Martha and the Vandellas – Nowhere to Run

The song peaked at #8 in the Billboard 100 in 1965. The song was written by the songwriting team of Lamont Dozier and brothers Brian and Eddie Holland.

Lamont Dozier said that one of the inspirations was a teenager who was frightened because he was about to go to Vietnam. Lamont threw a party for him but the boy was quiet because he said he would never make it back from Vietnam. He said he felt trapped with nowhere to run.

Dozier tried to cheer him up but it didn’t work. The nineteen-year-old didn’t make it back alive, he was killed after only two months.

Songfacts.

“Nowhere To Run” is in the rubric of “I love you but you don’t love me” songs that Holland-Dozier-Holland often created. Another good example is “This Old Heart Of Mine (Is Weak for You).”

Along with a tambourine and drums, snow chains – the kind made for tires – were used as percussion for this song. Motown producers often got inventive in the studio, resulting in some unique soundscapes.

All the instruments were played by the Funk Brothers, who were session musicians for Motown.

Because of its brassy sound and chorus, this song is one of many which are popular at sporting events, where the original version is played, or a marching band performs it.

The song was particularly popular during the Vietnam War, and was featured in the 1987 film Good Morning, Vietnam. 

Janet Jackson intended on recording a remake of this on her 1990 Rhythm Nation 1814 album before being persuaded by her songwriters Jam and Lewis to record a song with a similar beat. The end result was her American chart-topper “Escapade.”

Nowhere to Run

Nowhere to run to, baby, nowhere to hide
Got nowhere to run to, baby, nowhere to hide.
It’s not love, I’m a running from,
It’s the heartbreak I know will come.
‘Cause I know you’re no good for me, but you’ve become a part of me.
Ev’rywhere I go, your face I see, ev’ry step I take, you take with me yeah

Nowhere to run to, baby, nowhere to hide
Got nowhere to run to, baby, nowhere to hide.
I know you’re not good for me, but free of you I’ll never be, no.
Each night as I sleep, into my heart you creep.
I wake up feelin’ sorry I met you, hoping soon that I’ll forget you.
When I look in the mirror to comb my hair 
I see your face just a smiling there.

Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide from you baby,
Got nowhere to run to, baby, nowhere to hide.
I know you’re no good for me, but you’ve become a part of me,
How can I fight a lover, that shouldn’t be, when it’s so deep,
So deep, deep inside of me
My love reaches so high I can’t get over it
It’s so wide I can’t get around it, no 
Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide from you baby
Just can’t get away from you baby, no matter how I try to 

I know you’re no good for me, but free of you I’ll never be, 
Nowhere to run to baby, nowhere to hide, got nowhere to run to baby.

Author: badfinger20

Guitar, Bass, song writer,

2 thoughts on “Martha and the Vandellas – Nowhere to Run”

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