Tunesday: Lucius – “Two of Us on the Run”

For March, our Tunesday theme is: “In like a lamb, out like a lion” — songs that build to an awesome crescendo, vocally or musically

I love the Tunesday themes, but the selection process always leaves me just a little bit sad. To the songs that I considered but didn’t choose: I’m sorry. I’m keeping your identity hidden and safe for now, and perhaps one day — maybe next March, maybe sooner, maybe later — I can write about you and nobody will ever know you were runners-up today. Poor little fellers.

The winner, by way of catchy persistence, is Lucius’s “Two of Us on the Run.” This song is mesmerizing. And I can’t shake it from my mind lately; it’s an earworm that shows up around every corner of my mind like the twins in The Shining.

And though there is a definite sonic swell in the second half of the song that fits the crescendo theme in an obvious way, I was surprised to discover that it is the song’s lyrics that truly come in like a lamb and go out like a lion.

There are two of us on the run
Going so fast, every doubt we had is coming undone

The lyrics tell a story, and it feels in the beginning like the narrator and his or her companion are lambs, running away from something in aimless fear, as they “pass so many people on the road” trying perhaps to get to “better light” where “everything changes.” The soft music backs up this apparent timidity and uncertainty.

But as the music pulses and grows in volume with the introduction of percussion a little more than halfway through, it becomes clear in the lyrics that these runners are not lambs running in fear from their past, but lions chasing down their futures with hungry, predatory confidence. The gentle melody turns into a chant:

There’s no race
There’s only a runner
Just keep one foot
In front of the other

A lion hunt isn’t a race, put on for fun and show; it’s survival. The song turns out to be not about two of us on the run from anything, but two of us on the run toward something — toward the future, the present, life.

One day tell our story
Of how we made something
We made something of ourselves

It’s a beautiful, inspiring song, and one perfect for the spring. In like a lamb, running scared in circles, out like a lion, running hungrily forward.

Read more from Jeremy here and on Twitter: @jereminate.