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"Run" is a song by alternative rock band Snow Patrol, released as the second single from their third album, Final Straw on 26 February 2004. It brought the band its first taste of mainstream success, reaching #5 on the UK charts. The song has also been covered by Tre Lux in 2006, by Three Graces in 2008 and Leona Lewis in 2008. The lyrics in the song are about bereavement and believing that they can be seen in heaven.

In Australia, the song was ranked #77 on Triple J's Hottest 100 of 2004.

Track listing

  • 10"
Limited to 500 pressings only.
A: "Run (Jackknife Lee Remix)" – 7:27
B: "Run (Freelance Hellraiser Remix)" – 3:59

The following two formats were released later, on 26 February 2004.

  • CD
  1. "Run" (video)
  2. "Post Punk Progression" – 3:23
  3. "Spitting Games (2001 Country Version)" – 4:18

  • 7"
A: "Run" – 5:55
B: "Post Punk Progression" – 3:23

  • iTunes digital download
  1. "Run (Live From Edinburgh)" – 6:01

  • UK Promo CD
  1. "Run" (Radio Edit) – 4:18

  • US Promo CD
  1. "Run" (Radio Edit) – 4:18
  2. "Run" (Album Version) – 5:55

Appearances in other media

Snow Patrol's original song appeared on the Top Gear: The Ultimate Driving Experience album, as well as the 2005 compilation album Acoustic 05. It is also featured in the movie The Chumscrubber as well as the tenth episode of season two of Rescue Me, the trailer to The Guardian, an episode of Doctor Who Confidential, an episode of Cold Case, the closing scene of the pilot episode of CBS' 2006 series Jericho, an episode of Life as We Know It, the BBC television adaptation of Wide Sargasso Sea and the closing scene of the season 1 finale of One Tree Hill. The song was also used in the trailers for the HBO miniseries Empire Falls. "Run" also appeared on Hear the Year 05, a compilation by Josten's released with the company's yearbooks, containing what they said they thought were the songs of the year.

"Run" is also the background music to a montage of Chelsea F.C.'s highlights over the last four years. It is played on the large screens before most home matches at Stamford Bridgemarker stadium.

Music video

The video was filmed between dusk and dawn in the countryside of Essex. It was directed by video director Paul Gore (New Order, Placebo, Massive Attack, Amy Winehouse a.o.) , produced by Suzie Morton and Ben Smithard as cinematographer.The video was released and aired for the first time in 2003. We see the band in a kind of darkness and autumn atmosphere of a moor/forest landscape. Gary Lightbody sings and pushs forward an old motorbike whilst the scenery shows a blue evening horizon. The atmosphere in the video changes now to a dark one. He walks the motorbike on uneven ways and paths of the moor landscape, along to high grass fields and trees into an atmosphere where darkness dominates the ambiance.Whilst he starts the refrain "Light up, light up" he enlightens the darkness with bright fire from a burning torch.Whilst firelight and smoke surrounds him, he stands in shallow water and his bandmembers sit or stand at a kind of bridge railing and also hold now burning torches in their hands.In the following sequence we see a young man who drives that bike through the forest's thicket of trees and bushes. For a few seconds afterwards we see him sit on the forest ground as he looks anxious and worried through the hood of his jumper. Near the video's end, Nathan Connolly pushes the bike down a hill away into a forest pond, where it sinks down in morass. The video is published by the production company Flynn Productions.


The song re-entered the UK Singles Chart in 2008, after Leona Lewis' performance on The X Factor.

Chart (2004) Peak

Australian ARIA Singles Chart 76
Irish Singles Chart 25
UK Singles Chart 5
UK Official Download Chart 38
Dutch Single Top 100 71
U.S. Billboard Alternative Songs 15

Chart (2007) Peak

UK Singles Chart 147
Chart (2008) Peak

UK Singles Chart 28
Chart (2009) Peak
UK Singles Chart 63


  • Songwriter Gary Lightbody
  • Music: Iain Archer, Gary Lightbody, Mark McClelland, Nathan Connolly, Jonny Quinn
  • Vocalist: Gary Lightbody
  • Background Vocals: Gary Lightbody, Nathan Connolly
  • Guitar: Gary Lightbody, Nathan Connolly
  • drums: Jonny Quinn
  • Engineer: Dan Swift
  • Mixer: Chris Lord-Alge
  • Producer: Garrett Lee

  • Photography: Ernst Fischer
  • String Arrangement: James Banbury
  • String Assistant: Jeff Mclaughlin
  • Bass: Mark McClelland
  • Cello: James Banbury
  • Viola: Bruce White
  • Violin: Alison Dods, Fiona McCapra
  • Recorded at Britannia Row / The Diving Bell in Ireland.

Leona Lewis version

"Run" is a cover of the Snow Patrol song by Leona Lewis on BBC Radio 1's Live Lounge on 31 October 2007. She later released the song as a single from Spirit: The Deluxe Edition in November 2008. "Run" became the UK's fastest-selling digital only release ever, selling 69,244 copies in just two days.

The song was released as the final single from her album in the United Kingdom.


Lewis first performed "Run" on the Live Lounge section of The Jo Whiley Show, where artists perform two songs: one song of their own and one by another artist, in an acoustic format. The performance was recorded at the BBC Maida Vale Studiosmarker, where Lewis was backed by a 14-piece band. The show's host Jo Whiley said that "people did cry". She referred to it as "the most famous cover" (from her show), stating that it's "always in demand and developed a life of its own." The day after Lewis' version appeared on the Live Lounge, it was requested over 8,000 times in the first 2 minutes of The Chris Moyles Show. As a result, her version was added to Radio 1's A List.

Due to its popularity, Lewis recorded a studio version of the song in September 2008 for the re-release of her album Spirit. It was made available digitally in Ireland on 17 November 2008 and on 30 November 2008 in the United Kingdom.

"Run" was expected to be released as a single following Lewis' performance on The X Factor, but the single didn't appear on any online music stores. It was believed that Lewis' record label, Sony, wanted to shift the sales towards the reissue of Spirit, which did return the album to number one. A spokesman for Lewis reported that the song "has never been scheduled for release as a single", but due to "overwhelming public demand", Lewis' management and record label decided to release it in the UK on the 30 November.

Lewis performed "Run" on the fifth series of The X Factor on 15 November, after which Simon Cowell commented that her performance was "absolutely incredible". She also performed the song live on Divas II which aired on ITV1 in the UK on 23 November 2008. Lewis performed the song on the Royal Variety Performance, which aired on 17 December and the Top of the Pops Christmas Special which aired on Christmas Day.

In the U.S, a radio edit of "Run" was released as a digital download on 16 December 2008.

The single has reached number 1 in many countries including UK and Ireland and reached number 2 in China as well.


The song has been received positively among many although Snow Patrol guitarist Nathan Connolly admitted in November that he still hadn't heard the song: "Nothing against her, but I don't know if I'm going to endorse it either. It is what it is." In December 2008 Snow Patrol frontman Gary Lightbody described Lewis' version of the song as "phenomenal". He told the Scottish newspaper Daily Record: "She obviously studied the song and thought long and hard about how to interpret it. She's stripped it to its bare core. I think she sounds absolutely phenomenal. I'm not a big fan of shows like The X-Factor, but when talent like this comes along, I can't slate it. She's going to be around in 20 years. She's the next Whitney. She takes my breath away."

Music Radar said that "The two versions couldn't be more different. Snow Patrol's rendering is dark and moody, while Leona Lewis's is big-time pop", and quoted Gary Lightbody as saying "That's what you want a song to do ... Different interpretations and meanings. Songs aren't monolithic, at least the good ones aren't. What Leona Lewis has done has touched hearts."

Newsround highly praised Lewis' cover version, stating that "the full gospel choir and orchestra easily match Leona's powerful pipes - and remind listeners why the song made people cry when she first performed it on Radio 1's Live Lounge last year".

"Run" received three stars out of five from Digital Spy, who said that Lewis "wrings every last drop of emotion out of Gary Lightbody's lyrics, channeling her inner Mariah for some almighty warbling at the crescendo".

The Sentinel described the single as "so much better" than Snow Patrol's original song. "It's powerful, painful and the choir behind it takes it on to another level." Radio presenter James Daniels concurred, saying "Leona just takes it to a whole new level, which is a phrase I hate to use – but it's true".

Chart performance

The song reached number one on the Irish Singles Chart in its first week of release, due to download sales alone. "Run" remained on the top position the four weeks in total.

On 7 December 2008, it entered the UK Singles Chart at number one, also on downloads alone, making it her 3rd number one. It had become the fastest selling UK download ever after it sold 69,244 in just two days. By the end of the first week, download sales had reached 131,593, some eight thousand below the first week sales of "A Moment Like This"., except for the fact that her debut single sold over 500,000 in its first week. The single spent a second week at number one in the United Kingdom, before 2008's The X Factor winner Alexandra Burke charted with "Hallelujah".

On 28 December 2008, the UK Singles Chart listed this at #13 for the year end countdown. The song has sold 530,515 copies (on downloads alone) in the UK as stated by the Official UK Charts Company.

The song also charted in Canadamarker and the United Statesmarker on iTunes sales alone. "Run" is on Top of the Austrian Top 75 singles charts for 3 weeks now. "Run" was also revealed as The Nation's Favourite Love Song of 2009. The song was not released to radio in the US, but only digitally and later on the re-release of "Spirit".

"Run" re-entered The Official UK Top 40 at 32 on 15 March 2009.

Music video

The music video for "Run" was filmed in South Africa and was directed by Jake Nava. Lewis herself described the setting of the video as "an enchanted, haunted forest. It's picking up on different elements of the song." The video starts out with Lewis alone on a dusty trail, seemingly lost. She enters a dark forest and appears to be stalked by the viewer. In the final chorus, Lewis draws in the sun and the forest literally lights up, matching the lyrics of the song. The music video premiered on Perez Hilton's blog on 25 November 2008.

Release history

Region Date Label Format
Ireland 14 November 2008 Syco Music Digital download
United Kingdom 30 November 2008
Germany 12 December 2008 Sony Music Digital download, CD single
United States 16 December 2008 J Records Digital download


Chart (2008–2009) Peak

Irish Singles Chart 1
UK Singles Chart 1
Austrian Singles Chart 1
Swiss Singles Chart 2
German Singles Chart 15
Eurochart Hot 100 Singles 6
Canadian Hot 100 13
Finnish Singles Chart 7
Swedish Singles Chart 13
Netherlands Single Top 100 77
Australian ARIA Singles Chart 78

Procession and succession

Other versions

  • The song was covered by Tre Lux in 2006 and appears on the album A Strange Gathering.
  • The song was covered by the pop classical group the Three Graces in Italian underneath the title "Si Accendera" on their 2008 self titled debut album.


  • Writer: Gary Lightbody
  • String Arrangement: Wil Malone
  • Background Vocals: Alani Gibbon, Beverley Brown, Carmen Reece, Chris Ballin, Jewell Elliott, Joy Malcolm, Ladonna Harley Peters, Lauraine Bristol, Lincoln Jean-Marie, Marvin Cotterell, Vula Malinger
  • Bass: John Garrison
  • Drums, Percussion: Karl Brazil

  • Engineer: Jonathan Shakhovskoy
  • Guitar: Luke Potashnick
  • Mixer: Jeremy Wheatley
  • Organ: Paul Beard
  • Piano: Steve Robson
  • Producer: Steve Robson


External links

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