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Jackson Browne - Running On Empty

Looking out at the road rushing under my wheels
Looking back at the years gone by like so many summer fields
In sixty-five I was seventeen and running up 101
I don't know where I'm running now, I'm just running on

Running on, running on empty
Running on, running blind
Running on, running into the sun
But I'm running behind

Gotta do what you can just to keep your love alive
Trying not to confuse it with what you do to survive
In sixty-nine I was twenty-one and I called the road my own
I don't know when that road turned, into the road I'm on

Running on, running on empty
Running on, running blind
Running on, running into the sun
But I'm running behind

Everyone I know, everywhere I go
People need some reason to believe
I don't know about anyone but me
If it takes all night, that'll be all right
If I can get you to smile before I leave

Looking out at the road rushing under my wheels
I don't know how to tell you all just how crazy this life feels
Look around for the friends that I used to turn to to pull me through
Looking into their eyes I see them running too

Running on, running on empty
Running on, running blind
Running on, running into the sun
But I'm running behind

Honey you really tempt me
You know the way you look so kind
I'd love to stick around but I'm running behind
You know I don't even know what I'm hoping to find
Running into the sun but I'm running behind

"Running on Empty" is a song written and performed by American singer-songwriter Jackson Browne. It is the title track to his 1977 live Running on Empty album, recorded at a concert at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland, on August 27, 1977. A number eleven hit on the Billboard Hot 100 when it was released as a single, Rolling Stone ranked it at number 492 on its list of the 500 greatest songs of all time and is one of Browne's signature songs. The song may be meant to describe the rigors of a musician's day-to-day life on the road, and its effect on his life as a whole, in connection with the themes of much of the album. But the lyric is more general: Looking out at the road rushing under my wheels — Looking back at the years gone by like so many summer fields. In '65 I was seventeen and running up 101 I don't know where I'm running now, I'm just running on ... The song starts off with an immediate, propulsive backbeat, with the melody carried by piano and throughout laced by David Lindley's distinctive lap steel guitar work. Browne's receives vocal back up from Rosemary Butler and Doug Haywood. The lyric's ages and years match up with Browne's: In '69 I was twenty-one and I called the road my own I don't know when that road turned onto the road I'm on. Rolling Stone writer Paul Nelson saw "Running on Empty" as embodying a "tenacious, win/lose duality" and being "what daydreamers have nightmares about":[3] You know I don't even know what I'm hoping to find ... Running into the sun, but I'm running behind. "Running on Empty" was Browne's third-biggest hit single in his career (trailing only "Doctor My Eyes" and "Somebody's Baby"), reaching number 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 in spring 1978, and subsequently became his most-played song on classic rock radio formats. It became a staple of Browne's concerts, and whenever Bruce Springsteen has guested at such shows, they have shared vocals on "Running on Empty".

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