The Paul McCartney Project

Run Devil Run

Written by Paul McCartney

Album This song officially appears on the Run Devil Run Official album.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1999
Sessions This song has been recorded during the following sessions

Original McCartney songs on "Run Devil Run"

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Song facts

From Wikipedia:

Run Devil Run” is a 1999 original Paul McCartney composition written in a Chuck Berry style as the title track of his 1999 covers album Run Devil Run. It is one of three original songs on the 15-song album, along with “Try Not to Cry“, and “What It Is“, and was also released as a promotional 7” vinyl single.

Title and lyrics

The title originated from the name of a brand of bath salts or Run Devil Run oil a folk remedy to ward off evildoers which McCartney had picked up at Miller’s Rexall Drugs, a hoodoo store in Atlanta. The mock up of a shop with the name “Run Devil Run” on the album cover is of Miller’s Rexall Drugs, with the name altered to fit the title song. In the album press release interview prior to release of the album the interviewer asked McCartney about the genesis of the title track. McCartney answered as follows:

I was in Atlanta with my son and he wanted to visit the funky side of town. So we went down there and were just wandering around the block and we came across this sort of voodoo shop selling cures for everything. I was looking in the shop window and I saw this bottle of bath salts called Ran Devil Run. I thought that was a good title for a song. So when I was on holiday after that I started thinking of words for it and it came quite easily – ‘Run Devil run, the angels having fun, making, winners out of sinners, better leave before he’s done, and when he gets through he’ll be coming after you, so listen to what I’m telling you, run Devil run.’

After continuing to describe the process of the lyrics, written while sailing, McCartney said that he himself was planning to use the Run Devil Run bath salts:

Yeah, I’m getting the bath salts and I’ll be taking a bath with them. Not that I have got many demons to get rid of but there may be one or two lurking and this stuff is definitely going to do the trick.

From the liner notes of “Run Devil Run“:

ā€œI saw this herbal medicine shop in Atlanta selling Run Devil Run products. I thought it is a great rock ā€˜nā€™ roll title. So I did a story, Chuck Berry style.ā€

Last updated on September 10, 2016

Lyrics

Run devil run, the angels having fun
Making winners out of sinners, better leave before it's done
When he gets through, he'll be coming after you
Listen what I'm saying to you, run, run devil run

By a swamp in Alabama in the cold, in the damp
Sittin' reading by the light of a kerosene lamp
Lives a holly roller with a mission on her mind
Got to spread the word to anybody she can find
You can hear her screaming any time in night or day
This is what she says to keep the demons away

Run devil run, the angels having fun
Making winners out of sinners, better leave before it's done
When he gets through, he'll be coming after you
Listen what I'm saying to you, run, run devil run

Her brother and her sister said that she brought them down
Steppin' on the bus that was heading to town
There they started drinking, they got into a fight
The sheriff introduced them to the jail house for a night
When the holy roller came to town to pay the bail
This is what she sang as she was leaving the jail

Run devil run, the angels having fun
Making winners out of sinners, better leave before it's done
When he gets through, he'll be coming after you
Listen what I'm saying to you, run, run devil run, yeah

Well, by the middle of the summer they were back in the shack
Picking cotton for a livin', keep 'em on the right track
Visiting the neighbors, trying to spread the good news
Singing gospel music with a hint of the blues
All of them determined to deliver the goods
Now you, you hear the music comin' out on the woods

Run devil run, the angel having fun
Making winners out of sinners, better leave before it's done
When he gets through, he'll be coming after you
Listen what I'm saying to you, run, run devil run
Ah, you'd better run, run devil run, you better run, run devil run

Officially appears on


Run Devil Run

Official album • Released in 1999

2:36 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Bass guitar, Producer, Vocal
Geoff Emerick:
Engineer
Mick Green:
Electric guitar
David Gilmour:
Electric guitar, Lap steel guitar
Ian Paice:
Drums
Pete Wingfield:
Piano
Chris Thomas:
Producer
Paul Hicks:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Mar 03, 1999
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Bootlegs


Rock Devil Rock

Unofficial album • Released in 2000

3:14 • Live

Concert From "PETA Party Of The Century" in Hollywood, USA on Sep 18, 1999


Run Devil Run - Ultimate Archive Collection

Unofficial album • Released in 2015

2:36 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Bass guitar, Producer, Vocal
Geoff Emerick:
Engineer
Mick Green:
Electric guitar
David Gilmour:
Electric guitar, Lap steel guitar
Ian Paice:
Drums
Pete Wingfield:
Piano
Chris Thomas:
Producer
Paul Hicks:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Mar 03, 1999
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road




Live performances

“Run Devil Run” has been played in 1 concerts and 1 soundchecks.

Latest concerts where “Run Devil Run” has been played


PETA Party Of The Century

Sep 18, 1999 • USA • Hollywood • Paramount Studios


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