Run for Your Life

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"Run for Your Life"
Song by the Beatles from the album Rubber Soul
Published Northern Songs
Released 3 December 1965
Recorded 12 October 1965,
EMI Studios, London
Length 2:18
Label Parlophone
Writer(s) Lennon–McCartney
Producer(s) George Martin

"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.


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.[3] 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.[4]

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


Personnel per Ian MacDonald[5]

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."[6]


A 1966 version of "Run for Your Life" performed by Nancy Sinatra was released on her album Boots. Although it did not chart nationally, this version experienced regional success at such stations as WPTR in Albany, New York.[7]

The song was also recorded by Gary Lewis & the Playboys on their album, She's Just My Style, which was released in March 1966. Johnny Rivers also released the song in 1966 on his live album ...And I Know You Wanna Dance.[8] Thee Headcoatees also covered it on their album "Girlsville" in 1991.

In the early 1990s, the song was banned by Ottawa radio station CFRA for its misogynistic message.[9] When the radio station was asked if it had also banned Presley's "Baby, Let's Play House", the program director confessed to not being familiar with that song. Upon listening to the Presley song, however, the program director banned it as well.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Hamelman, Steven L (2004). But is it Garbage?: On Rock and Trash. University of Georgia Press. p. 11. 
  2. ^ Terence John O'Grady (1975). The Music of the Beatles from 1962 to Sergeant Peper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. University of Wisconsin. p. 283. 
  3. ^ The Beatles Bible 2009.
  4. ^ Sheff 1981.
  5. ^ MacDonald 2005, p. 161.
  6. ^ MacDonald 2005, p. 162.
  7. ^ Nancy Sinatra Boots Retrieved 09-17-11.
  8. ^ Johnny Rivers ...And I Know You Want To Dance Retrieved 09-17-11.
  9. ^ "Beatles Tune Yanked After Women Protest". Reuters News Service. 


  • "Run for Your Life". The Beatles Bible. 2009. Retrieved 15 April 2009. 
  • MacDonald, Ian (2005). Revolution in the Head: The Beatles' Records and the Sixties (Second Revised ed.). London: Pimlico (Rand). ISBN 1-84413-828-3. 
  • Sheff, David (1981). The Playboy Interviews With John Lennon and Yoko Ono. New York: Playboy Press. 
  • Pollack, Alan (1993). "Run For Your Life". Alan W.Pollack. 

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