"Runnin' Down A Dream" as written by Michael W. Campbell, Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne....
It was a beautiful day, the sun beat down
I had the radio on, I was drivin'
Trees flew by, me and Del were singin' little Runaway
I was flyin'

Yeah runnin' down a dream
That never would come to me
Workin' on a mystery, goin' wherever it leads
Runnin' down a dream

I felt so good like anything was possible
I hit cruise control and rubbed my eyes
The last three days the rain was unstoppable
It was always cold, no sunshine

Yeah runnin' down a dream
That never would come to me
Workin' on a mystery, goin' wherever it leads
Runnin' down a dream

I rolled on as the sky grew dark
I put the pedal down to make some time
There's something good waitin' down this road
I'm pickin' up whatever's mine

Yeah runnin' down a dream
That never would come to me
Workin' on a mystery, goin' wherever it leads
Runnin' down a dream


Lyrics submitted by oofus

"Runnin' Down a Dream" as written by Jeff Lynne, Tom Petty, Michael Campbell

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Runnin' Down A Dream song meanings
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21 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentHow dare you call TOM PETTY a fool!! He is one of the greatest rock legends in the entire course of history. And what is wrong with being on drugs? They're fun and help to create the best lyrics.
    Fanko311on March 05, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General CommentYou people are pitiful You must not have any spititual substance in you. The drugs have kept you off course.

    The "Mystery of Life" or the "Special Connection" he feels but can't quite figure out. "come to me"

    Life is that roadtrip....

    ANd he knows there is comething good "down the line" especially for him. He has faith in the process.

    ANd they were singing Runaway... probably from all the BS in the world.....
    Soloon November 01, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt's about the different stages of a journey through life in the context of a road trip. The first verse is happy, it's nice outside and they are singing along to the radio. The second verse is a little darker. It is raining, and he has to rub his eyes to keep his concentration. In the third verse, he puts the pedal down to speed up and can see the goal ahead. The entire song he is pushing toward the dream or destination of a road trip.
    EATaPEACHon December 13, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentTom made the reference to Del Shannon just as a quick one-off name check for his friend, who was a kind of old-time 50s crooner type who had written the #1 hit "Little Runaway" back in 1961 and was hanging around the studio a lot when Tom was recording Full Moon Fever in 1988. They got along really good, I think Tom admired him since he was much older than him and was kind of a fish out of water in the new music world.

    The imagery makes this song really tremendously sad since Del killed himself just two years after this song was released.
    arshin1000on February 13, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYea but the song still rocks
    mixmastrmatton August 26, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis is just a great song for gettin in a car and drivin wherever the road takes u...just roll down the windows, crank some music, and get completely lost. great guitar solo by campbell at the end.
    shed27on June 24, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOf course he was on drugs when he made this song, it's Tom Petty!

    A catchy song that just never gets old. A classic by every sense of the word.
    phantompenguinon October 31, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe part "me and Del were singin' little Runaway" is a reference to Del Shannon. Tom Petty and him were friends before Del died.
    Reginaon June 12, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentLove this song. Nuff said
    Given To Flyon December 09, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIm def. with EATaPEACH on the reference to the life journey, but along with many other petty songs, i think there are also some references to grass. I think this song follows the process of smokin verse by verse. In the first verse, the sun beating down could be a reference to pot, like sunshine. and he also says i was flying, or high. Second verse, he talks about some side effects like rubbing his eyes, and he says its always cold, like when your body temp. decreases when smoking pot. Im really not sure about this, but sometimes pot can be reffered to as a rainy day woman, which may tie into him saying the rain was unstoppable. In the third verse he says the sky grew dark which =no sunshine, so the pots wore off some. And maybe the last couple of lines could be him going to get his fix
    stevezissouon December 22, 2005   Link

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