Run Rabbit Run

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about the song. For the Osso album, see Run Rabbit Run (album). For the novel, see Rabbit, Run.

Run Rabbit Run is a song written by Noel Gay and Ralph Butler. The music was by Noel Gay and the song was originally sung by Flanagan and Allen.


This song was written for Noel Gay's show The Little Dog Laughed, which opened on 11 October 1939, at a time when most of the major London theatres were closed. It was a popular song during World War II, especially after Flanagan and Allen changed the lyrics to poke fun at the Germans (e.g. Run Adolf, Run Adolf, Run, Run, Run........)

On the farm, every Friday
On the farm, it's rabbit pie day.
So, every Friday that ever comes along,
I get up early and sing this little song
Run rabbit – run rabbit – Run! Run! Run!
Run rabbit – run rabbit – Run! Run! Run!
Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang!
Goes the farmer's gun.
Run, rabbit, run, rabbit, run.
Run rabbit – run rabbit – Run! Run! Run!
Don't give the farmer his fun! Fun! Fun!
He'll get by
Without his rabbit pie
So run rabbit – run rabbit – Run! Run! Run!

The lyrics were used as a defiant dig at the allegedly ineffectual Luftwaffe. On 13 November 1939, soon after the outbreak of the Second World War and also soon after the song was premiered, Germany launched its first air raid on Britain, on flying boats that were sheltering in Sullom Voe, Shetland. Two rabbits were supposedly killed by a bomb drop, although it is suggested that they were in fact procured from a butchers' shop and used for publicity purposes.[1][2]


The song was a popular nursery rhyme still sung by children in many parts of Britain, although its popularity has declined substantially since the end of the Second World War.[citation needed] However, it remains popular in New Zealand as the Maori version of the song 'Oma Rāpeti'.[3][4]

The first track on the album The Dark Side of the Moon, "Speak to Me/Breathe", included the lyrics "Run, rabbit. Run". The same lyrics are also included in "Bankrobber" by the Clash. Also in the Wings song "Band On the Run"... "For the rabbits on the run".

The song was used as background in the first episode of Outlander, the Starz series produced by Ronald D Moore. The first episode "Sassenach" premiered on August 9, 2014.

  • Walter H. Thompson's TV biography "I Was Churchill's Bodyguard" rates the song as Winston Churchill's favourite as Prime Minister; also, Jock Colville, Churchill's private secretary during much of the war, mentions the Prime Minister singing part of this song.[5]
  • In Which We Serve, a movie about the Royal Navy in World War II, uses the tune on a pianola, which torments a sailor who was cautioned for cowardice in the face of the enemy.
  • The Hoosiers have a song called "Run Rabbit Run" on their album The Trick to Life.
  • Fleet Foxes have a song called "Innocent Son" on their EP Sun Giant, in which the lyrics, "Run, Rabbit, Run" appear.
  • The Teeth recorded "Rabbit Run" with lyrics "cotton tail, they're on your trail" on their 2007 album "You're My Lover Now" distributed through Park the Van records.
  • Eminem has a song called "Rabbit Run" on the 8 Mile soundtrack, referring to his nickname "Rabbit" at the start of his rap career.
  • Glasvegas has a song called "Stabbed" on their self-titled album, Glasvegas. in which the lyrics "Run, Rabbit, Run" appear.
  • Pink Floyd uses the words "Run, Rabbit, Run" in "Breathe", the opening sequence in their album The Dark Side of the Moon.
  • The Clash use the words "Run, Rabbit, Run" in the single "Bankrobber".
  • Coheed and Cambria has in their song "The Willing Well II: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness" the lyric "Run, little rabbit, go hide in the blades of that grass... Run, rabbit, run".
    • This is referenced again in a later song, "Mother Superior", with the lyric "Mother superior, come catch the rabbit, he runs".
  • Tourism Victoria used the song for a TV advertisement aired across Australia in the early 2000s. The ad features adults playing hide-and-seek in a vineyard and other tourist attractions across the Yarra Valley.
  • Osso String Quartet has an album titled Run Rabbit Run.
  • The Twilight Singers included a demo track titled "Run, Rabbit Run" on the vinyl release only of their Blackberry Belle album. The track is not a version of the classic song, but appears to allude to it with the lines "Run rabbit run, better get your hands on all the guns".
  • Corpse Party references this song in Chapter 5, while Kizami is chasing down Yuka.
  • Derrick C. Brown cover the Twilight Singers' version of "Run, Rabbit Run" as a live track on his My Hands, Your Neck audio CD. The intro includes a sassy exchange with the audience similar to a typical Greg Dulli performance.
  • It is versed throughout House of 1000 Corpses, a Rob Zombie film.
  • The song "S/C/A/R/E/C/R/O/W", from the My Chemical Romance album Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys, contains the line "Run, run, Bunny, run."
  • A 1992 TV commercial for Weetabix cereal in the UK features cartoon characters Elmer Fudd and Bugs Bunny singing their own version of the song.
  • The title of John Updike's 1960 novel Rabbit, Run echoes the song.
  • Harriet and Simon sing the song atop a pyramid in Olivia Manning's The Danger Tree.
  • In Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Olive sings parts of the song while they watch the bombs fall from the sky and hit the ground
  • Bob and Ray played the Flanagan and Allen recording frequently on their radio shows.
  • The chorus of the song was adapted and incorporated into Australian comedian Rodney Rude's song "I May Not Be A Wog But I Look Like One" from his 1988 album Not Guilty.
  • The movie "Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit" contains the line spoken by Lady Tottington, "Run, Rabbit Run."[6]


  1. ^ Shetland Museum and Archives Photo Library | Subjects | Item
  2. ^ Image:Bombcrater.jpg - Shetlopedia - The Shetland Encyclopaedia - The Shetland Encyclopaedia that anyone can edit
  3. ^ "NZ Folksong * Pre-schoolers' Waiata". Retrieved 25 January 2013. 
  4. ^ "Uma Rapiti". Retrieved 25 January 2013. 
  5. ^ Hickman, Tom: Churchill's Bodyguard: The Authorised Biography of Walter H Thompson. Headline Book Publishing, 2005, ISBN 0-7553-1448-4
  6. ^ "IMDB quotes".