On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenge of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.
My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.
I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.
So long as I post every day (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be… legendary!
Snow Patrol – Run (2003)
” Run” is a song by Scottish-Northern Irish alternative rock band Snow Patrol from their third studio album, Final Straw (2003). It was released in the United Kingdom on 26 February 2004 as the second single from the album. The song was conceived in 2000 by frontman Gary Lightbody after an accident he had during a bender.
We’re remaining in the UK today, dear reader, and extending our stay in Scotland so I have taken the opportunity of having some Scotch whisky while here. Yesterday, we were in Glasgow but today we are in Dundee. Formed in 1994 Snow Patrol began slowly with their first two albums not being commercially successful. When we join them in 2003 it is with the release of their third album, Final Straw, and from there 1001 Songs have gone with the second single from the record, Run.
Run was primarily written by lead singer, Gary Lightbody, and came to him after a night of heavy drinking and falling down some stairs. A few of us have been there, mate, don’t worry about it. Lightbody wrote the lyrics with his family in mind, his love and gratitude for them, but also imagining a family he may have of his own one day and how he would do anything to protect them. The song itself seems to have the narrative of a couple who are facing difficult times and about to part. This is an emotional parting but the narrator beseeches this other person to not be afraid and that he will always be with them whatever the future may hold for them both.
I distinctly remember Run being released as a single and it being on the radio when I started my first job after university. Listening to it today, 17 years later, it sounds as fresh and as beautiful as it did back then. A sumptuous melody coupled with Lightbody’s powerful vocals tugs at the heartstrings no matter how many times I listen to it. Snow Patrol would finally achieve success with their third album and Run also became a huge hit. The group continue to this day and would enjoy even greater success with 2006’s Chasing Cars but, for me, Run remains their masterpiece.
Favourite songs so far:
Snow Patrol – Run (2003)