"Prodigal" as written by Andrew John Brown, Zach Filkins, Timothy John Myers, Ryan B Tedder and Jerrod Bettis....
We say good-bye
I turn my back
Run away, run away
So predictable
Not far from here
You see me crack
Like a bone, like a bone
I'm so breakable

And I take everything from you
But you'll take anything
Won't you?

Run away, run away
Like a prodigal
Don't you wait for me
Don't you wait for me
So ashamed, so ashamed
But I need you so
And you wait for me
And you wait for me

I'm on the road
To who knows where?
Look ahead, not behind
I keep saying
There's no place to go
Where you're not there
On your rope, I hold tight
But it's freeing

And I take everything from you
But you'll take anything
Won't you?

Run away, run away
Like a prodigal
Don't you wait for me
Don't you wait for me
So ashamed, so ashamed
But I need you so
And you wait for me
And you wait for me

Everybody wants to be right
But only if it's not day light?
I keep trying to find my way back
My way back

Run away, run away
Like a prodigal
Don't you wait for me
Don't you wait for me
So ashamed, so ashamed
But I need you so
And you wait for me
And you wait for me

Runaway
Runaway
Runaway
From you
From you
From you


Lyrics submitted by chef_brian

"Prodigal" as written by Tim Myers Ryan Tedder

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Downtown Music Publishing

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Prodigal song meanings
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15 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentFor white stone 3:

    I agree with all the others first off that this song is very much based off of a parable of Jesus called the Prodigal Son. By definition, prodigal means spending (parental) money wastefully, but returning home to a warm welcome. What happens in the story is this kid asks his dad for his inheritance, even though his dad is fully well so the kid is basically saying, “I wish you were dead.” Even though this unheard of saying is a disgrace, the father politely hands him the money and sends him off with warm wishers. The boy goes off into the country and the Bible states he spends his money wastefully, on gambling and prostitutes, assumedly. Later, though, he learns he is out of money, and the land he has run to is going through a famine so he goes to work on a farm feeding pigs. For a son of such a wealthy man, this job was certainly unsuitable. One day the son realizes, hey my dad has so much money, his servants are being better fed than I am. So the son returns home, even though he’s so ashamed. Upon his return his father runs out onto the road to greet him because he was out in the field searching for him, waiting for him to return home. The father throws a banquet for the son because he is so happy he has returned home. All of this is an analogy of God and his prodigal believers in the way that no matter how ashamed you are of your sins, God will take you back in any condition.

    “Like a bone, I’m so breakable…” The prodigal son admits that the life he wanted didn’t make him happy so he is, in a sense, broken.

    “I take everything from you, but you’ll take anything, won’t you?” The son takes the money, which I’m sure was a large sum, but the father takes this slap in the face… like a man haha.

    “Don’t you wait for me, so ashamed, so ashamed, but I need you so, and you wait for me…” The son obviously doesn’t plan on returning back home by taking off with all of his father’s money so his father waiting for him wasn’t expected. This is the same with people who turn their back on God, who think that God doesn’t love them, but he is always there waiting. The son was ashamed for all the wrongs he had committed against his father and was actually admitting that he needed him and he was so happy that he was there waiting.”

    “I’m on the road to who knows where, look ahead not behind, I keep saying. There’s no place to go where you’re not there. On your rope, I hold on tight, but it’s freeing.” The actual word in the official CD cover is “fraying.” In those days, there were no cars so I can imagine a long trip back home. Look ahead and not behind, in my opinion, means that he regrets too much and he really doesn’t want to keep meditating on what he’s done. There’s no place to go where you’re not there to me refers to Jonah and how he couldn’t run away from God because God is everywhere. On your rope I hold on tight but it’s fraying probably means that the prodigal son was trying to hold on to God but hardships and distractions make it harder to hold on, hence the rope fraying or breaking.

    “Everybody wants to be right, but only if it’s night or daylight, and I keep trying to find my way back…” are the actual lyrics here. I could be wrong here but this says to me that people only want to be right either or, like there’s always a right or wrong. And what I think he’s saying is that it doesn’t matter and all he really cares about is finding God again.

    So overall, this song has an obvious spiritual meaning, in how the writer must’ve turned away from God and then came back to repent. It really is a great story so read it if you get a chance.
    nikham3on January 12, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentDoes anyone agree that this sounds like a christian theme?

    "There’s no place to go
    Where you’re not there
    On your rope, I hold tight
    But it’s freeing"

    it sounds like he
    s talking about God to me.
    jhpiv4on November 24, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt is indeed. The song refers to Luke chapter 4, the "Prodigal's Son".
    reklesson December 02, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMy bad...I meant Luke ch. 15.
    reklesson December 02, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love this song so much...It's has such a great sound to it and really amazing lyrics. I think it's the story of the prodigal son applied to a love relationship, though I suppose it could just be intended as any kind of relationship. I listened to it as a love song personally, and I think that's a brilliant idea, to superimpose that story onto one about love. He leaves, takes everything, and she waits for him, she'll "take anything" from, because she loves him. And he eventually comes back, because he needs her. Really fantastic song.
    youreyeson December 10, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree with youreyes, but what does this mean?

    [Everybody wants to be right
    But only if it’s not day light]?
    TBFGhoston December 19, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI also agree with jhpiv4.....the simple meaning I also see it is about him being the prodigal son and turning his back on God, and does not get very far before he "breaks" but get God stays there and waits for him to return and is joyful on his return....
    TBFGhoston December 19, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOn TBFGhost's question, the real lyrics are "Everybody wants to be right, but only if it's night or daylight."

    Going with jhpiv4's interpretation - that it's a Christian theme - I think this probably is talking about how people want to be right, but they want everything to be cut and dry - and the song is talking about how a relationship with God isn't that easy. He wants to find a "way back" to God, since God is waiting for him - but he's finding out it's not as easy as a simple formula, just like relationships with people aren't. They take work.
    cjeads1988on January 02, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI am not familiar with the prodigals son, can somebody take the song and lay it out verse by verse? I can't make heads or tails of this song.

    I believe the word is Fraying not Freeing. I even checked it on their cd lyrics
    white_stone_3on January 03, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThanks, Nik, I was looking for that kind of explanation!
    Danitaon January 29, 2008   Link

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