Single Review: No Doubt “Running”

Running
Album: Rock Steady
Year: 2003

Gwen Stefani wants to continue moving forward in her relationship in “Running.”

They deal with issues all the time together (“Running all the time/Running to the future/With you right by my side”). She is surprised her husband, Gavin Rossdale wanted to be with her for the rest of his life (“Me/I’m the one you chose/Out of all the people/You wanted me the most”). For some reason, I picture Gwen Stefani casually playing her band’s “Return to Saturn” album and putting “Marry Me” on a loop every time Gavin Rossdale stepped into the room. Her lack of confidence causes her to fall to the ground and she worries she will not be in love with him anymore. (“I’m so sorry that I’m falling/Help me up lets keep on running/Don’t let me fall out of love”). If there weren’t numerous songs dedicated to her love of Rossdale, the lyric would make sense. While it’s doubtful she will fall out of love with him anytime soon, Stefani will keep everyone posted through her music when it does.

Although their relationship is continually growing and maturing, Stefani is wondering if they will make it to forever. She wants him by her side the entire time throughout. (“Running, running/As fast as we can/Do you think we’ll make it?…Keep holding my hand/It’s so we don’t get separated”).

She tells him what she expects from him: fulfill her needs and trustworthiness. (“Be the one I need/Be the one I trust most”). However, sometimes she doesn’t want to constantly work on the relationship. But she seems to place the blame for all the work on him. (“Sometimes it’s hard to keep on running/We work so much to keep it going/Don’t make me want to give up”).

The metaphor of running is a great way to describe a relationship. Relationships don’t stop or go unless someone in the relationship decides to pull the brakes or steps on the gas Someone is not doing their fair share of work in the marriage — and Gwen doesn’t think it’s her.There’s a subtext of “Gavin’s not doing enough in the marriage and I’m doing everything!” The subtext makes “Running” one-sided and hypocritical (she can stop running but he can’t). It also could’ve benefitted from building on the metaphor a bit more. She could’ve sung she felt out breath or felt a cramp in her side.

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