The song “Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster the People contains the following lyrics as its chorus:
All the other kids with the pumped up kicks you better run, better run, outrun my gun. All the other kids with the pumped up kicks you better run, better run, faster than my bullet.
After the shootings in Newtown last month, many radio stations around the country pulled the song, for what they said were obvious reasons.
The band’s leader, Mark Foster, issued a statement saying, “I respect people’s decision to press pause.” He added that he wrote the song “as a way to create ongoing dialogue for an issue that was being talked about, but when it came to government intervention, was largely being ignored.”
The song was listed for banishment by Frederick’s KEY 103 but it has been playing recently, to the dismay of listeners including Mark Johnson, a computer network manager.
“It was a surprise because it was a song that had seemed to have gone from their playlist for a while,” Johnson told the Frederick News-Post. “It’s insensitive in its timing.”
The paper spoke to Fred Manning, the chief operations officer at the station, and it turns out the song was playing because of what seems like a quirk in how radio stations are programmed these days.
“Manning said the intention was to pull the song the day of the shooting, and that it was manually removed from the station’s playlist,” the paper said. “But he said no one removed it from the computerized system that contains the songs in the rotation.”
As to the future of the song — here’s a music video — Manning said, “It won’t be played again.”
Have you heard this song recently on the radio? Do you think it should be dropped from playlists?