Running away is probably one of the most common themes in music.
Whether it’s running away from home or escaping with someone, the idea of running away seems to inspire artists of all genres and ages.
It’s an interesting emotion, that longing for escape, and it can also be seen as something universal since everybody gets this feeling from time to time, for whatever reason.
Sometimes it just comes without a reason – after all, the notion of simply getting away does imply a sense of freedom.
And feeling free is something that a lot of musicians tend to express in their music.
Nevertheless, there are some great songs about running away, and we’ve made a list of the best ones!
We’ll show you some good relatable music including runaway anthems as well as less familiar musical gems.
Table of Contents
- 21 Songs About Running Away
- 1. Bronski Beat – “Smalltown Boy”
- 2. Craig David – “Walking Away”
- 3. Bruce Springsteen – “Born to Run”
- 4. AURORA – “Runaway”
- 5. Bon Jovi – “Runaway”
- 6. Troye Sivan – “Youth”
- 7. Lenny Kravitz – “Fly Away”
- 8. Gwen Stefani – “Sweet Escape”
- 9. Avril Lavigne – “Runaway”
- 10. Broods – “Free”
- 11. Lord Huron – “Time to Run”
- 12. Linkin Park – “Runaway”
- 13. Red Hot Chili Peppers – “The Getaway”
- 14. Rihanna – “Desperado”
- 15. Radiohead – “How To Disappear Completely”
- 16. Ed Sheeran – “Runaway”
- 17. The Killers – “Runaways”
- 18. Gnarls Barkley – “Run”
- 19. Abi Ocia – “Running”
- 20. Taylor Swift – “Shake it Off”
- 21. Naughty Boy ft. Beyoncé, Arrow Benjamin – “Runnin’ (Lose It All)”
- Songs About Running Away – Final Thoughts
21 Songs About Running Away
1. Bronski Beat – “Smalltown Boy”
This well-known tune is a debut single by British synthpop band Bronski Beat, released in 1984.
Smalltown Boy reached number three in the UK charts and after all these years, it’s still one of the all-time bests in the clubs.
Besides the lyrics that clearly tackle running away and young people leaving their home, the song has an atmosphere that perfectly fit them.
“Mother will never understand why you had to leave
But the answers you seek will never be found at home
The love that you need will never be found at home.”
2. Craig David – “Walking Away”
“I’m walking away (I’m walking away) from the troubles in my life
I’m walking away, (uh yeah) to find a better day.“
These lyrics surely sound familiar to you – they’re the beginning of Craig David’s song “Walking Away”.
This R&B hit released in 2000 is one of the most popular songs about running away from problems.
3. Bruce Springsteen – “Born to Run”
This is one of the running away songs that will instantly make you feel like hitting the road.
This 1975 classic by Bruce Springsteen captures the spirit of the youth and that burning desire to be on the road, in many different ways.
Springsteen’s album “Born to Run” generally has some political connotations, so his song Born to Run can also be understood as a need to escape the unequal American society.
Nonetheless, “Born to Run” is certainly one of the timeless songs about running away.
“The highways jammed with broken heroes
On a last chance power drive
Everybody’s out on the run tonight
But there’s no place left to hide.“
4. AURORA – “Runaway”
“And I was runnin’ far away
Would I run off the world someday?
Nobody knows, and
I was dancing in the rain
I felt alive and I can’t complain.“
This beautiful dreamy tune by Norwegian singer Aurora is a song about running away, but it also expresses the wish to come back home and feel safe and calm.
Runaway is a lead single from Aurora’s EP “Running Away With Wolves.”
5. Bon Jovi – “Runaway”
Released in 1984 on their debut album “Bon Jovi”, “Runaway” is Bon Jovi’s very first hit. It reached the top forty on the Billboard Hot 100.
This popular and lively tune is essentially one of the songs about running away from home.
Runaway tells the story of a girl who runs away from home due to her problems with her parents.
“All your life all you asked
When is your Daddy gonna talk to you
But we’re living in another world
Tryin’ to get your message through.“
6. Troye Sivan – “Youth”
“What if we run away?
What if we left today?
What if we said goodbye to safe and sound?”
This is what Troye Sivan wonders in his song about running away.
Young Australian singers’ music is generally known to convey dreamy, youthful feelings relatable to his generation.
And with “Youth”, he talks about the wish to leave the ordinary and escape to another world, a paradise. It’s a common notion in many songs, and it’s always interesting to see how each artist portrays it.
7. Lenny Kravitz – “Fly Away”
This one is for the slightly older kids – “Fly Away” is one of Lenny Kravitz’s biggest hits. It was released in 1998 and it can still be frequently heard on the radio.
“Fly Away” is about escaping one’s reality and wanting to be in a different world.
It’s an energetic and catchy rock song that definitely passed the test of time.
“I wish that I could fly
Into the sky
So very high
Just like a dragonfly
I’d fly above the trees
Over the seas
In all degrees
To anywhere I please.”
8. Gwen Stefani – “Sweet Escape”
Gwen Stefani’s signature pop sound and music video about escaping the prison is what made this song iconic.
Although “Sweet Escape” is about wanting to get together with her lover after a fight, the song manages to capture the general feeling of wanting to get away.
And for the 90s kids, this song is probably a sweet reminder of some simpler times.
“If I could escape
And recreate a place as my own world
And I could be your favorite girl
Forever, perfectly together
And tell me, boy, now wouldn’t that be sweet?”
9. Avril Lavigne – “Runaway”
Here comes another sweet throwback for the millennials: “Runaway” by Avril Lavigne.
Well, Avril’s music perfectly reflects the adolescent feeling of wanting to run away, for whatever reason.
Songs about running away are often associated with ‘teenage music’, but they actually portray a widely relatable emotion – everyone wants to escape somewhere once in a while.
“I just wanna scream and lose control
Throw my hands up and let it go
Forget about everything and run away.”
10. Broods – “Free”
Songs about running away are also often associated with being free.
Free by New Zealand music duo Broods is one of the songs about getting away from it all.
The song is lively and easy to listen to, but its lyrics and music video show its deeper meaning.
“I’m desperate to run, I’m desperate to leave
If I lose it all, at least I’ll be free.“
11. Lord Huron – “Time to Run”
“Time To Run” by the American indie band Lord Huron is your next favorite road trip song.
The song tells the story about the need to run away after doing something wrong. It’s also about a man doing crazy things for the woman he loves.
“It’s time to run, well, I hope you understand what I’ve done
Run away for you, I’m gonna count the days ’til you make it through.“
12. Linkin Park – “Runaway”
If you’re a fan of Linkin Park, you’ll like this choice.
“Runaway” is a song from Linkin Park’s debut album Hybrid Theory, released in 2000.
The song conveys strong energy and personal feelings. There are many speculations about the true meaning of the song, some being it’s about the singer’s troublesome moments when he was a child.
Regardless of what really inspired the song, Runaway conveys the band’s signature sound and sharp lyrics.
“I wanna run away
Never say goodbye
I wanna know the truth
Instead of wondering why
I wanna know the answers
No more lies
I wanna shut the door
And open up my mind.“
13. Red Hot Chili Peppers – “The Getaway”
Although it’s not one of the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ popular hits, “The Getaway” is a very catchy and captivating song.
The song is actually about the end of a relationship, but it also conveys the thought of getting away.
It’s not one of the typical songs about running away together, but it explores the notion in a very gentle, subtle way, yet in the recognizable RHCP style.
“Another lonely superstar
To get away inside your car
Take it much too far
Surrender to the brave inside
The lover that another tried
Take it, too my ride.“
14. Rihanna – “Desperado”
“We could be, runaways
Running from any sight of love
Yeah, yeah, there ain’t nothing
There ain’t nothing here for me
There ain’t nothing here for me anymore
But I don’t wanna be alone.“
This song about running away together is a part of Rihanna’s 2015 album “Anti”.
It’s a powerful track about a person on a run, the singer’s wish to go away together, and the intricacies of love.
15. Radiohead – “How To Disappear Completely”
All Radiohead songs have perplexed (and often abstract) lyrics and versatile meanings, and How To Disappear Completely is no different.
It’s a beautiful, sad, and memorable track from their fourth studio album “Kid A”.
“How To Disappear Completely” is about wanting to escape the moment, and perhaps your own self – essentially, it’s a very delicate notion of feeling stuck and distant.
16. Ed Sheeran – “Runaway”
Ed Sheeran is known for writing the most romantic songs, so it’s no wonder that he wrote a song about running away together.
However, “Runaway” also has a tough background – it’s about complex family situations and wanting to get away from a father who has a drinking problem.
And characteristic of Ed Sheeran’s music, the “Runaway” lyrics are very honest, emotional, and direct.
“I love him from my skin to my bones
But I don’t wanna live in his home
There’s nothing to say ’cause he knows
I’ll just run away and be on my own.”
17. The Killers – “Runaways”
“We’re all just runaways” is the verse that defines this upbeat, rock runaway song.
“Runaways” by The Killers was released in 2012 on the band’s album “Battle Born”.
The song has a rather typical sound of The Killers early music, which the singer Brandon Flowers also confirmed in one of his statements saying: “I knew it was a powerful song. But when it came time to make the album, there was an understanding the four of us had that we were gonna do what we’re good at.”
18. Gnarls Barkley – “Run”
This is perhaps a hidden gem among run-away songs.
The American duo composed of CeeLo Green and Danger Mouse released this catchy, fast-paced track in 2008.
The music video for the Run got the best choreography MTV award in the same year.
“Yeah I’m on the run
See where I’m coming from
When you see me coming run
Before you see
What I’m running from
No time for question
Asking time is passing by.“
19. Abi Ocia – “Running”
The repetitive and haunting ‘running’ throughout this song made us put it on the list.
It’s a beautiful tune by the talented artist Abi Ocia, released in 2016.
The song reflects the feeling of escape both with lyrics and its distinctive music video.
20. Taylor Swift – “Shake it Off”
“But I keep cruising
Can’t stop, won’t stop grooving
It’s like I got this music in my mind
Saying it’s gonna be alright.”
This familiar, catchy tune by Taylor Swift has a clear (and important) message about getting away from all the unnecessary problems and other people’s opinions.
The wish to run away from your life or the situation you’re in is often triggered by everything that worries you, and Taylor Swift wrote the hopeful tune that simply says to shake it off!
21. Naughty Boy ft. Beyoncé, Arrow Benjamin – “Runnin’ (Lose It All)”
On the list of running away songs, this one has a slightly different meaning.
The song’s beat, Beyonce’s mesmerizing vocals, and honest lyrics make this song really powerful.
It’s ultimately a song about stopping to run away.
Everyone has a wish to run away from time to time, but it’s important to face what you want to run away from. It’s the only way to really feel at peace.
“Runnin’, runnin’, runnin’
Ain’t runnin’ from myself no more
I’m ready to face it all
If I lose myself, I lose it all.”
Songs About Running Away – Final Thoughts
Running away is one of the most recurring themes in music, apart from songs about missing someone or love in general.
Songs about running away differ in mood, genre, and the meaning this idea holds for each artist.
There are many songs about running away with someone you love, and some songs cover the topic in a broader sense or express the universal notion of escape.
Through searching for run away songs, we realized that this kind of music can be really emotional but also very liberating.
We hope this article reminded you of some all-time hits as well as showed you new songs you like!
In the end, isn’t music one of the best ways to escape?