I’m late to the party with this song, and with Bob Evans in general. I couldn’t even name you another song by the man — except that my MP3 player tells me that the Spider-Man theme from the 19070s cartoon is also by a man by the name of Bob Evans.
The thing is, this song says to me adventure. Although in general I think it’s more about wanting to be happy, and wanting the person you care most about to leave a place where you’re unhappy — lines like “I don’t feel this place holds a lot for me/
So darlin’ won’t you come run away with me” and “I’m done with this crowd and I’m done with this scene/And you’re the only one who believes in me” both to me reinforce this idea, and suggest an unhappiness.
But as I say, to me it plays into wanting an adventure — the line “I want to belong, but I’d rather be free” says they want to see what is out there in the world. They want to be free, but then again — don’t we all?
Free in this context does not mean alone. I think it’s incredibly important that the song’s title isn’t “I’m running away” but instead “Darlin’ Won’t You Come” is an invitation to the person he loves, with every verse starting with the same line: “Darlin’ won’t you come run away with me”.
I once met a man, at a conference, who told me he was homeless. He wasn’t begging for change or living on the street, what he meant was he didn’t own a home and he didn’t have a home he was paying rent on. He literally had no home address, he said because he travelled so much with his work that he lived his life in hotels.
I’m someone that likes to travel, and actively wants adventure — and yet I’m almost horrified by the idea of literally having no home, nowhere to go back to, nowhere that you can close the door and be in your own place. I want to see the world, I want all the adventures I can have — but I also want that place that is home, and that person to run away with.
The fine balance between belonging and being free.