We’ve all thought about running away at some point, but is there any better companion for an adventure than some heartfelt songs?
This article looks at the best songs about running away. Whether you’re running away from a broken home, a failed relationship or you and your lover just want to run away. These tracks provide the perfect mix of feelings for an exciting and emotional escape.
This list of songs and music facts will inspire you to connect with your feelings if you run away with joy or sadness. Tie your shoelaces, pop on these tunes and get ready to go.
- 1. Time Moves Slow – BADBADNOTGOOD
- 2. Running away – Joey Dosik / Vulfpeck
- 3. Night Running – Cage The Elephant & Beck
- 4. Silent Running – Gorillaz
- 5. Runaway – Kanye West
- 6. Running Away – Roy Ayers
- 7. Runaway – Del Shannon
- 8. Runnin’ – The Pharcyde
- 9. She’s Leaving Home – The Beatles
- 10. Come Fly With Me – Frank Sinatra
- 11. Runaways – The Killers
- 12. Run Away With Me – Carly Rae Jepson
- 13. Runaway – Ed Sheeran
- 14. Desperado – Rhianna
- 15. Runaway – Bon Jovi
- 16. Psycho Killer – Talking Heads
- 17. Runaway – AURORA
- 18. Running Away – Vano 3000
- 19. Walking Away – Craig David
- 20. You Keep Running Away – The Four Tops
- 21. Sweet Escape – Gwen Stefani
- 22. Fly Away – Lenny Kravitz
- 23. Runaway – Bruno Mars
- 24. Running Away – Bob Marley
- 25. Born To Run – Bruce Springsteen
- Now it’s Time to Run!
1. Time Moves Slow – BADBADNOTGOOD
This soulful 2016 song about running away is by modern jazz group BADBADNOTGOOD. (Partnering with Future Islands’ Sam Herring). The core message of the song comes through in the chorus “Running away is easy – It’s the leaving that’s hard”.
The lyrics tell the story of a failed romance, from the perspective of a partner abandoned by their lover. “Loving you was easy, it was you leaving that scarred.” Although, later in the song, the singer realizes it was better off this way.
It’s a bittersweet tune with high-quality neo-soul/nu-jazz genre vibes, perfect for soundtracking your breakup or escape.
2. Running away – Joey Dosik / Vulfpeck
Written by Joey Dosik and performed with internet legends Vulfpeck. This laid-back funky 2014 groove encapsulates the feelings of chasing somebody you love. You can feel your heart jump in your chest as your lover walks away from you down the street.
The crisp jazz beats and old-school Rhodes tones give the music a nostalgic feel. Harmonizing with the lyrical content of reflecting on a past relationship. The tone is chilled, but there is still something about it that gives you a rush, driving your run away.
3. Night Running – Cage The Elephant & Beck
Alt-rockers with their famous “Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked”, return in 2019. Partnering with the legendary Beck to bring a punked-up dub/reggae style beat.
The song is about running away from your demons, embracing the hedonism of nightlife culture to escape the pains of reality and society.
Every artist involved has reached a massive level of fame at some point. So, it touches on themes of running away from and escaping the obsessive public eye. Whilst you might not be running from the paparazzi, this tune is great for any kind of runaway adventure.
4. Silent Running – Gorillaz
This song about running away is from Hip-hop and electronic legends Gorillaz and explores modern themes of social media burnout. It’s named after a 1972 sci-fi film.
The song’s message is about how we use the infinite scroll of social media platforms to try to run away from some kind of pain. But the scroll itself is actually causing pain in the first place.
A character is stuck in a meaningless labyrinth, as they search for something that isn’t really there. Whilst it has a dark feel, it has a groovy electronic beat that will keep your feet moving as you run.
5. Runaway – Kanye West
Rap bad boy Kanye West expresses his desire for people to leave him alone. (Albeit in slightly more vulgar terms). This song is a reflection on parts of his personality that might push people away, or maybe the people themselves aren’t worth his time.
His realization is that he should just run away from these people and critics. He also sings about people giving up and running away from issues as soon as they appear. Maybe you should try to confront your problems instead of running? Or maybe just “run away as fast as you can”.
6. Running Away – Roy Ayers
An essential disco groove from 1977 tells the story of a character packing their bag and running away “because you’ve been mean to me.” If you’re running from a toxic character then this is the perfect song to listen to.
It’s a joyful expression of escaping some kind of oppressor or abusive figure in your life. “You don’t spend the time when I’m in need – We don’t love each other like we used to do.”
The shuffling beat and euphoric vibraphone solos will inspire you to pack your bags too, giving you the strength to leave and find funkier times! This is a great song to run to for sure – and has been sampled in countless other hits.
7. Runaway – Del Shannon
Made famous in the year 1961, this majestic blues-soul track gives you the feeling of galloping off into the sunset. Like a black and white movie with the hills rolling past you.
The actual lyrical content of this song follows a character’s thought process as he reflects on a relationship with a woman who ran away from him. With tears in his eyes, he imagines where his “runaway” woman is, and how she feels. He wishes she was by his side to end this misery, but sadly she’s a “run run run run away.” leaving him heartbroken.
8. Runnin’ – The Pharcyde
A ’90s Hip-Hop classic, this tells you that you “can’t keep running away” from your problems. Sometimes you need to face your fears and overcome your battles instead of trying to escape. You can’t always try to run away from a problem!
When you’re upset and life’s getting you down, it’s easy to run away, hiding from issues or blaming them on other people. As Pharcyde says, everyone will face a time when they have to handle things on their own. Rather than running, stand tall and soldier on.
9. She’s Leaving Home – The Beatles
Released in 1967 in the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles, this song about running away from home is about a girl who escapes her life. (It’s actually written about a real woman too!) It’s perfect if you want to run.
It comes from the melancholic and angered perspective of the parents who find a letter and realize their precious baby has left home despite everything they did for her. Their daughter still ran away from home, even though they lived selflessly to provide for her.
They are reflecting on what they might have done to drive her away, it turns out she never felt loved and ran away to feel free.
10. Come Fly With Me – Frank Sinatra
Performed by Sinatra as the title track for his 1958 album, “Come Fly With Me” describes exotic adventures all over the world. Romanticizing the life of a traveler as the Jet Age came to be. (Even though Sinatra was afraid of flying!)
The world was changed by the growth of the aviation industry, as people could travel the world easier than ever. The singer invites listeners to escape their life. Begin a jet-setting adventure and fly around the world to distant tropical lands.
The feel of this song is romantic and jazzy and is a perfect soundtrack for traveling or escaping.
11. Runaways – The Killers
A 2012 pop-rock song about exciting young love, romantic runaways, and a shotgun wedding. This euphoric track crystalizes the nostalgic feelings of running away together with your lover. After all, “we’re all just runaways”.
It also has some darker themes. Later in the song, we learn that it’s a reflection on the past. Remembering memories of this relationship that eventually failed “we used to laugh, now we only fight”. At first, you are running away with your love, and then you run away from the pain.
12. Run Away With Me – Carly Rae Jepson
A pop icon of “Call Me Maybe” fame, Carly Rae Jepson’s song is a fantasy of running away with your lover.
You can feel the rush of being in love, and how you just want to run away with your partner and start a new life in the night, driving down an infinite highway. The catchy pop-dance song will keep your head bopping as you run (or dream). Hold your partner tight and escape for the weekend.
13. Runaway – Ed Sheeran
This 2014 chart topping song was written by Ed Sheeran and Pharrell Williams. This song about running away expresses the conflicted emotions of escaping an alcoholic father.
Whilst the character still loves their dad, they just can’t bear the pain of living at home anymore, so they run away. “I love him from my skin to my bones – But I don’t wanna live in his home.”
The character runs as an ultimatum, trying to push their father into seeking help. But just like their mother, they “just run away and be on their own”.
14. Desperado – Rhianna
Desperado is a trap tune written by the queen of modern pop. This song about running away is about interactions with a desperado, a daring criminal who is on the run from the law.
The lyrics of the song describe him as a tough, thuggish character who is hard to pin down. The character feels connected to the desperado and fantasizes about running away with him.
You feel the risky feeling of falling in love with a dangerous person and imagining what it would be like to live their kind of life. Even though she is scared he will abandon her, she still decides to escape with him in this song.
15. Runaway – Bon Jovi
A classic rock tune was released in 1984 on Bon Jovi’s first album, this was one of the songs that got their name on the charts. (Even though the band hated the music video!) This is a song about the run-away life. It’s about a girl who runs away from home to live a dangerous life.
The song comes from multiple perspectives:
The father of the girl who misses her, the girl herself as she finds an exciting new life, and the singer who meets her and falls in love.
It explores a punk, counter-culture lifestyle revolving around running away from society and living a wild life.
16. Psycho Killer – Talking Heads
Another iconic song from 1977, Psycho Killer comes from the perspective of a murderer (hopefully you don’t find this too relatable!).
It was written by David Byrne as more of a joke originally, and he never expected it to become one of their biggest hits. Although it did, due to the catchy lyrics and funky bop.
It’s written about Norman Bates in the movie Psycho, as the narrator deals with the inner conflict of being a murderer, with the hook “run, run, run, run away.”
17. Runaway – AURORA
A contemporary dream pop song about running away. This slow, flowing track follows the vision of a woman as she imagines running away to a fantasy world.
In her dream, she sees a better place and has a romantic sense of feeling alive in her escape. Although at the same time, she is drawn back home to a feeling of belonging. The lyrics show a sense of conflict and indecision as she keeps trying to run, but keeps wanting to return.
It touches on how fantasy may not be as good as it seems in reality. So, running away might not always be the best choice.
18. Running Away – Vano 3000
If you listen to this song about running away, you might recognize the vocal sample from somewhere else on this list. This track is actually a remix of the BADBADNOTGOOD song from earlier. Again, focusing on the mantra “Running away is easy It’s the leaving that’s hard”.
This track is a more sporadic, eclectic version. Feeling more like a traditional hip-hop beat than the original neo-jazz groove.
19. Walking Away – Craig David
King of R&B and garage, in Walking Away, Craig David talks about escaping the troubles of his life. He’s tired of the pain and fakery and decides to “find a better day”. Walking away from the lies, sleepless nights, and flights. It’s mostly about leaving a woman who made him depressed in a bad relationship.
If you’re feeling stuck in a toxic relationship, then listen to the lyrics of this song and weigh up the pros and cons. If it’s as bad as Craig David is making out, then you might want to walk or even run away from the troubles in your life too!
20. You Keep Running Away – The Four Tops
This 1967 soul groove from the Four Tops is one of those perfect songs for running away. It comes from the perspective of a jilted lover. They feel pain because their partner keeps leaving them. He’s obsessed with her. He wants to take care of her, but she breaks his heart when she leaves, and she just keeps running away.
In the song, he begs her to come back into his arms. Despite the tormented lyrics, it’s an upbeat song that will put a spring in your step. Whether you’ve run away from someone, or if someone is running away from you.
Even with the flighty lyrics, the band kept the same lineup for over 40 years!
21. Sweet Escape – Gwen Stefani
“Sweet Escape” by Gwen Stefani is about her attempt to rekindle fading love in an uncertain relationship.
She’s asking her partner for a second chance. Whilst also dreaming about escaping to a perfect, trouble-free world where they wouldn’t have to deal with any problems.
The message of the song is reflected in its music video, where Gwen is depicted as some kind of prisoner escaping from a golden cage.
22. Fly Away – Lenny Kravitz
A catchy rock beat, “Fly Away” is a classic feel-good run-away song, as Lenny sings a fantasy about flying away, “Into the sky, so very high”.
At face value, it seems as though it’s purely about getting away. But on closer inspection, it is a song with psychedelic themes of spiritual meditation and even some romance. “I want to fly away, yeah (with you)”.
The listener is not exactly sure of what Lenny is running from, but this gripping song makes the perfect ambiance for an epic adventure.
23. Runaway – Bruno Mars
Tongue in cheek, Bruno’s “Runaway” is another iconic pop song with a catchy chorus, on the “Doo-Wops & Hooligans” album.
Beneath a compelling groove is a darker story, as this song is about a “player”, “playboy”, or a “ladies’ man”. He has an insatiable appetite for women and inevitably breaks their hearts.
Women are looking for love, but he is just looking for “Another pretty thang ready for [him] to grab”. The singer warns the women to “run away, baby, before I put my spell on you.”
24. Running Away – Bob Marley
This classic reggae groove was released in the year 1978. Marley’s “Running Away” explores the internal conflict felt when running away, and feelings of not belonging. Are you running from the world, or something inside you?
Marley’s own life experience of running away inspired this song, as he had to leave Jamaica, and spent years traveling to protect his family. This was on the album Kaya, which wasn’t well received at the time.
The vibe of the song changes towards the end. The fearful emotions turn to triumph and embrace, as the protagonist overcomes the problems they were running from. Hopefully, this groovy beat motivates you – whether it’s fight or flight.
25. Born To Run – Bruce Springsteen
Running away from home is a classic teenage dream. This track from 1975 by Bruce Springsteen distils those angsty emotions into a euphoric rushing song.
The lyrics of “Born To Run” describe two characters expressing their desire to escape together. With fast cars, highways, and new love, this song gets your heart galloping, driving you into the sunset.
Diving deeper into the lyrics we see a political lifestyle revolving around living free. Escaping the inequalities of American culture. If you’re running away, there’s no need to feel alone, as Springsteen puts it “everybody’s out on the run tonight!”
Now it’s Time to Run!
So, that concludes my list of the best songs about running away. With these songs under your belt, you’ll have some fuel to start your runaway adventure! Enjoy your escape!