Bon Jovi: Runaway Meaning
Song Released: 1983
Theyre made of lipstick, plastic and paint, a touch of sable in their eyes
All your life all youve asked whens your daddy gonna talk to you
You were living in another world tryin...
anonymous Sep 10th, 2012 9:16pm report
"On the street where you lived..." In the first two lines, "you" refers to both the girl and the father. The girl is emmersed in a culture that values beauty and social relationships above all else.The father is out of touch and has no clue what his daughter is going through. Since barely gives her any attention he he never notices her struggles with her identity and is never able to help her with her unrealistic expectations.
"All your life youve asked...." The girl's peers are artificial but she envys them because they seem to have it all ("sable"). Her father is too busy for her, and as a result, she is left in a world of her own, ("another world") that is distorted by the preassures of her peers and societys perception of wommen.
She had big dreams of finding love "..its only love she hoped to find." and in her mind, those grand dreams were intertwined with "the lights at night and the neon broadway signs". Because of her fathers inattention, her idyllic view of the city goes unchecked and her fantasys are ungrounded in reality.
She longed for her father to explain the world to her. ("whens daddy going to talk to you") From her limited perspective, she didn't understand how life really works, and as a result, when she runs away to the city hoping for adventure and romance she meets harsh reality and is forced to learn the hard way all the things her father could have warned her about if he had taken time for her ("All those things he couldn't say").
In the city, she falls victim to men who, night after night, pick her up and use her. ("a different line every night") She eventually ends up as a prostitute ("call me for a wild time" and "now she works the night away")
Her father meanwhile, had taken her for granted, and realizes his mistakes only after it is far too late. Now that she is gone, he is haunted by the pictures of her he has on his walls, as he realizes that she is gone for good and he will never see her again. ("theres nothing left that you can do, Theres only pictures hung in the shadows left there to look at you.") In this case "you" refers to the father.
Finally thinking about his daughter, he remembers that she likes the lights of the city, and tries to take comfort in the hope that she is happy there. ("you know she likes the lights at night...") Ironically, however, it isn't the lights that mattered to her, but rather her unguided hopes and dreams that lead to her misforturnes. Now, cruel reality has forced her to give up everything she had ever wanted.
anonymous Nov 17th, 2017 11:28am report
I think "a touch of sable in their eyes" means eyeliner or some kind of cosmetics.
from the start of the lyrics until
"Different line every night
guaranteed to blow your mind
I see you out on the streets
calling for a wild time."
suggests that "you" is a girl who lived in a luxury life, but never get attention from her dad, going to night life to find some "love".
"So you sit home alone
'cause there's nothing left that you can do.
There's only pictures hung in the shadows left there to look at you.
You know she likes the lights at nights
on the neon Broadway signs.
She don't really mind
it's only love she hoped to find."
the "you" here is her father. he can do nothing to stop his daughter. he can only regret what he did, or what he didn't do.
anonymous Nov 1st, 2017 11:54am report
To those of you wondering, a sable is a small red mammal similar to the build of a weasel or ferret. It is in the Marten family, and lives in Russia and Siberia.
I believe the term "touch of sable in her eyes" means that she has a touch of craftiness and cunning. She's a trickster. She is clever but she uses her intelligence to trick and/or seduce men.
anonymous Sep 26th, 2017 9:33am report
To me just another faceless night working whore who couldnt get what she had to get what she 'wanted' and realised all too late it wasn't the sad but ever true be careful what you wish for.
anonymous Sep 12th, 2017 9:10pm report
I wouldn't put to much stock in the images in the video. Bon Jovi was probably just trying to earn street cred as a hard rock band as well as trying to keep up with the likes of Def Leppard.
I believe the song is sung strictly toward the girl and not to the father. "On the streets where you live girls talk about the social lives, they're made of lipstick plastic and paint, a touch of sable in their eyes" She grew up in a very controlled environment where her father would not even talk to her. Due to this she had to 'dream' about what the outside world was like. "Daddy's girl learned fast" She quickly realized she was not learning in her current environment and would need to get out to learn more. She developed more than one delusion and became very frustrated. "No one heard a single word she said" She tried to talk to her parents about her frustrations, but it fell on deaf ears. "Should've seen it in her eyes what was going round her head" And as predictable as a sunrise, she ran away.
"now she works the night away" She ran away, living on the streets, and perhaps even taking up prostitution. "theres nothing left that you can do, theres only pictures hung in the shadows left there to look at you." She may or may not regret her decisions, but she does live a fairly hollow life. She ran away to learn about the world and to form a sense of identity, but failed ultimately due to her haste and lack of experience.
anonymous Oct 22nd, 2016 10:29am report
"On the streets where you live girls talk about the social lives, theyre made of lipstick plastic and paint, a touch of sable in their eyes" I think this line refers to the jealousy that the runaway girl had to the street girls, because their social status is way better than her's. Also, their lives are simply better than her's.
anonymous Jan 21st, 2013 1:45pm report
Growing up I used to think that it was a narrative about a girl who had no attention and direction (in the form of role models) and took the rebellious easy way out. Now, however, I am totally confused. The use of both second and third person perspective tells me that he is talking to someone about this runaway girl. I cannot determine who he is talking to though. In some sense, it could be the dad, “Tryin' to get your message through.” Then he says, “See you out on the streets” and “When is your Daddy gonna talk to you”, so maybe another run away?
anonymous Oct 27th, 2012 10:38am report
"a touch of sable in their eyes" What does mean? Particularly "a touch of sable"
anonymous Oct 13th, 2012 10:15am report
i think that this song talks about an irradiated girl(look at the youtube video)who didn't know she was irradiated but then found it out (daddy's girl learned fast all the things he couldn't say), and then ran away from home to try to escape reality of her dying, but only ended up taking drugs and becoming a prostitute. after that, when she ended up in a hospital (there's only pictures hung in the shadows left there to look at you) and eventually "ran away" from life,or died.
anonymous Feb 11th, 2012 2:44pm report
It's about a girl who is abused and neglected as a child and runs away. She eventually becomes a prostitute, as she inspired by the fake, social butterfly girls she saw when she was young.
"All you asked was when's your daddy gonna talk to you", she got neglected by her father and just wanted to spend time with him. Eventually, "Daddy's girl learned fast all the things she couldn't say" because those things would incite her father's abusive rage.
Eventually she gets hooked on drugs "A different line every night, guaranteed to blow your mind" and turns to prostitution after running from her dad ("See you out on the streets, call me for a wild time"). At night she goes back to her apartment and feels like the pictures are staring at her, either from guilt or drugs.
"No one heard a single word she said", i.e. she tried to speak out about the abuse because no one cared/believed her. They should have noticed ("Should've seen it in her eyes what was was going round her head").
This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
anonymous Aug 9th, 2011 8:42pm report
Never seen the music video but "Now she works the night away" Yeah, i think that's a reference to prostitution
anonymous Jul 11th, 2007 7:34pm report
Its simple. The song is about Mary Ann Vecchio. In the famous picture of the kent state massacre. She was a 14 year old RUNAWAY from Florida. It had a strong meaning for jon and the group so they dedicated the song to her.
I know the song is about a girl who gets no attention and runs off, hence the title, but there are some parts I'm just guessing at, like:
"Daddy's girl learned fast
All those things he couldn't say."
In the video it shows some papers that say stuff about radiation so maybe the girl in the song found out about her father working for the government or something like that.
"See you out on the streets, call me for a wild time"
This line could mean something like the girl ran away and had to work as a prostitute or something like that. Also, in the video, it shows a girl dancing, which could imply that.
More Bon Jovi song meanings »
Submit Your Interpretation
|Fade Into You||anonymous|
|Fly Like an Eagle||anonymous|
|Count On Me||anonymous|
|Dying in your Arms||anonymous|
|Watch Over You||anonymous|
|I Love You||anonymous|
|From a Distance||anonymous|
|Girlfriends and Ex's||anonymous|