Runaround Sue
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Runaround Sue

"Runaround Sue"
Runaround Sue - Dion.jpg
Single by Dion
from the album Runaround Sue
"Runaway Girl"
ReleasedSeptember 1961[1]
Gene Schwartz
Dion singles chronology
"Somebody Nobody Wants"
"Runaround Sue"
"The Wanderer"

"Runaround Sue" is a pop song, in a modified doo-wop style, originally a US No. 1 hit for the singer Dion during 1961 after he split with the Belmonts. The song ranked No. 351 on the Rolling Stone list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time".[3] It was written by Dion with Ernie Maresca, and tells the story of a disloyal lover. UK singer Doug Sheldons version reached number 36 in the UK charts in 1961.


The lyrics are sung from the point of view of a man whose former girlfriend, named Sue, was extremely unfaithful. He warns all potential lovers to avoid her at all costs, as Sue "runs around" with every guy she meets and never settles down with any man in particular. He advises; "now people let me put you wise, Sue goes out with other guys" and suggests that potential suitors should "keep away from Runaround Sue". Dion stated in his autobiography The Wanderer that although his wife's name was Susan, "Runaround Sue" had nothing to do with her. However, during a 1990 interview with his wife on The Oprah Winfrey Show, they presented the story that the song was indeed about her.[4]


The song was recorded at Bell Sound in New York City in the summer of 1961. The musicians included:[5]

Chart performance

Leif Garrett cover

"Runaround Sue"
Runaround Sue - Leif Garrett.jpg
Single by Leif Garrett
from the album Leif Garrett
"I Wanna Share a Dream with You"
ReleasedNovember 1977
LabelAtlantic 3110
Michael Lloyd
Leif Garrett singles chronology
"Surfin' USA"
"Runaround Sue"
"Put Your Head on My Shoulder"

"Runaround Sue" was covered by then 15-year-old Leif Garrett in 1977. The song was the second of four releases from his debut album, all of which became U.S. chart hits. All four songs were covers of major hits from 1959 to 1963, including Dion's two biggest hits. Of the four, "Runaround Sue" was the most successful for Garrett. In early 1978, his version reached No. 13 on Billboard and No. 18 on Cash Box. The song also reached No. 15 in Canada.[11]

Garrett was born during the chart run of Dion's original version of "Runaround Sue," during the fall of 1961. Garrett's cover of the song hit the charts the week of his 16th birthday.

Chart performance

Other cover versions and samples


  • Hibernian F.C. fans have used the song's backing track to their own lyrics from May 2016.
  • Dion's version appears in a 2019 TV commercial for Applebee's, promoting the chain's to-go menu.


  1. ^ Strong, M. C. (1995). The Great Rock Discography. Edinburgh: Canongate Books Ltd. p. 220. ISBN 0-86241-385-0.
  2. ^ Unterberger, Richie. "Runaround Sue - Dion | Song Info". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016.
  3. ^ "500 Greatest Songs of All Time". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2014.
  4. ^ "The Real-Life 'Runaround Sue' Who Inspired the Legendary Song". OWN. August 18, 2016 – via YouTube.
  5. ^ Myers, Marc (2016). Anatomy of a Song: The Oral History of 45 Iconic Hits That Changed Rock, R&B and Pop. New York: Grove Press. p. 38.
  6. ^
  7. ^ "flavour of new zealand - Lever hit parades". Retrieved 2016.
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Dion Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved April 9, 2015.
  10. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1961/Top 100 Songs of 1961". Retrieved 2016.
  11. ^ a b "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Archived from the original on July 25, 2015. Retrieved 2016.
  12. ^ a b Hung, Steffen. "Forum - 1970 (ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts)". Retrieved 2016.
  13. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2016.
  14. ^ "NZ Top 40 Singles Chart | The Official New Zealand Music Chart". April 2, 1978. Retrieved 2016.
  15. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
  16. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1993). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-1993. Record Research. p. 94.
  17. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Archived from the original on July 25, 2015. Retrieved 2016.
  18. ^ "1978 Year End". Retrieved 2016.
  19. ^ Caramanica, Jon (March 28, 2014). "A Rapper Appropriating Dion's Cool". New York Times.
  20. ^ Stewart, Allison (February 14, 2013). "G-Eazy's musical education is an ongoing process". Chicago Tribune.
  21. ^

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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