Before They Make Me Run (3:25)

Cover of Just a Schot Away: Columbus, OH 4/3/99 (disc 1)

From Just a Schot Away: Columbus, OH 4/3/99 (disc 1) and 12 other releases

“Before They Make Me Run” is a song by the English rock band The Rolling Stones, featured on their 1978 album Some Girls.

Written by guitarist Keith Richards, the song is a response to his arrest for heroin possession in Toronto in February 1977. The criminal charges and prospect of a prison sentence loomed over the Some Girls recording sessions and endangered the future of the Rolling Stones.

In the lyrics Richards reflects unapologetically on his lifestyle up to that point. The line “it’s another goodbye to another good friend” in the first verse can be interpreted as referring to Gram Parsons, Richards’s close friend who died in 1973 from a drug overdose, and/or to heroin itself: Richards had sought medical treatment for heroin addiction following his arrest in Toronto, and his resolution to overcome his addiction would be a significant factor in his upcoming trial.

Originally entitled “Rotten Roll”, the song was recorded in a Paris studio in March 1978 during one of Mick Jagger’s absences from the Some Girls sessions.[3] The completed track - “a high-energy rock & roller”- features Richards on lead vocals, acoustic and electric guitars and bass; Ronnie Wood on pedal steel, slide guitar and backup vocals; Charlie Watts on drums and Jagger on backup vocals.

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Worked the bars and sideshows along the twilight zone
Only a crowd can make you feel so alone and it really hit home
Booze and pills and powders, you can choose your medicine
Well here's another goodbye to another good friend

MetroLyrics Full lyrics at MetroLyrics

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  • frenzicatlast

    And it really hit home

    31 Oct 2013 Reply
  • engelnit

    Great song! Got evertything to do with Keith.

    24 Nov 2012 Reply
  • memekiwii

    This song ROCKS!!! one of my favorite Rolling Stones songs...

    3 Jun 2012 Reply
  • Sergioeira

    \o

    29 Feb 2012 Reply
  • oldiesfanjohn

    like it when Keith gets to lead vocal

    22 Jan 2012 Reply
  • lonelygoatherd

    I've been listening to Keef songs for the past week or so, and this one is by far my favourite. I can't stop listening, and I even learned how to play it on the guitar

    13 Mar 2011 Reply
  • dasfeuergirl

    'Keef' is just AWESOME

    15 Nov 2010 Reply
  • fervieira

    I wasn't looking too good but I was feeling real well.

    5 Sep 2010 Reply
  • toeunit12

    One of my favorite Stones songs, Keith's voice is perfect for it

    14 Jun 2010 Reply
  • memekiwii

    One of my all time favorite songs by the Stones..the whole album rocks!

    10 Apr 2010 Reply
  • madeit

    this is so much better than the songs on biggest bang

    24 Jan 2010 Reply
  • evilempire324

    Congratulations to Marc Emery aka The Prince of Pot for getting out of Canadian prison on bail. Unfortunately, it's only brief two week vacation until his extradition to the US for something LEGAL in Canada, selling seeds. This song is for you Marc. Legalize it, Free Marc!!!

    20 Nov 2009 Reply
  • acphenom

    I'm not sure if this is Keith rejecting all recreational drug use or just heroin or the cops who busted him, but I know one thing - this is the ultimate rebel anthem

    16 Sep 2009 Reply
  • 6IO

    note by note, straight from heart. it gives me the chills

    11 Sep 2009 Reply
  • BostonIrish

    its another goodbye to another good friend.

    20 Aug 2009 Reply
  • Funkyshoe

    This song is great. I love Keith's voice.

    17 Jan 2009 Reply
  • CptPeteVegas

    Not a dry eye in the house!

    17 Dec 2008 Reply
  • licoricepizza

    Yeah, musically, the song is credited to both. But that's Keith on main vocals.

    20 Jun 2008 Reply
  • GucciPiggy90

    So that's Keith? Makes sense. It doesn't sound like Mick at all.

    11 Jun 2008 Reply
  • Tedtrivia

    According to Songfacts This is about the Rock and Roll lifestyle that got Keith Richards in trouble. The song was recorded while he was out on bail after getting caught with heroin and arrested for drug trafficking in Toronto in 1977. He was found guilty of the lesser charge of heroin possession, and sentenced to probation. Check out http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=591 for more on this song

    26 Apr 2008 Reply
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