What does Take It on the Run mean?

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REO Speedwagon: Take It on the Run Meaning


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Song Released: 1981

Take It on the Run Lyrics

Heard it from a friend who
Heard it from a friend who
Heard it from another you've been messing around

Said you've got a boyfriend
You're out late every weekend
They're talking about you and it's bringing me down

But I know the...


    #1 top rated interpretation:
    click a star to vote
    Sep 7th 2012 report

    This song could have several meanings, but in my meaning I believe it's about a girl running around with other guys instead of her boyfriend/close guy friend

    My meanings:
    "Heard it from a friend who
    Heard it from another you been messin' around
    They say you got a boy friend
    You're out late every weekend
    They're talkin' about you and it's bringin' me down"
    Interpretation: He heard(the singer heard) from a friend that his girlfriend or close girl friend is going around to find new guys to get close with or be with or perhaps she has been cheating on him with another guy or guys. "You're out late every weekend, they're talkin' about you and it's bringin' me down" implies that something suspicious is going on between her and him, he's losing her trust and his friends hear about what shes been doing with other guys or a guy and it's bringing the guy(singer) down. Basically breaking his heart/trust in her.

    "But I know the neighborhood
    And talk is cheap when the story is good
    And the tales grow taller on down the line
    But I'm telling you, babe
    That I don't think it's true, babe
    And even if it is keep this in mind
    You take it on the run baby
    If that's the way you want it baby
    Then I don't want you around
    I don't believe it
    Not for a minute
    You're under the gun so you take it on the run"
    Interpretation: He knows the people in the city/town very well and he doesn't want to believe the talk is true, but he's saying if it is true than he doesn't want her around him anymore(basically a break up if they're in a relationship or loss of friendship). The gun lyrics part is basically saying.. shes running away from the gun and sooner or later the bullet(truth) will come and get her, so either tell the truth now or make it worse.

    "You're thinking up your white lies
    You're putting on your bedroom eyes
    You say you're coming home but you won't say when
    But I can feel it coming
    If you leave tonight keep running
    And you need never look back again"
    Interpretation: She keeps thinking of or making up lies to tell him. "You're putting on your bedroom eyes." is pretty much saying she keeps on putting her sexy or attractive side onto him on the worst times(to hide the lies). She keeps moving forward, but doesn't realize what she's done in the past to learn from her mistakes. She just keeps hurting herself and him.

    Overall it's about a guy who's really interested in a girl, but she keeps messing it up and doesn't look at her mess ups. Sooner or later the guy will get fed up with what she's doing and he will move on and never want to see her again or tell her that he's had enough and them two are either going to settle down now together or it's history for the both of them. Bottom line for the guys: If a girl is doing this to you, forget about her or MAKE IT HAPPEN between the both of you. Doing the same mistakes over and over again will just keep hurting you both. Bottom line for girls: If a guy is really interested in you or attracted to you stay with him or lose him. No inbetween nonsense. You either do something or you don't do something.. if you choose not to well it will all become a joke and if you do choose, congrats you've made a successful relationship. (^:

  2. James1611
    click a star to vote
    Jul 28th report

    I believe the song is about an affair of the heart between two youngsters. Before he gets his courage up to make his move and claim his prize, someone pulls the rug out from under him. I may seem to be “pulling on the ears”; but it fits perfectly with the lyrics; and other lyrics of his other songs. For example: “she looked at me with fire in her eyes, looks can’t kill but she certainly try’s” (exasperated and angry), “should I follow my head or follow my heart” (the deal isn’t done yet). I believe these songs have a common thread. Gary also wrote the powerful lead guitar solo for “keep on loving you”; so I don’t think “Take it on the run” necessarily ends with a cold hard period.

  3. anonymous
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    Jul 27th 2020 report

    Every song tells a story and this one does too. He is in love yet something seems out of sync. When a suspicious mind occurs in a relationship you have one of two choices. Keep it together via change or say goodbye to your partner. In our younger years we need to remember there are plenty of fish in the sea. Sound familiar?

  4. anonymous
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    Mar 6th 2019 report

    I read in an album insert that this story is about a girlfriend of Kevins's that had/has been messing around while Kevin Cronin was away. So Kevin wrote the song "Keep on loving you". The line in this song says "and tho I know all about those men, still I don't remember." It's Kevin's way of saying he still loves her. But Gary said...no,no,no... Tell that girl to take a hike. "Take it on the run" is Gary's answer to "keep on loving you" by Kevin. I believe the insert was in the album "A second decade of rock n roll" but not sure until I get home and can find it.

  5. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Feb 1st 2019 report

    I think it's pretty straight forward. He's heard rumors about her having another boyfriend. I get the impression he has been away. Probably touring, because it's probably about Gary Richrath's girlfriend at the time since he wrote it. When he came back from tour he's starting to hear she's been messing around on him, but he doesn't want to believe it because the tails grow taller on down the line. He knows there is some truth, just not how much. So he gives her an ultimatum putting her under the gun so to speak by telling her if its true just dont come back. That's the simple version. I've seen some interviews with Gary and he's admitted he isn't a very good "alone" person so I would imagine he would try to make it right in his mind if he could so he could justify keeping her. That's where he mentions the talk being cheap when the story is good. But in the end, in his heart he knows it's probably true so he gives her a chance but if she leaves then just keep going.

  6. anonymous
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    Oct 9th 2016 report

    This song is fascinating even spellbinding. As I perceive it, it is about a man who is very upset by a rumor ALLEGING that his female companion a)"has a boyfriend" and that she has b)been "messin' around". He's only human and obviously he loves her. He will not however give hearsay and the gossips who indulge in it full faith & credit.

    He admits that "the tales grow taller on down the line". To this fellow's credit he has enough common sense to recognize that idle gossip in most cases (including this one) has no source that can be identified and is supported by no concrete evidence.
    So it's entirely possible that each of these "friends who heard it from a friend who heard it from another", has added his/her own spin to the story either from sheer malice or a desire to harm.

    On the other hand, he is not dismissing the hearsay, having also made some observations of his own: she is "out late every weekend": that means at those times she's just not home -- She could be anywhere-- alone to be by herself or with a group of people who share a common interest. It does not mean she's "messin' around". She's "coming home but she won't say when" could mean that she either doesn't know when she'll be home or perhaps she's a scatterbrain who has no regard for time. Her "bedroom eyes"? Most women like to put on make-up before they go out. Of course, it's possible that his suspicions could be well grounded and he needs to gather a great many more facts to either confirm his suspicions or rule out.

    We don't know. What we do know is that before taking a stand he's got to calm down, and what they have to do is get their cards on the table and talk.

  7. anonymous
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    May 30th 2012 report

    Was reading about the sunbssiioms for Grammy noms on and came across this great comment from Truthbetold: truth be told cook fans posting here, the number of albums sold, or sunbssiioms tallied has no bearing on the reason archuleta is more deserving of the bna nomination. this is the reason archuleta is indeed an a r t i s t. he is an a r t i s t on a level unseen in this business, for decades. artists, true artists, are never readily appreciated nor readily accepted when they come on the scene. pop music has strayed so far from its roots that it's taking the culture a while to readjust their sensibilities to a real, bona fide, masterclass musical artist in their realm. david is all that and more. he is already on a level vocally singers 2x his age and experience would kill for. and his youth gives him more years to refine his special genius. disagree all you want, but there is a gulf dividing david from the majority of performers in pop music today, and through no fault of his own, he will always be a cut above, artistically. archuleta for the nomination. archuleta for best new a r t i s t.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway

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