My friend has problems with winter and autumn.
They give him prescriptions and shine bright lights on him.
They say it's genetic, they say he can't help it, they say you can catch it - but sometimes you're born with it.
My friend despite he gets shakes in the night and they say that there's no way that they could have caught it in time takes his toll on him.
It is traditional.
It is inherited.
Predispositional
Day I've been wondering what is inside of me, who can I blame for it?
I say it runs in the family

This family that carries me to such great lengths to open my legs up for anyone who'll have me. It runs in the family, I came by it honestly, do what you want who knows it might fill me up
Me up
Me up
Me up
Me up
Me up
Me up
Fill me up
Me up
Me up
Me up
Me up
Me up
Me up

My friend's depressed she's a wreck, she's a mess.
They've done all sorts of tests & they guess it has something to do with her grandmother's grandfather's grandmother saving war soldiers who probably infected her.
My friend has validation in some allergies that she dates back to the 17th century.
Somehow she manages in her misery.
Strips in the city and shows all her best tricks.
I mean well, I'm well well I mean I'm in hell well I still have my health at least that's what they tell me.
If wellness is this what in hells name is sickness?
But business is business and business runs in the family.

We tend to bruise easily.
Mad in the blood.
I'm telling you cause I just want you to know me - know me and my family.
We're wonderful folks, but don't get to close to me cause you might knock me up
Me up
Me up
Me up
Me up
Me up
Me up
Knock me up
Me up
Me up
Me up
Me up
Me up
Me up

Mary have mercy now look what I've done but don't blame 'cause I can't help where I come from.
Running is something that we've always done well and mostly I can't even tell what I'm running from.
Run from their pity, from responsibility.
Run from the country and run from the city.
I can run from the law, I can run from myself.
I can run from my life, I can run into debt.
I can run from it all, I can run til I'm gone.
I can run for the office and run for my cause.
I can run using every last ounce of energy.
I cannot, I cannot, I cannot run from my family.

They're hiding inside of me.
Don't change my life.
Help me if you might but don't tell my family.
They'd never forgive me.
They'd say that I'm crazy.
But they would say anything if it would shut me up
Shut me up
Shut me up

Me up
Me up
Me up
Me up
Me up
Shut me up

Me up
Me up
Me up
Me up
Me up
Me up
Me up


Lyrics submitted by addnamehere, edited by RebelAmongSaints, EachUisge

Runs in the Family Lyrics as written by Amanda Palmer

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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Runs in the Family song meanings
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58 Comments

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  • +6
    General Comment

    It is alway the one or the other? It can be both ridiculing the idea that everything can be blamed on genetics -or at least the people doing so- and the own struggle: what's wrong with me? Is everything to blame on me or is there a fault that can be fixed?

    This song speaks to me personally and I don't care whether one meaning or another is the correct one, in fact, I couldn't explain it in detail if I wanted, it's the emotion. It's every word and every bloody beat in this goddamned song that sometimes conveys so perfectly how I feel. The confusion, frustration, clear idiocy and anxiety of trying to be the person you want to be, function in a socially acceptable manner and trying to fix/find out what the fuck is wrong with you. Do I have ADD, am I autistic, what is the source of this depression, why am I dealing with this instead of just trying to live, this is all stupid I just fucked up now I deal with it, stop blaming it on anything else, how come nothing I do ever succeeds, should I take medication, I am not a slut but am I a slut because I slept with so many persons trying to find love and fill a void and why am I not happy?

    It's rather scary that nobody but yourself can be blamed. Wouldn't it be so much easier to just point at your family, yell "Genetics!" and walk away scot-free? That solves everything, right?

    Ratcaveron January 03, 2013   Link
  • +3
    General Comment

    my friend has problems with winter and autumn they give him prescriptions they shine bright lights on him they say its genetic they say he can't help it they say you can catch it but sometimes you're born with it

    my friend has blight he gets shakes in the night and they say that there's no way that they could have caught it in time takes its toll on him it traditional it is inherited predisposition

    all day i've been wondering what is inside of me who can i blame for it i say it runs in the family

    this family that carries me to such great lengths to open my legs up to anyone who'll have me it runs in the family i come by it honestly do what you want 'cos who knows it might fill me up

    my friend's depressed she's a wreck she's a mess they've done all sorts of tests and they guess it has something to do with her grandmother's grandfather's grandmother civil war soldiers who badly infected her

    my friend has maladies rickets and allergies that she dates back to the seventeenth century somehow she manages in her misery strips in the city and shares all her best tricks with

    me well im well well i mean im in hell well i still have my health at least thats what they tell me if wellness is this what in hells name is sickness but business is business and business runs in the family

    we tend to bruise easily bad in the blood im telling you 'cos i just want you to know me know me and my family we're wonderful folks but don't get too close to me 'cos you might knock me up

    mary have mercy now look what i've done but don't blame me because i can't tell where i come from and running is something that we've always done well and mostly i can't even tell what im running from

    i run from their pity from responsibility run from the country and run from the city i can run from the law i can run from myself i can run for my life i can run into debt

    i can run from it all i can run till im gone i can run for the office and run from the cause i can run using every last once of energy i can not i can not i can not run from

    my family they're hiding inside of me corpses on ice come in if you like but just don't tell my family they'd never forgive me they'll say that i'm crazy but they would say anything if it would shut me up

    iggy1110on August 09, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    to me, these lyrics come from the mouth of nearly every contemporary american (not all, i'm unfortunately generalizing here). but alot rely on "ways out" and "scapegoats." blame it on something you CAN'T control, right? i mean, heaven forbid you actually try to do something wholesome and gutwrenching about it. yeah, its hard. life in general. but what are you going to do about it?? "run from it" as amanda says in her lyrics, and blame it on something you can't control (genetics)? to get some pills? so that you can legitimize continuing? keep in mind amanda is a dark hippy.

    i also think that this song has reference to pharmaceutical companies and how they design a drug to "fix" anything and everything. just for the moolah. capitalism. . . such an evil evil thing. especially when population size has increased to allow such anonymity and indifference. hey, but we americans kepp on supporting it whole-heartedly.

    missraspon August 17, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    These lyrics are wrong.

    "time takes its toll on him" "all day I've been wondering" There's an "all" overlapping the end of "predispositional"

    "open my legs up to anyone who'll have me" "it runs in the family, I come by it honestly. Do what you want 'cause who knows it might fill me up."

    There are 14 "me up"s discluding the two "fill me up"so, and "knock me up"s, "shut me up"s.

    "guess it has something to do with her grandmother's grandfather's grandmother's civil war soldiers"

    "still have my health"

    "I'm telling you 'cause I just want you to know me" "don't get too close" "but don't blame me because I can't help where I come from"

    "help me if you might but just don't tell my family"

    And the last part is all shut me up not shoot me up.

    kaliykon August 02, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    it's 'my friend has maladies, rickets and allergies', not...whatever you put. and i think it's 'shares all her best tricks with me well i'm well etc' and health. not healthy

    ta very much

    rachied123on August 03, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    "well, I'm well well I mean I'm in hell well I still have my health at least that's what they tell me. If wellness is this what in hell's name is sickness? But business is business and business runs in the family."

    Her timing and writing skills in those lines are mindblowing.

    Themeaningon September 19, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    This song reminds me of so many friends of mine. People with certain predispositons who would probably be able to cope if only the fucking doctors would leave them alone and stop telling them a load of bullshit that makes their life seem like a hopeless mess. If you've been telling a girl since she was 15 that shes depressed is she really ever going to recover? For me this song is about people being failed by doctors and psychiatrists. Either by being diagnosed wrongly or being treated in a way that simpley doesnt help them at all. It makes me feel like either screaming or crying every time I hear it, but lor, I love this song.

    LuciferBoxon December 30, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Wow, calm down.

    addnamehereon July 27, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    omg ^_^ i thought these were good enough!! thankyou for posting :)

    hisxkissxkilledxmeon July 29, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Yeah, chill iggy1110 . These lyrics are fine for the moment. shesh.

    I reckon this song is about mental illness and how it runs in the family.

    "This family that carries me to such great lengths to open my legs up for anyone who'll have me. It runs in the family, I came by it honestly, do what you want who knows it might fill me up"

    I think that this paragraph might be referring to a person with borderline personality disorder. people usually develop it because the have a dysfunctional family. plus, promiscuity is a feature of the disorder as is a feeling of emptiness, thus the 'fill me up'

    phlogistonon July 31, 2008   Link

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