top of page

Advent Day 6: Run Boy Run

Run boy run! This world is not made for you Run boy run! They're trying to catch you…

Tomorrow is another day And you won't have to hide away You'll be a man, boy.

Run Boy Run, Woodkid


This song is wonderfully dramatic, especially with the apocalyptic percussion and the lyrics, which provide plenty of fodder for the imagination. It is perhaps not surprising that Woodkid, otherwise known as Yoann Lemoine, is a music video director, because it is clear from his music that he is a talented story-teller. His songs could easily have been lifted from a film soundtrack.

And if I were to ever create a film of Jesus' early life, 'Run boy run' would definitely be in there. Listening to Woodkid’s song, I can picture scenes of Herod’s soldiers raiding Bethlehem in search of the baby king. The film would then cut to epic aerial shots of the young family fleeing through desert valleys and rocky hillsides. (I think it would make a great film, but I’m not too sure how historically accurate my imaginings are...)

It also strikes me that the first line of the song has an almost biblical ring to it ('this world is not made for you'). It brings to mind one of the most famous Christmas passages, that mind-boggling introduction to the gospel of John, which is so often read during carol services:

‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.’

From the very beginning of Jesus' life, he is chased by enemies, and throughout his ministry as an adult, he spends much of his time telling people not to spread the news about him; his life is constantly in danger. And yet just like the lyrics of the song, there comes a day when he no longer has to ‘hide away’. Strangely though, Jesus does not come into public view because the threat has been removed, but rather he reveals himself for the very opposite reason. He chooses to face his enemies.

That is the paradox of the Christmas story: here we have a king who is hidden away in a stable rather than celebrated in a palace; on arriving in the world, he is given myrrh as a present, that bitter perfume of burial and death; he is a child surrounded by bloodshed from his very birth when Herod orders the execution of baby boys in a failed attempt to destroy him. This is definitely not the cosy nativity play that we remember from school.

However, if we look at the carol, ‘We Three Kings’, we find a far more truthful view of his birth:

Myrrh is mine Its bitter perfume breathes A life of gathering gloom Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying Sealed in the stone-cold tomb

And yet this sobering reality is also core to our understanding of the true wonder of Christmas; for this child who was destined for death, did not die a pointless death, but He came to save us from death itself. Glorious now behold Him arise King and God and Sacrifice! Alleluia, alleluia


This is part of my LittlePonderings series: "Unseasonal Songs: An Alternative Advent in Song Lyrics". You can find out more here.

28 views1 comment

Recent Posts

See All

1 Comment

Dec 06, 2019

Excellent analogy here and how blessed we are that in the end he didn’t run, but it with us for all eternity!

bottom of page