The Meaning Behind Paramore’s “Running Out Of Time” Lyrics

A whole generation of kids grew up singing along to Paramore’s pop rock anthems, and most millennials will probably still have quite the soft spot for the band. Even after all this time, lead vocalist Hayley Williams is proving to be just as relatable now. During promotions for their new album This is Why, Paramore gave their debut performance of their latest song “Running Out of Time” at a Nashville show on Feb. 6. “This is a song about how I’m always late to everything,” Williams quipped at the audience at the Grand Ole Opry, per Rolling Stone. “It’s really not that deep unless you want to think about the planet dying. Then it can be that deep.”

However, Williams did later reveal a deeper meaning behind the song, after all. Speaking to Zane Lowe on Apple Music, she revealed that this new song was actually inspired by a memory of hanging out with Taylor Swift when they were both teenagers.

“I remember when we were 19 and I was closer with Taylor Swift at that point because we both lived in Nashville and we’re both experiencing our own versions of real success for the first time,” the 34-year-old singer recalled. She talked about hanging out in Swift’s house, how the other singer-songwriter is “a really good cook,” and about seeing a closet filled with gifts that were ready to send out to people who Swift wanted to thank.

“I was like, ‘Oh my god, my life is so not together.’ I was like, ‘I can barely remember to send someone a card or flowers,” she said. It was this feeling of needing to get her life together that ultimately inspired “Running Out of Time,” with lyrics on how she was going to give flowers to her neighbour, or send out a condolences card, or walk the dog more, but ends up not doing any of it.

Williams continued telling Lowe: “I wish that I was the person that felt like I had all my sh*t together and I was like, ‘Oh, I had some extra time, so I’m just popping by with some flowers.’ That kind of thing, that is my idealised self.”

Listen to the song and read the lyrics of “Running Out of Time” in full, below.

[Verse 1]

Said I was gonna take some flowers to my neighbour, but I

Ran out of time

Didn’t wanna show up to the party empty-handed, but I

Ran out of time

Said I’d walk the dog a little further than the driveway tonight

The extra mile

Thought I’d send a card with my condolences, but, damn, I

Just ran out of time


Intentions only get you so far

What if I’m just a selfish pr*ck; no regard?


I’m always running out of time

I’m always running out of time

[Verse 2]

Never mind, I hit the snooze on my alarm twenty times

But I was just so tired

There was traffic, spilled my coffee, crashed my car, otherwise

Woulda been here on time

Shoulda, coulda, wouldn’t matter, ultimate alibi

You know it’s a lie

There was a fire (Metaphorically)

Be there in five (Hyperbolically)


Intentions only get you so far (It was on my list, I swear I meant to get to it)

A harsh reality to discover


I’m always running out of time

(She’s always running out of time)

I’m always running out of time


Why we gotta be in a rush?

My watch is just for decoration

Look, I showed up early for once

Now that’s a new sensation


We’re always running out of time

(She’s always running out of time)

I’m always running out of time

I’m always running out of time

(She’s always running out of time, out of time)

I’m always running out of time

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