Take The Money And Run

Album: Fly Like An Eagle (1976)
Charted: 11


  • Miller wrote this song, which tells a Bonnie-and-Clyde story about a young couple (Billy Joe and Bobbie Sue) who kill a man in a robbery and go on the run. Miller gives only vague details in the verses, but in the end they slip away and are still on the loose.
  • Miller wrote this as a road trip song. When he was a kid, his parents took him on long road trips where they listened to radio stations the whole time and sung along to their favorite songs. In the '70s, FM radio allowed for stereo sound and provided a cleaner signal, so Miller made his road trip anthems bigger, with more layers to the sound. He made sure these songs were upbeat and fun, just like the ones that caught his ear as a kid.

    Another characteristic of Miller's road songs is mention of various places - El Paso shows up in this one. In "Rock 'N Me," he namechecks several cities, including Phoenix, Atlanta and Philadelphia.
  • This was the first song Miller let a rap group sample; he let Run-D.M.C. use it in 2001 with Everlast also on vocals. Miller, who had turned down many previous requests to sample his songs, agreed only after hearing the song and liking what they did with it.
  • In 2006, the Steve Miller Band released a 30th Anniversary Edition of the Fly Like An Eagle album. Included as a bonus track was "Take The Joker And Run," which is an acoustic version of "Take the Money and Run" sung over an early version of "The Joker." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • Take The Money And Run is also the name of an unrelated 1969 Woody Allen film. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Brett - Edmonton, Canada
  • The song was done in a country style (with fiddles!) by the Canadian singer Julian Austin in 2000. It appears on his Back in Your Life album. Austin was born in St. John, New Brunswick. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Peter - Hamilton, Canada
  • A soundalike version was used in a 2014 commercial for Taco Bell promoting their Crunchwrap Sliders.

Comments: 35

  • Herbert Chew from San FranciscoOn Take the money and run, vinyl versus film.
  • David Wheatley from Prince Edward, Ontario"This was the first song Miller let a rap group sample; he let Run-D.M.C. use it in 2001 with Everlast also on vocals" - INCORRECT
    N.W.A. sampled Take the Money and Run on 'Something Like That' from Straight Out of Compton, 1988 [Editor's note: Miller didn't authorize that one - nobody was clearing samples back then.]
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn May 2nd 1976, "Take The Money and Run" by the Steve Miller Band entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #85; and on July 18th it peaked at #11 (for 1 week) and spent 16 weeks on the Top 100...
    It reached #8 on the Canadian RPM Singles chart...
    By peaking at #11 on the Top 100 it just missed making the Top 10 but the band's next three releases did; "Rock'n Me" (#1 for one week), "Fly Like A Eagle" (#2 for two weeks), and "Jet Airliner" (#8 for two weeks)...
    Mr. Miller will celebrate his 71st birthday this coming October 5th, 2014.
  • Mark from Rogers, , ArThere is nothing mentioned that Billy Joe killed the man, he just shot him. When the lyrics say castle, that pictures the man as being rich & I don't have much compassion for them. The 70s still had a number of low budget movies made, this would have been a good one, similar like the Steve McQueen flick "The Getaway" from 1972.
  • Curtis from Lubbock, TxThis song was released when I was a junior in high school (Alamogordo, NM). We always thought it was about a couple of kids from our hometown, because they had "...nothing better to do," so they "Headed down to Old El Paso" (80 miles south of Alamogordo). Other than the robbery and murder part, sounds pretty much like what we did.
  • Mike from Albany, NyHow in any way is this glorifying robbery and murder? Like the very first line suggests, it's a story. Just because it doesn't end with them being caught, it doesn't mean he condones it. Get a clue, don't diss a great song because you can't comprehend its intentions.
  • Dave from Houston, TxBuzz, the song has nothing to do with police brutality. Rather it makes role models of sociopaths who would rather steal and kill than be productive members of society. Apparently you are on board with that yourself, and so heap scorn on anyone who believes in accountability for one's actions. Perhaps one day you will be the victim of violent crime; then you'll no doubt be screaming for the apprehension of the culprits. It's not myself I dislike, it's people who have no sense of right and wrong. (Like Steve Miller, judging from the lyrics of this song.)
  • Valentin from Beijing, Chinatrue Skynyrd song
  • Tj from Boston, Ma"Billy Joel caught up with her the very next day" .. and yes.. I know what exactly what the "fax" is...
  • Buzz from Peru, Ili love how some people in this thread think they are better than a multi-millionair, multi platnum, world reknown, cassic ARTIST, who was against people who (tod, las vegas, NV) use fancy words to euthanize other people, or use nunchucks (Dave, Houston, TX)to twist your arm untill it shatters (police of 1989 L.A.) Steve Miller has earned more credit than any of you, Try not look down your nose at other people because you don't like yourself.
  • Tod from Las Vegas, NvMaybe it's just me, but I cannot stand the line "Bobbie Sue took the money and run." This is an amazingly retarded mixing of tenses that wrecks an otherwise catchy song. I mean really Steve, couldn't you have chosen a line that doesn't make my mind explode with grammatical bile?
  • Drew from B'ham, AlOn the Suite Life of Zack and Cody the Hispanic Estebán pronounces Texas and taxes the same way. Doug from Minneapolis, have u seen that Suite Life episode?
    Anyone could put the lyrics of "The House of the Rising Sun" to the tablature of "Piano Man" (& vice-versa). Coincidence is not rare.
    Dave from Houston, I'm not sure Miller is, well, praising the Bonnie & Clyde lifestyle. After all, the 2nd line is "2 young lovers w/ nothing better to do". To me that sounds like at least a little contempt.
    The difference between the duos is that Bill Joe & Bobbie Sue were still running last time Miller checked, & years earlier Bonnie & Clyde were fatally ambushed by the law.
  • Ryan from Boston, Maits funny, someone said the lyrics dont have to be shakespearian. not that the two are even close but, miller did exactly what shakespeare did all the time in his rhyming. its called poetic license. its close so you give them the benefit of the doubt. it works.
  • Jennifer Harris from Grand Blanc, MiI love this song.I like the ooh ooh ooh part. It's also a Woody Allen movie.
  • Bobbilyn from Jacksonville, FlIts catchy, I love it. It was recorded before I was born, but who cares. I mess with my mother-in-law telling her that I'm gonna name my children Billy Joe and Bobby Sue. No one ever gets it. I love this song, it's catchy who cares if its singing about a Bonnie and Clyde type couple, have you listened to music lately?
  • Eddie from Acton, MeStevie Guitar Miller...he Rocks 'n Rules!
  • Musicmama from New York, NcWell, I agree with Ramon about the lame rhymes. But when you're listening to a song like this, the lyrics don't have to be of Shakespearean (or even Slick Rick) quality. I think that they actually work well with the guitars and drums. Not a great song, but a good one.

    As far as its playability with "Sweet Home Alabama": If you listen to enough music, you hear a lot of the same chords and rhythms. After all, there are only so many musical notes and combinations thereof. By the same token, there are only a few basic subjects and storylines, and nearly all films, novels, paintings or other creative works use one or more of them.

    OK, I'll get off my soapbox now. Peace.
  • Dave from Houston, TxWhat does the fact that this was a hit song say about our society? It glorifies two murderous thieves and vilifies the lawman whose job it is to protect society from such scum. Why anyone would consider this a great song is beyond me. I am amazed that I am the first person to even point this out on this website.
  • Ramon from Long Beach, CaIn my opinion, it ain't good, it's okay. Maybe I'd enjoy this song more than I already do were it not for the lousy rhyming in the fourth stanza (does the chorus count as a stanza?). They commited a crime, they're on the run, we get it. The song would be better if they got rid of that part altogether (hey cool, I just rhymed). Shorter? Yes, but better.
  • Daniel from Springfield, MaThis song is BRILLIANT! The melody, vocals(especially the GREAT harmonies), and to some extent the lyrics. Stevie Miller is a genius!! "Sweet Home Alabama" my butt!!
  • Larry from Quakertown, PaI don't know what you guys are talking about. You can't sing Sweet Home Alabama with this song, sure, maybe the chorus...but that's it.
  • David from Guelph, Canada"Miller won a lawsuit in 1990 after The Geto Boys used "The Joker" without permission" May I ask what does that have to do with Take the Money and Run.
  • Ben from Nyc, Msdid miller play lead or rythum? really don t care that much, but would like to know
  • Jay from Atlanta, GaYou can also sing "Gimme Three Steps" to "Honkey Tonk Women". The guitar solos are even the same.
  • Patrick from Tallapoosa, GaThe characters in the song live a life almost identical to that of Bonnie and Clyde.
  • Rob from Vancouver, CanadaGreat drumming
  • Johnny from Los Angeles, CaGood luck with that, John. Not Steve Millers Best song, but it's good. Good job Steve Miller, you can win any lawsuit w/ the pompatus of love!
  • Megan from Ozark, AlOh my gosh! You really CAN sing "Sweet Home Alabama" to it!!
  • Jared from Westmont, Njdont get me wrong, rap is not my favorite or even something I isten to often at all but it isn't all bad, but I do agree with the sampling songs bit.
  • Tim from Washington, DcPlease don't include "rap" and "music" in the same sentence... unless the word "not" is in there as well.
  • Rick from Humboldt, IaOh i hate it soooo much when rappers sample songs. If rap is so good then why can't they make their own music. I hate rap so much!!
  • Barry from New York, NcThis song was performed at Steve Miller's open air gig at Giants Stadium in June 1978 (a double bill with the Beach Boys). Steve Miller Band was the first rock act to play Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. A few months later the Grateful Dead did a show there.
  • John from Calgary, CanadaYeah, first time I heard this, I thought... what the h*ll? It's Sweet Home Alabama! My band is trying to put together a medley of the two.
  • Doug from Minneapolis, MnGreat song with perhaps the most insipid lyrics ever. ("Texas" rhymed with "justice, ""facts is," and "Taxes"? - yecch!).
  • Sam from Cleveland, OhYou can sing Sweet Home Alabma to this song, its almost identical.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Janet Jackson

Janet JacksonFact or Fiction

Was Janet secretly married at 18? Did she gain 60 pounds for a movie role that went to Mariah Carey? See what you know about Ms. Jackson.

Harold Brown of War

Harold Brown of WarSongwriter Interviews

A founding member of the band War, Harold gives a first-person account of one of the most important periods in music history.

Thomas Dolby

Thomas DolbySongwriter Interviews

He wrote "She Blinded Me With Science" so he could direct a video about a home for deranged scientists.

Songs in Famous Movie Scenes: '80s Edition

Songs in Famous Movie Scenes: '80s EditionMusic Quiz

You know the scenes - Tom Cruise in his own pants-off dance off, Molly Ringwald celebrating her birthday - but do you remember what song is playing?

Part of Their World: The Stories and Songs of 13 Disney Princesses

Part of Their World: The Stories and Songs of 13 Disney PrincessesSong Writing

From "Some Day My Prince Will Come" to "Let It Go" - how Disney princess songs (and the women who sing them) have evolved.


AC/DCFact or Fiction

Does Angus really drink himself silly? Did their name come from a sewing machine? See if you can spot the real stories about AC/DC.