What does Runaway Child, Running Wild mean?

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The Temptations: Runaway Child, Running Wild Meaning

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Song Released: 1969


Runaway Child, Running Wild Lyrics

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  1. anonymous
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    Oct 19th 2013 report

    This song tells the story of young boy (presumably a preteen) who runs away from home after being punished by his mother for playing hooky (truancy). During the song, the band tell us that the boy wanders the dark streets alone, eventually realizing he cannot survive on his own, but cannot find his way home, and ends up lost, frightened by strangers, unfamiliar landmarks, and his own thoughts. "Runaway child runnin' wild," the Temptations tell the boy during the chorus, "you better go back home/where you belong".

    The Temptations alternately express and depict his fears, with the tension of the record building to a climax over the first five minutes of the record. At this point, the vocals fade out, and the record briefly gives voice to its young protagonist, who cries desperately for his mother before fading into the mix.


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