You're under the gun so you take it on the run?

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Dimme, Apr 23, 2008.

  1. Dimme Senior Member

    Hi there guys and girls. It's from R.E.O. Speedwagon's song "Take it on the run". I'll colour the line or lines that I don't understand.

    You take it on the run baby
    If thats the way you want it baby
    Then I dont want you around
    I dont believe it
    Not for a minute
    Youre under the gun so you take it on the run
  2. lian.alon22 Senior Member

    Basically, he's telling her that "you're under the gun", or rather, "you're in a tight spot", "so you take it on the run".... To be perfectly honest, as much of an REO Speedwagon fan as I am, I've never been able to come up with a good translation of this part... so hopefully someone else in the forum will be more successful.

    I hope that helps!
  3. GreenWhiteBlue

    GreenWhiteBlue Senior Member

    The City of New York
    USA - English
    Don't bother trying to understand the lyrics of modern popular songs in English. Very often they mean nothing at all, but are just gibberish.
  4. lian.alon22 Senior Member

    Actually, GreenWhiteBlue, this is neither a "modern" popular song, nor is it gibberish. The song was written in 1981, and "take it on the run" actually means that she is leaving town because the rumors are too much. Here's the link to some background on song and explanation of the lyrics:

    It's actually a well done article, even though it is a wikipedia article. I hope this helps.
  5. Dimme Senior Member

    OK, thank you all. I'm sorry but I haven't understood the meaning of "You're under the gun" or "You're under the spotlight" just like our friend said. Means that "they all know what you're doing"? "We got you, it's known to all"? Thank you once again for your time. It means a lot to me.
  6. bibliolept

    bibliolept Senior Member

    Northern California
    AE, Español
    I agree that "you're under the gun" likely means to be under pressure, facing a difficult difficult situation or deadline.

    I am not so sure about the second phrase.
  7. lian.alon22 Senior Member

    You have the general idea. Everybody knows what she's done and she needs to do something about it because her reputation is fading fast. She's gotten herself in a bad position with her behavior (hence, "under the gun") and she need to get out of it. Other examples of being "under the gun":

    You've got a major credit card bill due in a week and you have been unsuccessful in finding a new job. You have no way to pay this bill and it is a lot of money.

    You have a test in your worst subject coming up and instead of studying, you went out to party with your friends. The test is in less than an hour and it will effect the majority of your grade.

    Any difficult or uncomfortable situation would be an example of being "under the gun", or in a "tight place". This could also mean "in the spotlight", but not always, because sometimes it is just your issue. In the case in the song however, her difficult position is a result of everyone knowing what she did, thus it comes from her being "in the spotlight"...

    I hope this helps!
  8. GreenWhiteBlue

    GreenWhiteBlue Senior Member

    The City of New York
    USA - English
    Actually, lian, I think a song written when I was already half again older than you are now can be counted as a "modern" song, unless you wish to argue that I am not "modern", and that my appearance of being alive is an illusion.:)

    Please note that the meaning of "modern" is not confined to "things a 16-year-old remembers as being brand new."
  9. lian.alon22 Senior Member

    i apologise, GreenWhiteBlue, I didn't mean to offend! I guess you're right, but i always thought of modern music more as pop/rap, that's more the stuff with gibberish. most classic rock actually has meaning and story behind it. Mostly, i see modern as this decade, but you're right, you are alive, so maybe i'll need to rethink my definitions!
  10. obscureinfo New Member

    Actually, I have been thinking about this alot and I think what it means is she is sneaking around and cheating. 'Take it on the run' means she is not committed to the relationship, she is just getting her love in cheap affairs. Affairs are usually marked by quick encounters, usually built around sex. There is no real relationship there, because you haven't spend the time to get to know the person, you are mostly just interested in the sex. So you sneak off for a few hours every once and awhile to have sex with a person who excites you.

    So he tells her "if that is how she wants it", quick encounters without a real relationship, then he doesn't want her around. He wants a real, fully-committed relationship and if she doesn't stop her cheating, he wants her to leave for good.

    But he is holding out hope that she has some sort of reason for doing this. So he tells her he thinks she is "under the gun" and that's why she does this cheating. As others have said, 'under the gun' means 'under pressure' like if someone had drawn a gun on you. It implies that she has been forced for some reason to seek out these illict affairs. We have to imagine what that reason might be. What sort of pressure is she under? Blackmail? Who knows. It's her way of being able to come back. She can say that she was pressured into this affair by circumstances outside her control if she is willing to give it up and not 'take it on the run'. He knows that she enjoys it as she puts on her 'bedroom eyes', which is another way of saying she is getting all dressed up with makeup and everything. If she was pressured into this behavior, she wouldn't put forth that kind of effort.

    But he loves her and wants to give her that chance to come back to him and him only. I must admit, it is a weird turn of phrase, but what do you expect from Rock music? (even light rock like REO Speedwagon)
  11. Dimme Senior Member

    Thank you very much for your reply. I think you were very analytical and explicative. Rock phrases are different, rock songwriters(I mean many of them) have a way with words which is not "clear"...I thought that "under the gun" meant that she was afraid of something...Fear of commitment? Fear that the relationship(s) she was into, was/were becoming like a threat for her, she wasn't ready to give more as she was afraid of something? That "something" is what we are trying to figure out. Anyway, you shed enough light on it.
  12. grubble

    grubble Senior Member

    South of England, UK
    British English
    I see it as a military metaphor. If you are under fire (from a gun), it makes sense to move quickly (run).
  13. Dimme Senior Member

    Run b....or I'll kill you? OK, we should get some info from song facts:This song was Gary Richrath's answer to fellow band co-leader Kevin Cronin's "Keep on Loving You" (#1 in 1981) - both were going through marital difficulties at the time. Says Richrath: "When I wrote that, I woke up one night, half asleep, and sat down in front of the TV. There was a soap opera on it. I was just sitting there, strumming a guitar, thinking, 'God, these guys' relationships are worse than mine.' I just sat there and sang vocals about the effects of gossip and relationships breaking up, which was what was on the tube and all that was similar to what was going on in my life."

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