"She Runs Away" as written by and Duncan Sheik....
You may not see the end of it
But luckily she comes around
It isn't what she talks about
It's just the way she is

[Chorus]
(and she says)
Oh darlin' don't you know
The darkness comes and the darkness goes
Oh babe why don't you let it go?
Happiness ain't never how you think it should be so

I mystified the simple life
I covered up with consciousness
I saw myself and broke it down
'Til nothing more was left
She saw the symptoms right away
And spoke to me in poetry
"Sometimes the more you wonder why
The worse it seems to get"

[Chorus]

But she runs away
She runs away

And then you know there comes a time
You need her more than anything
You may believe yours are the wounds
That only she can heal
Then everything will turn around
And she becomes so serious
What she chose to offer you
Was all that you could have

[Chorus]

But she runs away
She runs away [Repeat: x3]


Lyrics submitted by novanadrian

"She Runs Away" as written by Duncan Sheik

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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She Runs Away song meanings
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17 Comments

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  • +1
    General Commentyea duncan is up there with del amitri, dave barnes, and maybe toad the wet sprocket as some of the most underappreciated artists in our time.
    Hatendencyon August 11, 2006   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationIt's funny, but I always got a completely different impression of this song's meaning than the ones that have been posted. It may be just a result of my personal experience. Here's what this song means when I sing it (I hope to perform it, soon)...

    The song, to me, is about someone who is depressed. The girl in the song sees that he is crumbling, and she saves him and helps him get back on the path to happiness. Then she leaves him (or dies). He needs her again, but she won't come back. He only has what she already gave him, and he has to save himself with his memories of her.

    "I may not see the end of it, but luckily she comes around." This means, "I might have killed myself, but then she came into my life."

    "The darkness comes, and the darkness goes." "There will be bad times in your life, but they won't last forever, and you'll be happy." When you're depressed, it can feel like you'll never get better, let alone have a meaningful existence. It's not true, though; it gets better.

    "Happiness ain't never how you think it should be so." "You won't find happiness by deliberately pursuing means to happiness. You're happy when you don't have to worry about it." It's hard to articulate that thought completely, but maybe you know what I mean.

    "I mystified the simple life." He didn't "let it go;" he got to where he couldn't understand how people lived happy lives; he felt that there was something wrong with him, that he wasn't happy or outgoing or popular.

    "I covered up with conciousness" could mean a few things. It could be that he "conscientiously hid his unhappiness," or that he smothered himself with his own consciousness (by worrying about everything).

    "I saw myself and broke it down, 'till nothing more was left." This is an extension of the previous line. It could also hint at self-destructive behavior, though. I certainly try to imply that when I sing this song.

    "She saw the symptoms right away." She saw what was happening to him. She might literally have seen signs like cuts on his arms or constant, self-deprecating remarks. She might also have just been able to tell, by way of various hints. Maybe she'd been through something similar.

    "and spoke to me in poetry." She talked to him to help him. She might have been almost literally talking in poetry, if she was pointing out good things about the world, for instance. It might just have sounded like poetry to him, though, in that in lifted up his heart and such.

    "Sometimes the more you wonder why, the worse it seems to get." This could refer to his "Mystifying the simple life," as he put it. It could also refer to the depression. The more you dwell on it, the more horrible it seems.

    "She runs away." After helping him, she leaves. Maybe she dies. Maybe she feels she can't do any more for him, and decides to find someone who can help her. Maybe she realizes she's a lesbian. I think the song is strongest if she's died.

    First half of last verse. He has a relapse. He sinks back into his depression, and his savior is nowhere to be found. He feels that only she can save him again.

    "Then everything is turned around, and she becomes so serious." I have no clue. I'll think about this more when I'm less tired. Maybe he's having a religious sort of a moment and talking with her ghost. Maybe he's just metaphorically talking with her ghost, actually. I like that better (I'm not the religious sort of atheist).

    "What she chose to offer you / was all that you can have." She can't help him anymore, but he still has what he learned from her the first time. Maybe he can't let her work have been in vain.

    Maybe he really is just giving up at the end of this song, though. "She can't help me, so I guess that's it for me." I think I like that best, in terms of being "actible," as my acting teacher puts it. It also makes the final "She runs away"s make more sense.

    Before I get sympathy emails, I should clarify that while I did say that this interpretation was based on my experiences, the narrator of the song does not represent me. I'm singing for somebody else.

    I'm off to bed, now. I'm glad to have shared my take on this song. Writing this down has really helped me solidify my ideas of how to act this song. Now I just need to, you know, learn to play it well and all of that trivial stuff.

    Thanks for reading this. :)
    dinkmeekeron July 10, 2012   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationAll of the interpretations given so far are very literal. We must remember that songs are poems set to music. I believe the lyric is much more symbolic. The singer is a man struggling with sadness & depression and the woman in the song (represented by the feminine pronoun) is a metaphor for Happiness. Try substituting "happiness" everywhere you see "she" or "her" in the song. He believes his are the wounds only Happiness can heal, but when her reaches out for "her" (Happiness), she runs away. Surprisingly, the substitution works. This makes it a much deeper & more universal song than a song about 2 lovers. Its about happiness being fleeting & "running away."
    brokenwing2005on December 20, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI don't believe this is not about a girl or a love affair. This is about the pursuit of happiness and depression. When you pursue something that you believe will bring you happiness and you don't achieve it, she runs away. Where does that leave you? Rationalizing? Abandoning the simple life? Its just my read on these lyrics.
    baddabingfirston December 21, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt is so scary how true this song is. The girl is just becoming more and more unattached in the relationship. The 2nd verse is the most touching. He is trying to figure out why is in the relationship and anaylzing everything and when the girl realizes she might lose him, she "speaks to him in poetry" and everything is okay again. "Sometimes the more you wonder why, the worse it seems to get" is the truest line from the whole song. The whole "ignorance is bliss" belief is so prevalent in relationships. The more you start realizing the problems and the other person in a relationship, the more fights and disagreements come up. "You may believe yours are the wounds that only she can heal"...he seriously thinks that she is the only one that can bring him comfort and to take away all the problems. And in the end, the comfort that he gets is the only one that he will get. She is incapable of caring about him the way that he cares about her.
    Chloe11on February 22, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBeautiful song, incredible melody. I love it.
    skizdion March 23, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAnyone else think Duncan has to be THE most underappreciated artist ever?
    AngelofBradley1on June 01, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti dont know anything about this song, but someone that I like, love this song. So, i just listen to it everyday.. hehehe *hope he doesnt read it~!*
    shin_kuraon November 07, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentA song for those that both know that it's over but can't quite cut the chord.
    gilbagon February 17, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree with Chloe11. The second verse is the most powerful one in the song.

    I mystified the simple life
    I covered up with consciousness
    I saw myself and broke it down
    'Til nothing more was left


    I identify with these lyrics in a way I can't put into words. analysing can be a good thing and a bad thing.

    this is a very beautiful song, but I think my favourite version is the one that was released on the radio aka the version of the song that goes with the video. The tempo is still mellow, but it's somewhat faster, and there is more percussion.
    beatrizon March 28, 2006   Link

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