Run

Album: Final Straw (2004)
Charted: 5
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Songfacts®:

  • This was Snow Patrol's breakthrough British single. Lead singer Gary Lightbody said of the song in Q Magazine April 2007: "I've never told anyone before and I don't want to spoil it for people because it has its own meaning for them. But in 2000 I was on a massive bender and one night I was drinking in the bar of the Glasgow School Of Art. I fell down a full flight of stairs. Jonny Quinn (Snow Patrol's drummer) found me in the stairwell with blood coming out of my head. He said I looked like a police chalk line and he thought I was dead.

    I was very lucky. A fall like that could easily finish you off. I split my head open and my eye was closed and I lost a few teeth. I was put on a plane to see my mum and dad and they were terrified when they saw me. I wrote Run soon after in this little guitar I'd tried to smash up in my s--t little room near Hillhead. The words 'light up, light up' gave this sense of a beacon. There had to be a light at the end of a tunnel."
  • Jonny Quinn is the nephew of the Northern Ireland TV and film actress Patricia Quinn, whose credits include The Rocky Horror Show, I Claudius and Monty Python's The Meaning of Life.
  • In 2008 a cover by Leona Lewis was included on the deluxe version of her Spirit album. After a show-stopping rendering by the singer on the X-Factor TV program provoked an ecstatic public reaction, Snow Patrol's original returned to the Top 30 of the UK charts. Such was the sudden demand for this song that in the same week an instrumental remake by karaoke specialists Ameritz also entered the UK Top 75. A couple of week's later Lewis' version was issued as a download only release and it went straight in at #1 on the UK singles chart.
  • This was covered by Josh Groban on his 2018 Bridges album. His version is a duet with Sarah McLachlan.
  • Cold covered this on their 2019 album The Things We Can't Stop. Frontman Sccoter Ward said: "I used to listen to that song every time I had to leave my family to go on tours or away to make albums, and I've always been such a fan of the band.

    Structurally, Cold's version stays close to the original apart from the addition of harmonies. "I always did like harmonies... in singing a song or listening to a song," Ward explained to ABC News. "And me and [guitarist] Nick [Coyle] were talking, and I was, like, 'We should do 'Run' with harmonies.' And it was just, I don't know, we did it and it was dope."

Comments: 19

  • Lynn from Cornwall My granddaughter who was only 13 at the time sang this at my Mum's funeral it was so beautiful
  • Mary from From UsI had this on Bridges album Josh Groban did and never paid attention to it. When my husband passed suddenly of heart attack this spring it hit me like a ton of bricks. I had it played at end of his memorial service at church. Had a video guy record service. It was perfect and made a lot cry. My friend discovered Josh Groban after that and played it all week. For me it talks about my husband being beside me even though he is gone and didn’t want to leave me in heaven. Comforts me and those eyes I will never see again, is a tear jerking heart breaking reality.
  • Mars2904 from CanadaThis song was a big part of my life a few years back. I always envisioned a divorced father in a bad custody situation.. cherishing his time with his child. A vindictive mother and her manipulative family convincing her to fight with lawyers to prevent him from having a life with his daughter. It is tough enough for him with just a few hours here and there "I'll sing it one last time to you. Then we really have to go... your the only thing that's right in all I've done"... "To think I might not see those eyes makes it so hard not to cry. As we say our long goodbyes... I nearly do".. The father drops off his daughter and then go home alone to collapse on his kitchen floor and in tears.
    "Light up.. as if you have a choice" the child has no say but misses her dad. She can't stand up to all the influences of her mother/grandparents/Aunts & Uncles "I understand why you can't raise your voice to say"
    He imagines running off with her but couldn't ever deprive her of having her mother (even though her mother tries depriving her from having her father).. "And we'll run for our lives" "slower, slower .. we don't have time for that" (as they run away) "we're bound to be afraid even if it's just for a few days making up for all this mess" (but he can't do it)... and instead barely see's her and possibly dies "light up light up. As if you have a choice. Even if you can not hear my voice, I'll be right beside you my dear" He always instills in her how important she is to him (while the bad influences gently try to guide her into seeing otherwise)
  • 14g_lucky from UsaI love this song, and the lyrics relates to my life of a OTR Truck Driver as everytime I say goodbye to the love of my life its so hard to leave knowing I may never see her again, knowing anything can happen out there on the road. This song says it all. Understanding the song is even harder cause it has alot of different meanings for everyone. Its a great song for sure.
  • Proud Mary from Papua New GuineaI loved this man with all my heart, I had eyes only for him, but than we just parted like that after 3 years together.
    I couldn't believe the things he did to me that made me leave, the things his family did to me that he allowed to happen. I loved him but I had no choice but to leave, cos I knew he didn't love me as much as I did him from the way I was treated.
    I left him with the son we shared, and now I thought maybe he'll call or checkup on our son but he never has so far.

    I shut out my past to not grieve but this song just brought me back to those days and finally I face my demons and move on Lighted up for my son.
  • Anonymous from FloridaThis song touches my heart and causes me to cry every single time. It really hits home because I can put word by word to interpret how I feel about my autistic son. I try every single second to get to understand him a little better.

    “I'll sing it one last time for you
    Then we really have to go
    You've been the only thing that's right
    In all I've done.” -His diagnosis took a toll on me at first. I went into a deep depression to the point where I actually selfishly left him and my wife for a couple of months. I was living back with my parents.

    “And I can barely look at you
    But every single time I do
    I know we'll make it anywhere
    Away from here” - this describes the feeling every time we have a close interaction, where I see the absolutely astonishing progress he’s made over the year since beginning all of his therapies. I know he will be okay and grow up to be part of our crazy society.

    “Light up, light up
    As if you have a choice
    Even if you cannot hear my voice
    I'll be right beside you dear
    Louder, louder
    And we'll run for our lives
    I can hardly speak I understand
    Why you can't raise your voice to say” -this is where I always cry. Light up light up is my beg for him to understand me. Even if you cannot hear my voice, he had a hard time understanding at first. It’s still challenging but he gets better every time. I’ll always be right besides him. I still struggle to understand him at time and feel guilty for him not being able to raise his voice to speak as much as kids his age. I hope he doesn’t suffer when he can’t put his sentences together.

    “To think I might not see those eyes
    It makes it so hard not to cry
    And as we say our long goodbyes
    I nearly do.” -his eye contact hasn’t always been the best but he gets better and better at this every day.

    “Slower, slower
    We don't have time for that
    All I want is to find an easier way
    To get out of our little heads” -I wish I could get into his head to understand how he feels, thinks and even hears at time. I do not want him to suffer and that absolutely terrifies me.

    “Have heart my dear
    We're bound to be afraid
    Even if it's just for a few days
    Making up for all this mess.” -Due to his progress in development and learning, I just hope he’s not afraid of the way he sees his peers and why he’s not able to be at their same level but with this should ease with time. I hope one day I can look back and think how silly it was for the amount of mental stress I put myself and everyone else around me for overthinking all of this. He’s my everything and he makes me so damn proud every day. He’s loving, funny and smart. He reminds me a lot of how I was as a child. Who knows, maybe I would have had the same diagnosis when I was younger. I love my little guy.
  • AnonymousI think it is about someone watching from there own death bed, telling the loved one watching them die, that it is ok to light up. I know it's hard but I am still here and always will be
  • Cliff from Wiltshire, UkThese great artists bare their souls for us, letting us glimpse their darkest secrets. They should be allowed a little privacy. Gary's account on this page is interesting as much for what it leaves out as what it actually says. He doesn't say why he went on a massive bender, why he was so badly depressed, or exactly how he came to be at the bottom of a flight of stairs. There is clearly a story here, but it is Gary's story, and it should probably stay that way.
  • Gregor from Sometown, GermanyI guess the person this song refers to is a kid.
    The singer will lose his kid for some reason (separation, coma, ....)

    Especially this line from the lyrics makes it pretty clear:

    "You've been the only thing that's right
    In all I've done"

    Being a father myself (luckily living together with my loved ones), to me this makes a perfect sense
  • Susan from Airdrie, AbGary Lightbody's songwriting is really beautiful; this song certainly proves it.
  • Michelle from Staten Island, Nywhen i first heard this songit reminded me of a mother who has to give up her child because she knows that it is the best thing for them. but will always be there for them
  • Nicholas from Bangalore, Karnataka, IndiaI had to let go of someone I love. I still love that someone. For me this song is about hope, love, and what I went through when I had to say goodbye. I had no choice. I had to let go. I knew I was loved too. But, somehow, we couldn't be together. Reasons are inexplicable. But there are reasons nonetheless.
  • Andrew from Sydney, AustraliaThis makes me cry everytime i hear it. it reminds me of my situation with my girlfriend; i had to move to sydney and now she is alone :(
  • Jade from Glasgow , United Kingdomthis song reminds me of my uncle alot. he died not long ago with cancer and everytime i hear this song it reminds me of him. about how he i cannot hear him talking to me or see him but i know he is around me all the time...xxx
  • Peter from Belfast, United KingdomBenjamin, i know lots of people who think this song was about someone is a coma. And did you not read what Gary Lightbody said first of all when asked about this song, he doesn't want to ruin it for anyone as everyone can interpret it differently. But I have been two snow patrol live gigs, and Gary Lighbody himself, said it was a song about family.
  • Fiona from Milford Haven, United KingdomI thought these were the words of someone who is at the bedside of their loved one who is in a coma. They are the last words to be spoken to their loved one. Sad and yet uplifting at the same time!!
  • Benjamin from Monroe, WaNot suicide, if he loves her so much he's not going to kill himself.

    "to think i might not see those eyes, makes it so hard not to cry, and as we say our long goodbyes, i nearly do."

    he wants to be with her but for some reason he can't. it's not suicide.

  • Neil from Birmingham, United StatesThis sounds like a song somebody would write to someone they really love if they were contemplating suicide...
  • Stephen from Newcastle, EnglandThis is about a strong love, a love both people feel and neither want to let each other go. Sadly such as life can be they must seperate. The song is them contemplating how much their going to miss each other. Thinking about running away but knowing you can't beat the cruel world.
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