Song of the Day #5,034: ‘The Loneliness of a Middle Distance Runner’ – Belle and Sebastian

Today’s track is the B-side (if such a thing exists in the digital world) to Belle and Sebastian’s 2001 CD single ‘Jonathan David.’

The song’s title is a play on the British short story and film The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner, and the lyrics reference some of that story’s plot points and themes.

I love the melancholy air, and the sense of aimlessness that’s echoed in the meandering instrumentation. This song is a vibe.

I take a second of the day
To think about the things that we have done this year
The dog lies down the pouring rain
I’m underneath the smoker’s railway arch again

The future’s looking colourful
It’s the colour of blood, chaos and corruption of a happy soul
A happy soul
We’ll ride in the field
Ride in the field
Ride in the field
Till the rain dies down

The railway ticket states the destination
But it doesn’t mean that we will show
There’s a fork upon the line
We pay the guard to switch the sign
Off we go

The future’s looking wonderful
It’s the wonder of a businessman’s conspiracy to sell you wares
No one cares
Oh, you care, I know
You care, I know
You care, I know
I forgot for a while

On a soggy afternoon spent in dispute
You give yourself a headache, boy
So I spend the day in stories
And in dreaming of the time when we’re on stage

Have you seen The Loneliness of the Middle Distance Runner
When he stops the race and looks around
I’ve left the stage, you’ve seen it it now

I walk to the station
Walk to the station
Walk to the station
Won’t you follow me down?

Walk to the station
Walk to the station
Walk to the station
Won’t you follow me down?

One thought on “Song of the Day #5,034: ‘The Loneliness of a Middle Distance Runner’ – Belle and Sebastian

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    Should have made this the single. It would have been a melancholy international hit!🤪

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