and hope for the best. My husband, however, is a distance runner, having completed several marathons and triathlons. He's a proud running freak. (Of course, the psychologist in me sometimes teases him by suggesting he needs to find out what he's running from.)

No matter if you're someone who runs for fitness, tends to run from your problems, or doesn't run at all, why not make a fun playlist of songs about running? We have a long list of pop, rock, and country songs to start you out.

Reader Poll

1. "Run to You" by Bryan Adams

Some people run for health while others give chase to those they love or lust after. Which are you?

The man in this 1984 rock song is torn between two very different women—one faithful lover who doesn't turn him on and a mistress he runs to when he needs warmth. He's been running so much between the two that he'll soon need new running shoes.

2. "I'm Born to Run" by American Authors

Ah, to be young like this again. You can never quite recreate this sensation once that magical time in your life has passed.

Feeling the immortality and rebellion of youth, the narrator in this 2016 indie rock song knows no constraints. He longs to be who he's meant to be, to run free and be careless. He yearns to see the world and meet his destiny:

I'm gonna live my life like I'm gonna die young
Like it's never enough, like I'm born to run
I'm gonna spend my time like tomorrow won't come
Do whatever I want like I'm born to run.

3. "Born to Run" by Bruce Springsteen

Young people who grow up in low-income towns often dream of running from them at the first real chance they get. This 1975 rock classic describes a teenager's anguish at being trapped in a small New Jersey town ("Baby this town rips the bones from your back") and his desire to chase love and his dreams with his girlfriend. His youthful desire to live on the edge tells him that they were "born to run."

4. "Run" by George Strait

Separated from his sweetheart, the man in this 2001 country love ballad seeks to bridge the distance between them quickly. He needs her in a rush and urges her to run back to his arms via any means necessary: plane, train, bus, or cab.

5. "Stand Up And Run" by Billy Talent

Too often it's our stupid pride preventing us from being truly happy. (Sound familiar?) The narrator of this uptempo 2013 rock song recalls how a long-lost lover walked out of his life. Knowing there is no logic to love, he urges her to stand up and run back to him, if she misses him as much as he does her. Let's hope she's running at full speed right now!

6. "Take the Money and Run" by The Steve Miller Band

This rock song from 1976 tells the story of two young lovers with nothing better to do than smoke pot and watch television. They decide to put an end to their boredom by going on a road trip to El Paso, Texas, where they rob and shoot a man. Now they live running just one step ahead of the law. Something tells me this won't end well.

7. "The Distance" by Cake

This 1997 rock song celebrates going the distance and then some—in a car race to be exact. However, its memorable video features an office worker, clad in a business suit. He defies reason and starts to run from his building then out into a variety of settings. Fueled by an inner desire that long-distance runners can attest to, the fella keeps going until he reaches the beach. Was he running from something or to it?

8. "Run Rudolph Run" by Chuck Berry

Rudolph is who everybody's looking to in this fun-rocking Christmas song from 1958. At one time, the shiny-nosed fella was an outcast, excluded from reindeer games, but now they're calling Rudy a mastermind and urging him to run like a son-of-a-gun so Santa can make his deliveries on time. Run, run, Rudolph!

9. "Run, Baby, Run" by Sheryl Crow

Oh, does the lady this 1993 pop tune has some intimacy issues. Born to a hippie and a civil rights protester, she learned to reject the familiar. Instead of seeking comfort in the arms of strangers, she tends to run away before they get too close emotionally. (There are definite trust issues to work on here.)

10. "Run Away" by Anthem Lights

It's impossible to listen to this high-spirited, energetic 2014 pop song and not feel a little bit happier. Sick of pretending and losers still winning, the narrator wants to escape, and he invites you to come with him. He wants to run, never look back, and go live a fantasy of his own making.

11. "I Run To You" Lady Antebellum

Do you have someone in your life you can run to? For some people, it's a close friend or a parent, and for others, it's a romantic partner.

This mellow 2008 country tune cherishes the comfort and shelter that one can provide when they truly "get" you. The narrator runs from hate, lies, the past, and all that is negative by seeking understanding from her lover:

This world keeps spinning faster
Into a new disaster, so I run to you
I run to you, baby
And when it all starts coming undone
Baby, you're the only one I run to
I run to you.

12. "I Run For Life" by Melissa Etheridge

You don't have to be a breast cancer survivor to appreciate the power of this emotional, uplifting rock song from 2005. However, if you are (or if you love someone touched by the disease), then it will mean all the more.

The song takes the perspective of a survivor whose body has been scarred by breast cancer but whose spirit is feisty and triumphant. As she fights back, participating in a fundraising run, she explains her motive for doing so:

I run for hope
I run to feel
I run for the truth, for all that is real
I run for your mother, your sister, your wife
I run for you and me, my friend
I run for life.

Melissa Etheridge is herself a breast cancer survivor. Having been diagnosed in 2004, she endured surgery and chemotherapy.

13. "Dog Days Are Over" by Florence + The Machine

This high energy 2009 pop song is an elixir for happiness. It describes a woman who suddenly and unexpectedly finds herself in love. With her troubles lifted, the unfamiliar feeling that the dog days are over scares her. Her instinct is to flee:

Run fast for your mother, run fast for your father
Run for your children, for your sisters and brothers
Leave all your love and your longing behind you
Can't carry it with you if you want to survive.

Fortunately, happiness can chase you down! So let it!

14. "Run To You" by Lea Michele

There's such heartbreak and desperation in this haunting 2017 love ballad. Lea Michele implores her lover to cast aside his broken heart. If he just calls her name, she'll come running.

15. "Run Devil Run" by Crowder

The man in his catchy Christian pop song from 2016 has just the thing that will make the devil run, and I bet you can guess what it is. The Holy Ghost and his army of angels is ready to make the devil run back to the depths of Hell where he belongs, leaving the man alone.

"The body is given out on loan -- do not waste it and expect to use it tomorrow." - Carl Shapiro, American businessman

"The body is given out on loan -- do not waste it and expect to use it tomorrow." - Carl Shapiro, American businessman

Interesting Facts About Running

Worldwide, over 1 billion pair of running shoes are sold each year. Generally, running shoes last only 3-4 months for regular runners, or 400-500 miles. Think of all that trash!

Running burns about 50% more calories than walking.

Running is good for your sex life. Just 2.5 hours of running per week can increase testosterone levels by as much as 15%. Five hours of running a week can decrease a man's risk of erectile dysfunction by 50%.

When running, breasts actually move in a complex figure eight pattern rather than simply bouncing up and down. If a woman doesn't wear a sports bra, running may cause premature breast sagging.

Music can boost your running performance by as much as 15% but only if you're the type of runner who seeks stimulation from your environment rather than turning your focus inwards.

Research studies have shown that wearing cheap running shoes lower your risk of injury. Running shoes costing over $95 had double the chance of injuries than those of shoes costing $40 or less.

When you run, it takes 200 muscles to take just one step!

On average, every 100 hours of running results in a running injury for novice runners.

When running, the human heart creates enough pressure to squirt blood 30 feet.

16. "Duck And Run" by 3 Doors Down

Nothing can drag this guy down any lower than he already is. In this 2001 rock song, the narrator claims he's reached rock bottom. He feels unimportant and helpless to make a difference in the world. Rather than turn away, however, he remains defiant, refusing to duck and run.

17. "Ready to Run" by The Dixie Chicks

When you don't feel ready for a big step in your life, the urge to run can be strong. That's what the bride feels in this Grammy-winning 1999 country song from the soundtrack to the movie, "Runaway Bride." She feels pressure from both the groom and her mother and wants to buy a ticket to anywhere to escape.

18. "Run for Your Life" by The Fray

This 2012 pop song describes twin sisters, one of whom died, with the other desperately grieving her loss. The narrator urges the surviving twin to take all that is good from her past and leave the rest behind, then run for her life, for self-preservation. He hints that as she runs forward to her future, she doesn't have to do it alone, her sister will be with her.

19. "Running on Empty" by Jackson Browne

Named by Rolling Stone magazine as one of "The 500 Greatest Rock Songs of All Time," this 1977 rock classic is about a man approaching middle age. Trying to make sense of his life, he reflects on his youth and realizes he still doesn't have a firm life direction. Life seems to be passing him by and he's running on empty, running behind the point at which he expected to be in his life right now.

20. "Check Yes, Juliet" by We the Kings

This 2008 pop song celebrates a modern Romeo and Juliet love story. Romeo tosses stones at Juliet's bedroom window to get her attention. He then beckons her to sneak out and run away with him and not look back.

"Pain is inevitable.  Suffering is optional." - Haruki Murakami, Japanese writer

"Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional." - Haruki Murakami, Japanese writer

Even More Songs About Running

Know a song about running that should be on this playlist? Make a suggestion in the Comments Section below!

SongArtistYear Released

21. Run to You

Whitney Houston


22. Run

Foo Fighters


23. Ready to Run

One Direction


24. Run Run Run

Kelly Clarkson (featuring John Legend)


25. Run For Cover

Gabrielle Aplin


26. Run Like Hell

Pink Floyd


27. Run Wild

For King & Country


28. Band on the Run

Paul McCartney & Wings


29. Running Down a Dream

Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers


30. Run to You



31. Can't Run From Yourself

Tanya Tucker


32. Run Baby Run



33. Kill And Run



34. Run Baby Run

The Newbeats


35. Run



36. Take My Love And Run

Bad Suns


37. If I Run

Sara Evans


38. The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner

Iron Maiden


39. Run for Your Life

K. Flay


40. Running in the Night

FM-84 (featuring Ollie Wride)


41. Break My Stride

Matthew Wilder


42. Where Are We Runnin'

Lenny Kravitz


43. Every Chance We Get We Run

David Guetta (featuring Tegan & Sara)


44. Running Down a Dream

Tommy Petty


45. Run Daddy Run

Miranda Lambert (featuring Pistol Annies)


46. Running with the Devil

Van Halen


47. Nowhere to Run

Martha & The Vandellas


48. Run2me

Smashing Pumpkins


49. Running with the Night

Lionel Richie


50. Running for You

Kip Moore


51. Run the World



52. Runnin' (Lose It All)

Naughty Boy (featuring Beyoncé & Arrow Benjamin)


53. Running



54. The Long Run

The Eagles


55. Run with the Pack

Bad Company


56. Against the Wind

Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band


57. Runaway

Del Shannon


58. Run

Lauren Alaina


59. Run



© 2018 FlourishAnyway


FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on October 29, 2019:

Jackson Porter - I agree!

Jackson Porter on October 28, 2019:

Run devil Run is great!

Robert Sacchi on August 12, 2018:

You're welcome.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 12, 2018:

Bob - Thank you for these suggestions. I've added Runaway here and Runaround Sue to my playplist about cheating and lying lovers. Have a great week!

Robert Sacchi on August 11, 2018:

Another great trip down memory lane. I love Bruce Springsteen's Born to Run. Would these fall into this category:

Runaway - I'm partial to the Del Shannon version.

The Streak

Running Bear - The Romeo's name, there is some running, and some swimming.

Runaround Sue

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on July 02, 2018:

Bill - Companies have done an excellent marketing job on us! I know my husband shells out way too much money on shoes every few months for replacements. I think we'll be moderating that! Have a wonderful holiday yourself!

Bill De Giulio from Massachusetts on July 01, 2018:

Hi Flourish. Another great list that is near and dear to me. Interesting fact on the correlation between the cost of running shoes and injuries. Have a great 4th.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 29, 2018:

Devika - Thanks for stopping by. Glad you enjoyed this.

DDE on June 29, 2018:

I like the list of songs. I didn't think of that many songs but you always take me down memory lane. Love it!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 25, 2018:

Larry - Thanks, buddy. Have a terrific week.

Larry Rankin from Oklahoma on June 25, 2018:

Great list!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 24, 2018:

Yves - That fun Christmas song is one of my favorites. Music is one of the best parts of the holiday season for me. As for your song suggestion, I have added it at #55. It also triggered another one for me, "(Running) Against the Wind." Have a great weekend! Stay cool in this summer heat!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 24, 2018:

Anna - She sounds worthy of her name! I used to take a neighbor's dog walking (running) many years ago. He never got any attention and was penned in a small enclosure except for our walks. That's about my only brush with dogs. Your dog sounds so tender and loyal.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 24, 2018:

Louise - Chocolate is a good reason to run! Thanks for stopping by! Have a wonderful weekend!

Anna Haun from USA on June 23, 2018:

A great article. I used to run for the fun of it but since breaking all 3 bones in my hip I no longer run unless taking Sweetness (dog) for a walk and she is making me run. She is an 80-pound hearing dog, service animal and very bossy. When we go for walks she starts out running, for the first block before slowing down, dragging me along with her. She weighs almost as much as me and is very strong. However, I enjoy taking her on walks even if we do run a little.

Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on June 23, 2018:

There's some really good songs there. But...I will only run for chocolate lol.

savvydating on June 23, 2018:

I was surprised to learn about cheap running shoes causing less damage. I'll have to keep that in mind if I ever decide to run. Lol. Fat chance...but to my credit, I walk a lot. Anyhoo....because I love Christmas so much, I'd have to choose "Run Rudolph Run" as my favorite in this list. Although, frankly, you have listed a plethora of good one's.

Also, when I saw that you had written a piece about running, I immediately thought of Bad Company's Run With the Pack. The album and song brings up memories from my era. It isn't listed, but I'll forgive you. Hahaha!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 22, 2018:

Nithya - Thank you for running by to check out this playlist. Have a great weekend!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 22, 2018:

Peggy - A friend of my husband's is a physician and has tried to get him to swim rather than run because running is so hard on the joints but runners are a dedicated lot. There are a fair number of injuries and ailments common to the sport. Some of the common ones are pretty disgusting.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 22, 2018:

Frank - Thanks for the compliment. I aim to please! Have a great weekend!

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on June 22, 2018:

when I saw the title..I was wondering what songs made this list.. and yep.. presto.. who think there was going to be so many.. this was awesome Flourish..:)

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on June 22, 2018:

I am always amazed by your list of songs. You have a great collection here, my favorite is The Long Run by Eagles.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on June 22, 2018:

As to running, I would rather walk for exercise. That is amazing that less expensive shoes are actually better than the more expensive ones for running. That rate of injury is pretty high. It would not take dedicated runners that long to accumulate 100 hours of running and then face some type of injury. The tidbits of information you offer in addition to the songs is always interesting.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 21, 2018:

Frances - Sounds like your dog is a real handful and keeps you active. Mixed breeds are the best kind!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 21, 2018:

Poppy - I'm so impressed with you. There's no way I'd do that but I applaud you for doing it.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 21, 2018:

Bill - You and me, both. Glad you're having a great day! Hope it's not too hot out there on the left coast. It's roasting here, even with the rain to cool us off.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 21, 2018:

Linda - I was surprised, too! My husband's getting the cheap ones for Christmas and birthdays from now on! (He goes through them so often that running shoes are the convenient "fallback" gift.) No sense in wasting money! Thanks for stopping by, Linda.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on June 21, 2018:

To answer your question, I don't run. :) As for the songs, Born to Run was automatic, as was the Beatles Run for Your mind must be firing on all cylinders today.

Frances Metcalfe from The Limousin, France on June 21, 2018:

Hi Flourish. I run after the dog when she's doing something or other she shouldn't. She's a Jack Russell cross, so I run rather a lot more than I care to - my 'dog days' definitely not over! Great article as always.

Poppy from Enoshima, Japan on June 20, 2018:

Woo! Brings me back to training for the half-marathon I ran a couple of years ago. I couldn't walk for two days afterward! Great article as always.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on June 20, 2018:

The benefit of wearing cheap running shoes is surprising and very interesting. Thanks for sharing the information and the music, Flourish.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 20, 2018:

Heidi - What a great song addition! I've added it at #54. I'm with you, walking is what I prefer. I'm impressed that you were training for a half-marathon! It's better to cut your losses than to keep pouring time and resources into a goal that's going nowhere. Have a wonderful week!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 20, 2018:

Liz - Thanks for taking a look.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 20, 2018:

Mary - Me, too. Anyone who can run 5K, 10K ... 26.2 miles (or those ultramarathons!), has my admiration. I'll give them a shout out from the sidelines.

Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on June 20, 2018:

I used to run. Operative phrase, "used to." Was working on doing a half marathon and my body just said no. Haven't done it since and don't miss it.

The only time I run now is if it's needed to protect my dog in some way. Otherwise, forget it. I'll walk.

Great list, as always! Only one I'd add is the Eagles, "The Long Run."

Gotta run...

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 20, 2018:

Linda - Songs are so much like food. Usually, you know instantly whether they are in the "good" category. Sometimes they can grow on you, but with so many options, why do that? As for the running bit, I've run in airports but I sure complained a lot afterward. I'll walk as far as I'm interested, but no running. Besides, it's kinda bad on the joints long-term.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 20, 2018:

Shaloo - I appreciate the visit. Have a great week.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 20, 2018:

Clive - Thanks for the compliment!

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on June 20, 2018:

Flourish, I remember the oldies, don't know the new ones, but with your encouragement perhaps I'll give some of them a try.

Me and running? Nope, never going to happen. However, one must never use absolutes. I could/would run if my children were in danger, but for myself, I would probably curl up in a ball and hope for the best.

Liz Westwood from UK on June 20, 2018:

Another interesting and comprehensive list.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on June 20, 2018:

Many people run and while running, thye listen to their favourite songs so this playlist will be be very useful. I walk but not run, harder at my age. I have great admiration for people who do.

Clive Williams from Jamaica on June 20, 2018:

I have no idea how you come up with these list. Great work

Shaloo Walia from India on June 20, 2018:

Awesome playlist!