The farther I go
The less I know
One foot goes in front of the other
It all boils around to not hanging around

To keep moving in front of the gravity
The answer is there the answer
Is there but there is not a fixed
Position it keeps moving along so

I keep coming along and that's why
I'm a long distance runner and if
I stop to catch my breath I might
Catch a piece of death I can't

Keep your pace if I want to finish
This race my fight's not with it it's
With the gravity long distance runner

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Long Distance Runner song meanings
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  • +1
    General Comment

    Being a distance runner, I can relate to the analogy. Sprinting will do you no good if you've got a long way to run. If you ever watch a marathon race, you'll see quite often someone way out in front early on, but they often end up getting passed. The winner is often the one who runs a steady pace. In this song though, he doesn't seem to be concerned with winning the race. He just wants to run his own pace (i.e. do his own thing) and not worry about the competition. Kind of reminds me a bit of Boston's "Peace of Mind" - "I understand about indecision, I don't care if I get behind, people living in competition, all I want is to have my peace of mind."

    Mad Slanted Powerson March 07, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    brilliant. I didn't like this song the first time I heard it, but after a few times, I can't help but love it.

    not_fully_convincedon June 13, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    i agree. first time i heard red medicine i didnt like it, but its such a great album after 4-5 listens. i love the part where it goes "the answer is there the answer is there". do u know what ian/guy is talking about here?

    sean7711on March 08, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    This is my absolute favorite Fugazi song. It's really bizzare, but I guess that's why I love it.

    The term long distance runner just refers to the human race, I'm guessing, and how fast pace life is. We're always running to or from something. I'm not sure what Ian meant specifically when he said "The answer is there but there's not a fixed position" but i'll assume "the answer" is just the solution to any of his (or our) problems, and it's not a fixed position because things rarely just fall into place. There's always some kind of distance to be run, so to speak. I hope I'm not too far off.

    plosionon April 19, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    kewl definition !

    SMUSER16997931on September 27, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Plosion - think you're spot on there mate. My favourite line 'if i stop to catch my breath, i might catch a piece of death'...unbelievable!

    rich79on December 19, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    My interpretation? The long-distance race is a metaphor for life, searching for an answer and being unable to keep up with your friends, family and lovers at times, and the fight against the desire, at times, to give up completely- that's the 'fight with gravity' that Ian speaks of.

    Omnicideon March 19, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I was always reminded of the Stephen King short story "the long walk" from The Bachman Books". You can read up on it here:

    afxwinteron August 11, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    this is about getting up and doing something. rather than just spending your life sitting watching t.v. or being stuck in a dead end job etc... like go out and start a band, write a book etc...

    -Through the whole experience he is still learning ("the farther i go the less i know"),

    -but he is still constantly excited by the challenges ahead ("the answer is there the answer is there but there is not a fixed position it keeps moving along").

    -Inactivity would be to wastes ones life ("if i stop to catch my breath i might catch a piece of death").

    -But he's not racing to win nor is he letting anyone else slow him down ("i can't keep your pace if i want to finish this race my fight's not with it it's with the gravity")

    Especially poignant considering McKaye is still keeping him self busy with bands, studio work and label admin even after Fugazi went into hibernation. Most people would probably just stop at that point.

    Oh and I really love the intro to this song!! :)

    thecriksteron April 22, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    The first time I heard this song when I heard the "If I stop to catch my breath, I might catch a piece of death" part the only thing I could thing of is Robert Frost when he said "I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep"

    kilewithanion October 26, 2009   Link

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