Follow Billboard. All rights reserved. It was a catchy crossover hit that catered to multiple genre formats, and it helped usher in a new era of commercially successful indie-leaning pop music. Plus, it turned frontman Mark Foster from a L. So it may be surprising that, when reflecting on the song eight years after it reached No. So the song was written from the perspective of Robert, a high schooler with plans to go through with a school shooting. Can you share a little about how you wrote the song and where that idea came from? Well, I'll stop you in the question and say the school shooting part of it was never spoken about in the song. I think people filled in the blanks that it was about a school shooting, but I never say anything about a school in the song. It's really more about this person's psyche.
Robert's got a quick hand He'll look around the room, he won't tell you his plan He's got a rolled cigarette Hanging out his mouth, he's a cowboy kid. Yeah, he found a six shooter gun In his dad's closet, in the box of fun things And I don't even know what But he's coming for you, yeah, he's coming for you. All the other kids with the pumped up kicks You better run, better run outrun my gun All the other kids with the pumped up kicks You better run, better run faster than my bullet. Daddy works a long day He be coming home late and he's coming home late And he's bringing me a surprise 'Cause dinner's in the kitchen and it's packed in ice. I've waited for a long time Yeah, the sleight of my hand is now a quick-pull trigger I reason with my cigarette Then say: Your hair's on fire You must have lost your wits, yeah. All the other kids with the pumped up kicks You better run, better run, outrun my gun All the other kids with the pumped up kicks You better run, better run faster than my bullet.
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This song has unfortunately become the infamous National Anthem every time there is a mass shooting in the USA, as radio stations play it every time one occurs, and they occur far too often, not that our legislatures will ever enact any laws to help stop these masacres. The next line reinforces this idea. However, it seems as though he is now in a city.
It was when my wife shoved the music player back across the table that I realized I needed to think harder about the tune I was playing for her. It is a perky pop ditty with just enough low-fi murkiness to make it hip. And its bright carousel of a chorus gets in your head and spins merrily around. Maybe we're desensitized by the almost absurdly violent first-person-shooter video games so many kids spend their afternoons playing. Maybe naming the song after fancy sneakers instead of the weaponry creates enough emotional distance. Or maybe we figure — as I initially did — that it's just pop music, and its ear-candy qualities trump whatever the point of view might be. But after looking closely at the song's lyrics and listening to it many extra times, I have come to agree that this song is more deserving of a push away than the warm embrace it has mostly received.