Your Entire 20s Explained By Blues Traveler’s ‘Run-Around’

Blues Traveler

I was originally going to write something about how today’s current pop song lyrics relate to your 20s. Then I listened to some of today’s top pop songs and realized that most of the lyrics weren’t that relatable at all. They mainly consist of telling people to dance and throw their hands in the air, because it’s all about that bass. Life is not all about that bass. Then I thought I’d do a 90s version instead, but I was quickly overwhelmed with too many great lyrics. Then I heard Blues Traveler’s “Run-Around” and realized that this one song could encapsulate your entire 20s.

“Run-Around” – The title alone perfectly describes life in your 20s. You will live in more places in your 20s than you probably will for the rest of your life. Also, you’re constantly told to travel in your 20s, and besides having no money it really is the best time to go out and see other parts of the country or even the world. Now let’s get into the lyrics. I’ll explain the verses first and summarize the chorus at the end.

Once upon a midnight dreary – Your 20s is probably the decade you’ll see the most midnights.
I woke with something in my head – That’s a banging hangover you’ll start to feel more and more of.

I couldn’t escape the memory
Of a phone call and of what you said – People you know will call and leave you voicemails from time to time, and you won’t be able to escape the thought of why they didn’t just text you.

Like a game show contestant with a parting gift
I could not believe my eyes – You’ve received your parting gift (a diploma) after graduating college and are realizing that there’s not really a clear plan after that. You have this gift of a degree, but you’re not exactly sure what to do with it. It’s like winning a juicer, but you don’t have any fruit to make juice out of it.

When I saw through the voice of a trusted friend
Who needs to humor me and tell me lies
Yeah, humor me and tell me lies – Being in your 20s is a weird stretch of your life, because you feel like you need to boast about your achievements to your friends to sound successful. Even though odds are you probably haven’t really achieved that much yet.

And I’ll lie too and say I don’t mind – Learning to say when you do and don’t mind is an important part of your 20s. Saying, “I don’t mind” to your roommate when they borrow some of your milk is mentally healthy. However, when they start slamming beers and never replenish the fridge, well then you’ve got issues.

And as we seek so shall we find
And when you’re feeling open I’ll still be here
But not without a certain degree of fear
Of what will be with you and me
I still can see things hopefully – Let’s just take a moment to appreciate those lyrics, and be grateful that it’s not “all about that bass.” Anyways, your 20s is all about dealing with the fear of the unknown like what you want to do for a living, and what you want to do while you’re waiting to do what you really want to do for a living. It’s also important to see things hopefully regardless of your circumstances.


But you
Why you wanna give me a run-around
Is it a sure-fire way to speed things up
When all it does is slow me down

And shake me and my confidence
About a great many things
But I’ve been there I can see it cower
Like a nervous magician waiting in the wings – Whatever career path you’re taking, you will most likely not be at the position you want to be when you start working. Just remember to stay patient and confident, and much like the backup magician you may soon get your chance to star. Hopefully you’re not promoted for negligence because the last guy accidentally sawed someone in half but you get the idea.

Of a bad play where the heroes are right
And nobody thinks or expects too much – A very bright spot of being in your 20s (especially in 2015) is that no one really expects too much of you. If you’re still living with your parents at 27, so be it. You’re working on some things.

And Hollywood’s calling for the movie rights – This one actually only applies if you are a real life super hero or a sequel somehow.

Singing hey babe let’s keep in touch
Hey baby let’s keep in touch – Your friends will spread out throughout your 20s and you will have good intentions to keep in touch with all of them. However, it’s much easier said than done. To make it look like you really care just leave a post on their Facebook wall that says something like, “LET’S CATCH UP SOON!” and then just never call.

But I want more than a touch I want you to reach me
And show me all the things no one else can see
So what you feel becomes mine as well
And soon if we’re lucky we’d be unable to tell
What’s yours and mine, the fishing’s fine
And it doesn’t have to rhyme, so don’t you feed me a line – You’ll attend a lot of weddings in your 20s, and hopefully you’ll eventually find someone that shows you all the things no one else can see. If not, you’ll always have the open bars.


But you
Why you wanna give me a run-around –
Is it a sure-fire way to speed things up
When all it does is slow me down

Harmonica Break – At some point in your 20s you’ll realize that John Popper is really good at harmonica – like really really good. It might even be now. While reading this article.

Tra la la la la bombardier this is the pilot speaking
And I’ve got some news for you – Again your 20s is the best time to travel, and you’ll learn both the beauty and miserable flaws of air travel. Most of the news from your pilot will be that you’re delayed, much like your goals in your 20s.

It seems my ship still stands no matter what you drop
And there ain’t a whole lot that you can do – You’ll realize how resilient you really are through your 20s, even though you’ll be terrified while you’re experiencing it.

Oh sure the banner may be torn and the wind’s gotten colder
Perhaps I’ve grown a little cynical – Oh yes you will become more and more cynical of the world as you get deeper into your 20s. You will get burned by relying on co-workers to help you out and will eventually learn to trust almost no one.

But I know no matter what the waitress brings
I shall drink it and always be full
Yeah, I will drink it and always be full –While you may become more cynical, you will also learn to appreciate the challenges that you come across and will learn to drink whatever the waitress (life) brings you. This includes the dirty water of your 20s like paying back student loans, getting a decent job, or coping with the fact that Netflix is no longer streaming The Mighty Ducks.

Oh I like coffee, – At some point you’ll discover that you like coffee, and you won’t understand how you ever existed without it.

and I like tea – You’ll start to drink tea to try and reduce the damage you’ve already done to your liver from drinking so much in your earlier 20s.

I’d like to be able to enter a final plea
I still got this dream that you just can’t shake – If you have dreams, your 20s is a great place to go for them. People become much more judgmental when you hit 30 and you’re still only a backup magician.

I love you to the point you can no longer take – You’ll fall in love.

Well all right okay
So be that way – You’ll hate the thing you were once in love with.

I hope and pray
That there’s something left to say… – When you hit 30 all you can hope and pray for is to look back and appreciate what you did for those ten years, because there’s no reliving them.

For you, now
Why you wanna give me a run-around
Is it a sure-fire way to speed things up
When all it does is slow me down – You’ll never really feel like you’re settled down in your 20s. People will give you the run around in relationships, jobs and rent deposits. They may think they’re speeding you up by pushing you in one direction, when they’re actually just slowing you down. Run around them to get to where you really want to be.

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