"The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner" as written by and Stephen Percy Harris....
Tough of the track,
With the wind,
And the rain that's beating down on your back.
Your heart's beating loud
And goes on getting louder
And goes on even more till the sound
Is ringing in your head,
With every step you tread,
And every breath you take,
Determination makes

You run,
Never stop,
Gotta win, gotta run till you drop,
Keep the pace,
Hold the race,
Your mind is getting clearer,
You're over halfway there but the miles
Just never seem to end
As if you're in a dream,
Not getting anywhere.
It seems so futile.

Run, on and on,
Run, on and on,
The loneliness of the long distance runner.

I've got to keep running the course,
I've got to keep running and win at all costs,
I've got to keep going, be strong,
Must be so determined and push myself on.

Run over stiles, across fields,
Turn to look at who's on your heels,
Way ahead of the field,
The line is getting nearer but do
You want the glory that goes,
You reach the final stretch,
Ideals are just a trace,
You feel like throwing the race,
It's all so futile.

Run, on and on,
Run, on and on,
The loneliness of the long distance runner.


Lyrics submitted by numb

"The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner" as written by Stephen Percy Harris

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner song meanings
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21 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentI think it compares the marathon with life.
    In life, we sometimes have to run on and on, not turn back and never stop, no matter how hard it seems. And if you want to reach a certain aim, you will have to be strong. That's what the song means to me.
    Metallianon October 07, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis song is written based on The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, by Alan Sillitoe:

    It's about a poor teenager (Colin) from Nottingham who doesn't have many plans for his life and doesn't really get into anything more than committing petty crimes. His home life is terrible and when he gets caught robbing a bakery, Colin is the equivalent of a juvenile delinquinet school or sorts.

    He finds solace in distance running, attracting the school's authorities but during an important cross-country meet that he is about to win, he stops shortof the finish line to defy his captors.

    There was a movie also made based on the book.
    RainbowDemonon November 28, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song was written after the book with the same name. I'm not sure who the author is, I never read this one.
    RainbowDemonon January 27, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentHas anyone posting here actually tried running seriously? maybe you should, then you'll understand the title! try getting up before work and going on a hard training session in the cold dark by yourself and having just enough enegy to get you through the day before you collapse without saying much to anyone! then you'll know the loneliness of the long distance runner! you're alone in your quest to be the best.... and it's flippin hard!
    GogetaSSJ4on May 18, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is based on the short story by Alan Sillitoe about a boy in a Britting borstal (detention center) who is training for a long distance run in his schools name. The last verse is about the end of the story where he doesn't want to win the race becuase it would mean glory for the people who are opressing him, and instead he makes a choice to throw the race in front of his headmasters and everyone.
    fogie16on May 25, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentGuys, SIT is a concept album, listen to every song very carefully and you'll begin to understand. SIT is one of the 3 concepts from Maiden's history.
    VuVangon October 27, 2015   Link
  • +1
    General CommentCan't believe "slipper"'s the only poster who thinks this song is about more than the surface meaning. Iron Maiden have a habit of stealing titles from movies/books and writing about horror/history/sci-fi/etc. BUT, that doesn't mean there's no deeper meaning to the songs (sometimes, maybe - I don't think "Phantom of the Opera" is anything more than a cool story). This song simply has a DOUBLE meaning. Yes, it's probably influenced by the story of the same name (book or movie), but it's also a metaphor for their enormously long tours. Remember, at this time Iron Maiden had just finished a massive year-and-a-half tour for Powerslave. Adrian Smith's talked about going to visit his parents and he knocked on the wrong door! Most of "Somewhere in Time" is about that - the feeling that much of the rest of their lives was abandoned for that time ("Wasted Years"), and tales of traveling the world despite weariness ("Alexander the Great"). But,as Iron Maiden's schtick is telling exciting tales of adventure and horror, they're not gonna sing about "bein' on the road again, touring". They're going to write a metaphorical song that's about "run, on and on" to also refer to "gig, on and on".
    Heavymetalharpon August 22, 2016   Link
  • +1
    General CommentOn the surface it's about, well, running. But it's also about making it through life.
    Operations666on January 21, 2017   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOne o fmy favorite Maiden tracks, but not the best on "Somewhere In Time", which has some really fackin' good songs on it. I love the guitar to this, and the lyrics are pretty cool since they're about facing hardship and such.
    Teufelon September 01, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI have done a marathon (and more) and it wasn't always nice and dandy. My luck: I had this fine tune to think about. "Will not run again". Next day ---> On the road.
    JASGripenon December 24, 2005   Link

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