Run Sister Run

Album: Mangy Love (2016)

Songfacts®:

  • This track is about politics of revolution and gender imbalances. McCombs explained to Uncut magazine: "I wanted to write a song for women, but I'm not a woman, and I wouldn't presume to understand what that's like. So I wrote it from the perspective of a man's misinterpretation of what a revolutionary woman is. Like, in protest organizations, it's like, 'Yeah, brothers and sisters, we're all fighting against the man, we're gonna smash the state, let's burn it down, right on, sister,' but there still are antiquated concepts, even in that world. There are still completely bankrupt, gender based ideas that men place on women. So it's like a parody of man-splaining, I tried to make it like that. Man-splaining to a revolutionary genius."
  • According to the press release, the song was inspired by arrested Occupy Wall Street protestor Cecily McMillan. The American activist was sentenced to three months in Rikers Island in 2014, after assaulting a police officer when the cops cleared protesters out of Lower Manhattan's Zucotti Park.
  • The song's music video was directed by Rachael Pony Cassells and stars activist and athlete Tracie Léost. In 2015, Léost went on a 115-kilometer run to raise awareness about the dozens of young women, many of them indigenous, who have disappeared on the Highway of Tears, a 450-mile stretch of road along the Trans-Canada Highway.

    "I was thinking of film and I was drawing a blank on images of strong women running in films," Cassells told Vogue. "All my immediate thoughts were of women being chased."

    Léost's run, in which passed by numerous memorials hung up to commemorate the missing women, was a way of reclaiming power. "Women running in public space is an act of defiance," the director added.

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