The Paul McCartney Project

Run For Your Life

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Album This song officially appears on the Rubber Soul (UK Mono) Official album.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1965
Sessions This song has been recorded during the following sessions

Spread the love! If you like what you are seeing, share it on social networks and let others know about The Paul McCartney Project.

Song facts

From Wikipedia:

Run for Your Life” is a song recorded by the Beatles for their 1965 album Rubber Soul. The song, credited to “Lennon–McCartney”, was primarily a John Lennon composition.

Background

The song’s lyrics establish a threatening tone towards the singer’s unnamed girlfriend (referred to throughout the song as “little girl”), claiming “I’d rather see you dead, little girl, than to be with another man.” The line was taken from an early Elvis Presley song, “Baby, Let’s Play House” (written by Arthur Gunter). Lennon designated this song as his “least favourite Beatles song” in a 1973 interview and later said it was the song he most regretted writing. He also stated that the song was one of George Harrison’s favourite songs on Rubber Soul at that time, despite Lennon’s dislike of it.

Lennon would revisit this theme in a more apologetic fashion with his post-Beatles song “Jealous Guy“.

Personnel

Ian MacDonald criticised the vocal performance and added these comments about the guitar: “The guitar-work, some of which is badly out of tune, is similarly rough, the piercingly simplistic blues solo suggesting that the player was not Harrison but Lennon himself.

Paul McCartney, in Many Years From Now, by Barry Miles:

John was always on the run, running for his life. He was married; whereas none of my songs would have ‘catch you with another man’. It was never a concern of mine, at all, because I had a girlfriend and I would go with other girls; it was a perfectly open relationship so I wasn’t as worried about that as John was. A bit of a macho song.

From The Usenet Guide to Beatles Recording Variations:

  • [a] mono 9 Nov 1965.
    UK: Parlophone PMC 1267 Rubber Soul 1965.
    US: Capitol T 2442 Rubber Soul 1965.
  • [b] stereo 10 Nov 1965.
    UK: Parlophone PCS 3075 Rubber Soul 1965.
    US: Capitol ST 2442 Rubber Soul 1965.
  • [c] stereo 1987.
    CD: EMI CDP 7 46440 2 Rubber Soul 1987.

A thump during the instrumental break– possibly someone hitting a microphone– has been removed in [c].

Last updated on March 26, 2016

Lyrics

Well I'd rather see you dead, little girl
Than to be with another man
You better keep your head, little girl
Or I won't know where I am

You better run for your life if you can, little girl
Hide your head in the sand little girl
Catch you with another man
That's the end, little girl

Well I know that I'm a wicked guy
And I was born with a jealous mind
And I can't spend my whole life
Trying just to make you toe the line

You better run for your life if you can, little girl
Hide your head in the sand little girl
Catch you with another man
That's the end, little girl

Let this be a sermon
I mean everything I've said
Baby, I'm determined
And I'd rather see you dead

You better run for your life if you can, little girl
Hide your head in the sand little girl
I catch you with another man
That's the end, little girl

I'd rather see you dead, little girl
Than to be with another man
You better keep your head, little girl
Or you won't know where I am

You better run for your life if you can, little girl
Hide your head in the sand little girl
Catch you with another man
That's the end, little girl

Na, na, na
Na, na, na
Na, na, na
Na, na, na

Officially appears on


Rubber Soul (UK Mono)

Official album • Released in 1965

2:18 • Studio versionA • Mono

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Harmony vocals
Ringo Starr:
Drums, Tambourine
John Lennon:
Acoustic guitar, Electric guitar, Vocals
George Harrison:
Harmony vocals, Lead guitar
George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Oct 12, 1965
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Nov 09, 1965
Studio:
EMI Studios, Room 65, Abbey Road


Rubber Soul (US Mono)

Official album • Released in 1965

2:26 • Studio versionA • Mono

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Harmony vocals
Ringo Starr:
Drums, Tambourine
John Lennon:
Acoustic guitar, Electric guitar, Vocals
George Harrison:
Harmony vocals, Lead guitar
George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Oct 12, 1965
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Nov 09, 1965
Studio:
EMI Studios, Room 65, Abbey Road


Rubber Soul (US Stereo)

Official album • Released in 1965

2:21 • Studio versionB • Stereo

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Harmony vocals
Ringo Starr:
Drums, Tambourine
John Lennon:
Acoustic guitar, Electric guitar, Vocals
George Harrison:
Harmony vocals, Lead guitar
George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Oct 12, 1965
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Nov 10, 1965
Studio:
EMI Studios, Room 65, Abbey Road


Rubber Soul (UK Stereo)

Official album • Released in 1965

2:18 • Studio versionB • Stereo

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Harmony vocals
Ringo Starr:
Drums, Tambourine
John Lennon:
Acoustic guitar, Electric guitar, Vocals
George Harrison:
Harmony vocals, Lead guitar
George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Oct 12, 1965
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Nov 10, 1965
Studio:
EMI Studios, Room 65, Abbey Road

Bootlegs


Rubber Soul - Studio Sessions - Back To Basics

Unofficial album • Released in 2012

0:15 • Outtake • Stereo • Take 1

Session Recording:
Oct 12, 1965
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


Rehearsals at 3 Savile Row

Unofficial album

8:47 • Rehearsal • Take This Hammer-Long Lost John-Five Feet High And Rising-Bear Cat Mama-Black Dog Blues-The Right String But The Wrong Yo-Yo-


A/B Road Complete Get Back Sessions - Jan 21st, 1969 - 1 & 2

Unofficial album • Released in 2004

0:32 • Rehearsal • Jan.21 - D2-03 - Run For Your Life 21.29

Session Recording:
Jan 21, 1969
Studio:
Apple Studios, 3 Savile Row, London


Rubber Soul - Studio Sessions - Back To Basics

Unofficial album • Released in 2012

0:29 • Alternate take • (Studio Chat) (mono)


Rubber Soul - Studio Sessions - Back To Basics

Unofficial album • Released in 2012

1:26 • Alternate take • Mono • Take 5 Partial V1

Session Recording:
Oct 12, 1965
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


Live performances

Paul McCartney has never played this song in concert.


Contribute!

Have you spotted an error on the page? Do you want to suggest new content? Or do you simply want to leave a comment ? Please use the form below!

Your comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.