Run Like Hell

Album: The Wall (1979)
Charted: 53
  • songfacts ®
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  • Lyrics
  • Like the last few songs on The Wall, this can be summarized as Hitler's rise into power and downfall into hell just as Pink's life did in the movie The Wall. This isn't as detailed as "Waiting For the Worms", but it is a look into Hitler's terror. The entire theme is based on the dreaded Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass translated from German) on November 9th, 1938 which came during Hitler's order of terror. Nazis raided Jewish businesses and synagogues, places of recreation, even homes; throwing people out, destroying what they could. Many were killed and hundreds injured, and 7,500 business and 177 synagogues were destroyed. This is the terror that Pink in The Wall brought over citizens of his own kind. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    J.I. - Pittsburgh, PA
  • Producer Bob Ezrin convinced the band to use a Disco beat on this. Even though dance music was not what Pink Floyd was about, they got a good, catchy sound by putting a beat to this.
  • This was one of the last songs Roger Waters and Dave Gilmour wrote together. By the time they started working on The Wall, there was a lot of tension between them, which got worse on their next album and became real nasty in 1986 when Waters left and Gilmour continued Pink Floyd without him.
  • When they first recorded this, it was a lot longer. They had to cut it down so it would fit on the album. There was a limited amount of space on vinyl records.
  • If Waters and Gilmour could get along, they could go back to the master tapes and produce a longer version of this as they had recorded originally. They have not spoken in years, and Waters has no intention of ever again working with Gilmour.
  • Waters sang lead on this. In 1987, when Pink Floyd toured without him, Gilmour did the vocals. They usually played it as an encore.
  • The stage show for the tour of The Wall was very theatrical. As the band played, 340 enormous bricks formed a wall in front of them, representing the distance between the performers and their audience. During this, the wall was knocked down.
  • In the movie version of The Wall, the main character, a rock star named "Pink," rampages a village with a group of Skinheads. "Pink" was played by Bob Geldof.
  • On July 21, 1990, Waters staged a production of The Wall in Berlin to celebrate the destruction of The Berlin Wall. The 200,000 people who attended cheered wildly he played this.
  • The female rock group Kittie covered this in 2002.
  • The Wall is a concept album about a rock star whose disturbed past and excessive lifestyle causes him to slowly go insane. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Jamie - Sydney, Belgium
  • On the inner sleeve of the vinyl album, both "Run, run, run..." lines Aren't printed. What's there instead is the line "You better run like hell." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Elies - Surrey, Canada
  • Artist Gerald Scarf came up with the symbol of the two hammers crossed. When he was doing the animation for The Wall he wanted to have an army of hammers marching but couldn't figure out how to make a hammer "march." He then realized that two hammers together gives the illusion of two legs, so he used that method in the animation and the "crossed hammer" symbol was born. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Dogma - Alexandria, LA
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Comments: 38

  • Zero from Nowhere, NjThis song is in Drop-D tuning. For the chords in the song, David Gilmour would bar the bottom 3 strings with his thumb while keeping the top 3 strings open.
  • Terry from Wickford, RiIn the context of The Wall storyline, the song is part of Pink's 'Concert Fantasy' sequence, where he has gone into his head and is imagining himself as a Hitler-esque dictator rallying the masses of stormtroopers at his disposal (the fans), when in the 'reality' of Pink's world, he is actually just performing one of the band's more popular 'disco' songs to get the crowd clapping along and screaming at them to 'enjoy themsleves'. The lyrics are about paranoia and how extreme Pink has become in his visions of himself...those bizarre visions informed and intertwined with the Nazi atrocities that are so part and parcel of his (and England's) past and an indirect cause of the death of his father, etc. The Concert sequence really starts with 'In the Flesh?' on Side One and most everything else is a flashback leading back to this point in the present. So 'In The Flesh', Waiting For The Worms' and this are all just part of 'the show' (which must,of course, go on) He finally cracks during the show, much as Roger did during the Montreal '77 show at the end of the In The Flesh tour, which leads eventually to "Stop" and then 'The Trial' and his catharsis.
  • Mem from Melbourne, Australiathe studio version to the song compared to any live version is absolutly horrible. never do i listen to the studio version & i have to admit even echoes is better at pompei than the studio version.
  • Brain from Seattle, Wathe wall is one of my favorite albums of all time
    is the song about hitlers rise to power
  • Bosnian Idiot from Babilon, Bosnia And HerzegovinaIt's about how the feelings are "forbidden" in modern world and anybody who tries to express feelings becomes a victim of sarcasm.
  • Eric from Bend, OrYeah, I noticed that at the beginning of the song, the crowd is chanting "Pink Floyd". And at the end, you can hear the crowd chanting "Pink Floyd" again, but it sounds like it transitions into them chanting "Jawohl"
  • Dogma from Alexandria, LaArtist Gerald Scarf came up with the symbol of the two hammers crossed. When he was doing the animation for THE WALL he wanted to have an army of hammers marching but couldn't figure out how to make a hammer "march." He then realized that two hammers together gives the illusion of two legs, so he used that method in the animation and the "crossed hammer" symbol was born.
  • Ziggy from Redding, CaActually, at the begginnig of the song, they are chanting "hammer" in their british accent. Of course, the hammer symbolism goes along with the whole wall album, and even the wall movie
  • Brian from Fort Wayne, Indoes anybody notice that the crowd is chanting 'pink floyd' at the beginning of the song
  • Musicmama from New York, NyI like the urgency that underlies the chimeric quality of the lyrics. In a similar way, the bass guitar gives a weight and gravity to the disco beat that makes this a song about running away (as opposed to running toward or for) and not for dancing. Brilliant!
  • Darcy Cook from Coffs Harbour, AustraliaYer. This is a great song. The Band (fink Ployd) Did a cover of The entire wall Concert in Sydney together with the Sydney symphony.But with all the bricks, we had to make a promise that were to recyle them. About 60, 500 people came. But one distinct memory was that we were playing Run Like Hell and about two or three "Bricks" probably wasn't place properley and missed me by about two inches. Lucky. But we had a great time. And for comfortably numb, i had to go up on a cherry picker to the top of the wall and i tell you, the driver wasn't that crash hot either...
  • Steveb from Spokane, WaThe hammers symbolize not only a swastika-type emblem but tools to construct the wall, as they are marching they embody conformity and how it is the easiest way out of suffering, by deliberately tossing your humanity away and playing the game you are casting away any reason for dissent. This is why Pink seems happiest in his fascist state, because as a power-hungry and ego-driven man, he is entirely delirious and able to block out the reality of sorrow in his life.

    And very unfortunately, this symbol was reused by some white supremacist group in the south, though I don't recall which one.
  • Achory from Warner Robins, Gaam i the only purpose who noticed the similarity between this song and "In the Flesh?": Y"ou better make your face up in Your favorite disguise." and "you better claw your way through this disguise"? also, since some people are confused about the meaning behind hammer, it was a logo consisting of two red hammers crossed in a circle that was white on top and red on bottom. it was sort of fascist pink's equivelant to the nazi swastika
  • Bryan from New York, Nythe version on 'Is There Anybody Out There' is truly awesome (listening to it now) mainly because it's longer, and Rick Wright (keyboardist) does much more on it. Also, Waters insults the audience in the begining. Amazing alternate vocals in it. Roger has such a weird voice, just listen to the sounds he makes during the live version.
  • Danny from Des Moines, IaI'm surprised that no one has pointed out the similarity between this song and the introduction song to Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. If you have both at hand, you should definitely check it out. I'm proud to say I noticed this myself without wikipedia. I do love wikipedia, though.
  • Kyle from Slatington, PaMy favorite version of this song is the live version off the Is There Anybody Out There? version. Mainly because of Waters's intro.
  • Mark from Ann Arbor, Mothis song makes me laugh so hard when im high, course so do all pink floyd songs
  • Joey from Hw, United Stateschris, i agree that it has great lyrics, and rught should be well. and can some1 tell me who sings? Gilmour?
  • Ashley Jade from Cleveland, GaOn the studio album "The Wall", Roger does the vocals but on Is There Anybody Out There? The Wall Live 1980-1981 the vocals are shared between Roger and David Gilmour
  • Bomber Of Bucklup En from Austin/houston, TxI think it's worth watching. I saw it trippin' too. I looked at it from an artistic point of view. It is art. DJ Z Trip mixed this song on one of his cd's live at a show.
  • Elysia from Hamilton, New ZealandNathan you're not weird, I'm a huge fan of Pink Floyd, they are my favourite band of all time - but I also found the movie disturbing. It's really deep and you would have to be non human to not get a slightly disturbed feeling off what it's about. I watched The Wall tripping and nearly went crazy - I swear, it's that much deeper if you watch it on acid. Still an awesome album, but haunting as a drop of hell.
    Whoever this Kittie band is should get a clue, even if I was the greatest musician in the world - I wouldn't consider myself worthy of covering a Floyd song, why these people even attempt it is beyond me!
  • Don from San Antonio, TxIt may be a disco beat, but the way they play it is utterly crushing. If you've never heard it before you know it's no dancing song instantly. Somehow those sadness-sounding chourus-effect drenched guitar chords cut thru that oppressive beat magnificently.
  • Ash from Charleston, WvActually, the vocals on this song were shared on Pink Floyd's Delicate Sound of Thunder tour. They were sung alternately between Gilmour and bassist Guy Pratt.
  • Tom from Milton, Madoes anyone know what the hammers represent
  • Dee from Indianapolis, InWell, as always, never say never, since Waters and Gilmore were recently together for Live Eight on stage in England. You never know, maybe this will lead to bigger and better things for one of the worlds greastest must influential bands. I saw them in concert back in 93' and this was the last encore song they played. It was so amazing, even without waters there. I hope to one day again witness this group in all its musical talent and mystery.
  • Ashley from Moncton, CanadaHow come there are so many covers I've never heard about? It makes me angry, yet intrigued at the same time. But mostly angry.
  • Rob from Bristol, EnglandInsofar as the satire of the Nazis portrayed in The Wall goes, Run Like Hell is Waters' skit on Josef Goebbles statement in 1938. Following the events of Kristallnacht/Krystallnacht (Night of the Broken Glass), in which thousands of Jewish shops and so forth were smashed up (a mock-up of which is played out during the corresponding sequence in the film), Hitler made a public announcement along the lines of, "they said we could never have our Germany...and here we are; with a German press, a German people, and a German way of life..."; Gobbles (his propaganda minister) then violently barked (to any Jews listening, presumably): "You are not like us! You can never be like us! If you think you can, you'd better run!"
  • Masha from Amsterdam, NetherlandsNathan, you're weird. It rocks.
  • Nathan from Memphis, Tnthe wall movie is very disturbing
  • Charles from Peabody, Ma-- Nazi skinheads DID infact re-use the hammer symbol. During the 1970s, a group known as the Hammerskins showed up on the map, born out of inspiration from The Wall. They are now known as the most violent Neo Nazi organization in the world, and have chapters in over ten different countries.
  • Pink from Hazlet, NjIn the movie, as Lee said, they used real skin heads to play the skin heads in the movie. There was a rumour that the skin heads got a bit too carried away and began actually hurting the other actors. It just goes to show what the actions of others, positive or negative, can do to over-stimulate one's emotions.
  • Liam from Campbell River, CanadaKittie's cover just ruins the song.
  • Alex from Nunya, CaIf you watch the movie, during the song titled "Stop", you can hear the master of ceremonies, one of the characters of their live shows. He says something to the extent of "I think the bands about ready to play now". This proves he imagined it all
  • Deepphreeze from Irvine, CaPink didn't join the skinheads, he was imagining the entire thing during his fantasy of being a new-age fascist leader. "Pink Hitler" never joined in on the violence.
  • Kelly from Los Angeles, Caone of their best
  • Flavio from Miami, Flfemale band kittie did a cover of this song(its not worth downloading trust me)
  • Chris from Wellington, New Zealandhas one of the best lyrics " if you're taking you're girlfriend out tonight you better park your car right outta sight coz if they catch you in the back seat trying to pick her locks they're gonna send you back to mother in a cardboard box, you better run"
    love it!
  • Lee from Durham, Ncin the wall movie, while playing this song, they used real skin heads to run around causing a masacre. Waters was afraid that people wouldnt under stand his satire humor and take the whole facsist part of the wall serious and a tribute to fascism. he also feared that the hammer symbol would be re-used by racists and cults
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