Wings – Band On The Run

When I was in 5th grade I had music class in a portable. Something like this one.


These were portable classrooms parked on the school grounds presumably to hold overflow classes. It was cold in the winter and roasting in the summer, but they were cool inside. Our music teacher had all kinds of decorations up and this was the first time I can recall seeing the iconic pictures of The Beatles.

She had up the “White Album Potraits”.

beatleswhiteprintgb-1I had no idea at the time who they were. I remember asking someone and being told with as much horror as another 5th grader could muster “those are The Beatles!”. I knew who Paul McCartney was (I had a 45 of Wings) and I knew who The Beatles were (I had a couple 45’s of theirs too) but I didn’t know their faces. I was a radio man, and there were no pictures of the boys on the 45’s. I’ll always remember that moment, the synching of the faces to the music.

Music class was an interesting mix of fun singing and drudgery singing. Christmas Carols around Christmas and what I’m sure were considered classics throughout the year, like “When The Saints Come Marching In” and “Take Me Out To The Ball Game” and “I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing”. However, every so often on a rare occasion we sang something current. I recall vividly singing the song “Shannon” by Henry Gross and “I’d Really Love To See You Tonight” by England Dan and John Ford Coley.

To sing these songs we had the lyrics on an overhead and the teacher would point out the words in sort of a bouncing ball style, or cover the lyrics with another sheet of paper and only reveal the line we were to sing. It was pretty hands on in those days.

Towards the impending summer, our music teacher did something almost incomprehensibly cool. She opened up the selection of songs, to suggestions, and futher, she stated that if we wrote out the lyrics she would create an overhead for the class to read and sing along with. It blew our tiny 5th grade minds.

The first to actually take her up on this was a bold student who asked if we could do “Detroit Rock City” by Kiss. We all held out breath and prepared for a stern lecture about appropriateness and the sharp sting of NO. Much to our surprise, she agreed and the next week we were, after singing our hearts out to the standard fare, singing “Detroit Rock City” at the top of our lungs. It was magical.

Bolstered by this I set in on my “Wings – Band On The Run” 45.

I didn’t have the internet to download the lyrics, or the album that might have had the lyrics written on it’s sleeve. I had to do it the old school way. I played the 45 over and over and over and over writting down everything I thought I heard and then lifting the needle and starting over. It was a ridiculously slow painful process and to this day I’m not sure I had everything right, but I had a whole sheet written and I brought both the 45 and the lyrics I had scrawled to class the next week. The teacher didn’t dismiss my selection outright, that was good, but she had to take it home and review it. She put both the 45 and the lyrics in her bag and I had to wait a week to see if she was going to use my song.


The next week she had turned my lyrics into an overhead and almost at the very end of class it went up on the overhead and the class was like “no way” and “cool” and “yes” and I had a huge smile as we sang as a class “Wings – Band On The Run”. It may have been the crowning acheivment of my 5th grade year.


Incidently, here are the lyrics.

Stuck inside these four walls, sent inside forever,
Never seeing no one nice again like you,
Mama you, mama you.
If I ever get out of here,
Thought of giving it all away
To a registered charity.
All I need is a pint a day
If I ever get out of here.

Well, the rain exploded with a mighty crash as we fell into the sun,
And the first one said to the second one there I hope you’re having fun.
Band on the run, band on the run.
And the jailer man and sailor sam were searching every one

For the band on the run, band on the run, band on the run, band on the run

Well, the undertaker drew a heavy sigh seeing no one else had come,
And a bell was ringing in the village square for the rabbits on the run.
Band on the run, band on the run.
And the jailer man and sailor sam, were searching every one

For the band on the run, band on the run,band on the run, band on the run

Well, the night was falling as the desert world began to settle down.
In the town they’re searching for us every where, but we never will be found.
Band on the run, band on the run

And the county judge, who held a grudge
Will search for evermore
For the band on the run, band on the run, band on the run, band on the run

I know for a fact that I didn’t have the “all I need is a pint a day” line right, and I had “and a bell was ringing in the village square for the bandits on the run”. My undertaker line was a mess too. I listened to that line over and over and probably wore a rut in the groove trying to figure that one out, and I still got it way wrong.

Ah well, no one was the wiser back then.

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  1. I am really not a fan of McCartney and band on the run. I think I heard it so much it turned my off and quiver like a little cold bunny when I hear it

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