"Run-Around" as written by and John C. Popper....
Oh
Once upon a midnight dreary
I woke with something in my head
I couldn't escape the memory
Of a phone call and of what you said

Like a game show contestant with a parting gift
I could not believe my eyes
When I saw through the voice of a trusted friend
Who needs to humor me and tell me lies
Yeah, humor me and tell me lies

And I'll lie too and say I don't mind
And as we seek so shall we find
And when you're feeling open I'll still be here
But not without a certain degree of fear
Of what will be with you and me
I still can see things hopefully

But you
Why you wanna give me a run-around
Is it a sure-fire way to speed things up
When all it does is slow me down

And shake me and my confidence
About a great many things
But I've been there I can see it cower
Like a nervous magician waiting in the wings

Of a bad play where the heroes are right
And nobody thinks or expects too much
And Hollywood's calling for the movie rights
Singing hey babe let's keep in touch
Hey baby let's keep in touch

But I want more than a touch I want you to reach me
And show me all the things no one else can see
So what you feel becomes mine as well
And soon if we're lucky we'd be unable to tell
What's yours and mine, the fishing's fine
And it doesn't have to rhyme, so don't you feed me a line

But you
Why you wanna give me a run-around
Is it a sure-fire way to speed things up
When all it does is slow me down

Tra la la la la bombardier this is the pilot speaking
And I've got some news for you
It seems my ship still stands no matter what you drop
And there ain't a whole lot that you can do

Oh sure the banner may be torn and the wind's gotten colder
Perhaps I've grown a little cynical
But I know no matter what the waitress brings
I shall drink it and always be full
Yeah, I will drink it and always be full

Oh I like coffee, and I like tea
I'd like to be able to enter a final plea
I still got this dream that you just can't shake
I love you to the point you can no longer take

Well all right okay
So be that way, I hope and pray
That there's something left to say

For you, now
Why you wanna give me a run-around
Is it a sure-fire way to speed things up
When all it does is slow me down

Oh, yeah, now
Why you wanna give me a run-around
Is it a sure-fire way to speed things up
When all it does is slow me down


Lyrics submitted by bonj, edited by MrTechnicolor

"Runaround" as written by John C. Popper

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Run-Around song meanings
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34 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentThat's a bit of a far cry to say he thinks he can read her mind.

    "What you feel becomes mine as well" is more just a way of saying that he wants them to feel the same way about the relationship and life in general.
    Slightly_Shinobion March 24, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti love this song! kinda hard to sing along with if you don't know the words, but it's cool that its upbeat... good times!
    halfaliveon June 12, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti agree!!!!!!!!!!!!! Excellente cancion.
    woodcock92627on April 30, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's actually once upon a midnight dreary. As in, the first line from Edgar Allen Poe's poem, The Raven.
    echogordonon November 13, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYes, but in the song he says "dearie", not "dreary".
    lobanegraon December 29, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI really like how Popper refers to Fate as a waitress:

    I know no matter what the waitress brings
    I shall drink in and always be full
    My cup shall always be full

    He'll accept his fate and not complain but...

    There is so much good stuff here, similies extended metaphor, John Popper is a poet pure and simple, and the video is a work of subtle art as well.
    Rockhound_17on January 06, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentPS: Actually, the first 4 lines of the song loosely reference Poe's "The Raven"

    Also, I like the flow of the song, how he knows he is losing (or lost his love) in the first stanza, in the middle, he explains what he wants from her, and after the continued run-around, he gives up and will move on if that is how it has to be, but he hopes there is more to say...
    Rockhound_17on January 06, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's so refreshing to see genuine literary criticism. Generally, all I seem to see is, "singer x is gay." "band x is gay." "You're stupid." I was wondering for awhile where those who actually discussed the content of a song went. Obviously the answer is, well, right here.

    As to the first few lines possibly being modelled after Poe's "The Raven", I honestly don't see it. As most good poets do, Popper seems to have simply borrowed and slightly modified a line. According to my reading of "The Raven", my argument for which I will not give in its entirety, the narrator was prone to fits of rage and actually killed Lenore. One strong piece of evidence for that reading is the frightened by the knock at the door, and it took awhile to build up the courage to answer it. When he finally did, what did he say? He whispered actually, "Lenore?" In black and white, we only know that Lenore is "lost", and it is not certain that she is dead, but from Poe's own essay about the poem, the name of which escapes me at the moment, he says, "there is nothing more beautiful than the death of a beautiful woman." Taking into account that Poe was one of the forefathers of detective fiction, and wrote about murder quite frequently in his prose, with further analysis it can be, but need not be concluded that "The Raven" is a poem about murder. Of course, Popper may have had a different interpretation of the poem, and may have concluded only that she died. If Popper read Poe's essay, then he may have been using "the death of a beautiful woman" in a more metaphoric sence, equating it only to the death of a beautiful relationship. In any case, this poem does not conjure up the idea of murder for me, but certainly like Poe's poem, it is well constructed and genuinely fascinating.

    Regarding the rest of the song, I pretty much agree with your interpretation.
    six_strung_outon March 12, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwait wait you guys are saying this is an upbeat song? I may be wrong but it sounds like he's talking about some girl that is cheating on him, and at first he is upset and then he decides he loves her anyway. Towards the end it sounds like he's accepted her ways and just plans on dealing with her shit. How is that upbeat and positive?
    alwaysanoleon June 26, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt’s still upbeat because it’s like a “I don’t care what happens, life can hurl anything at us, and we’ll stay together through it” even if life throws in the girlfriend cheating on him, he can still love her and move through it.

    The first verse is some trouble he's having with his girlfriend. She calls him up and basically confesses to him int he middle of the night that she's been cheating on him, and he finally sees through her lies. He lies and says he's okay with it, but it does hit him pretty hard, but he claims he's okay with it because he doesn't want to ruin their relationship.
    "And when you're feeling open I'll still be here
    But not without a certain degree of fear
    Of what will be with you and me
    I still can see things hopefully"
    He's basically saying he still thinks they can be together, and confide in eachother. He can see things hopefully still, despite this blow to their relationship.

    The second verse is kind of a "All the world's a stage, and we're the actors" thing. He's talking about how things will come by, and shake things up. And while it will make you nervous about life, without these life twists and turns, life, like a movie, wouldn't be interesting. If life were a movie, would you watch it if you didn't see any twists or shocking moments? And Hollywood is like the general public, who wants their life to stay uneventful and comfortable. But he wants something more than that, he wants to feel those drastic moments of life.

    The third verse is saying, No matter what obstacle in life is thrown in his way, he can still go on. There’s nothing that can bring him down, almost like a challenge to say “Bring it on!”. In the transition of the third verse it’s saying that though he may show signs of the wear and tear of life, his perspective being changed, his attitude changing, maybe becoming a little colder, more distant, more cynical, but no matter what fate brings, he will welcome it with open arms and embrace it. Thank you Rockhound for pointing out his metaphor for fate in the waitress.

    In the last verse he’s saying that he’ll take on whatever life throws at him and make the best of it, and he will dream of having his happy life, and there’s nothing that can shake that dream, and he just hopes they can stay together through it all.

    The Chorus is kind of like him saying that she’s giving him the runaround by cheating on him, and while it seems to make things all crazy and speedy, they can still take it slow and love each other.
    Slightly_Shinobion October 01, 2005   Link

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