"I've Been Everywhere" is a song written by Australian country singer Geoff Mack in 1959, and made popular by Lucky Starr in 1962.

The song as originally written listed Australian towns. It was later adapted by Australian singer Rolf Harris with English and Scottish toponyms (1963),[1] and by John Hore (later known as John Grenell) with New Zealand toponyms (1966). In 1962, the song was a number-one US country hit for Hank Snow.[2] The song was also recorded by Lynn Anderson (US 1970), Asleep at the Wheel (US 1973), Johnny Cash (US 1996), Ted Egan, the "Farrelly Brothers" from the television series The Aunty Jack Show (Australia 1974, a parody version, on the album Aunty Jack Sings Wollongong),[3] John Grenell (NZ 1966), Mike Ford (Canada, 2005), The Sunny Cowgirls and the Statler Brothers. Harvey Reid also included the song in his Dreamer or Believer album.

Original singer Lucky Starr released an EP called "Lucky's Been Everywhere", which contained four different versions: United Kingdom, United States, New Zealand, and Australia.

Australian version

Some of the locations in the Australian version

The Australian version starts: "Well, I was humpin' my bluey[nb 1] on the dusty Oodnadatta road, When along came a semi with a high and canvas-covered load, 'If you're goin' to Oodnadatta, mate, um, with me you can ride,' so I climbed in the cabin, and I settled down inside, He asked me if i'd seen a road with so much dust and sand, I said listen mate, I've travelled every road in this here land. 'Cause..." No state capitals are mentioned or any major cities at all except for Darwin, the capital of Northern Territory, and Canberra, the capital of the nation.

The toponyms listed are:

Verse 1
Tullamore, Seymour, Lismore, Mooloolaba, Nambour, Maroochydore, Kilmore, Murwillumbah, Birdsville, Emmaville, Wallaville, Cunnamulla, Condamine, Strathpine, Proserpine, Ulladulla, Darwin, Gin Gin, Deniliquin, Muckadilla, Wallumbilla, Boggabilla, Kumbarilla.
Verse 2
Moree, Taree, Jerilderie, Bambaroo, Toowoomba, Gunnedah, Caringbah, Woolloomooloo, Dalveen, Tamborine, Engadine, Jindabyne, Lithgow, Casino, Brigalow, Narromine, Megalong, Wyong, Tuggerawong, Wanganella, Morella, Augathella, Brindabella
Verse 3
Wollongong, Geelong, Kurrajong, Mullumbimby, Mittagong, Cooranbong, Grong Grong, Goondiwindi, Yarra Yarra,[4] Bouindarra, Wallangarra, Turramurra, Boggabri, Gundagai, Narrabri, Tibooburra, Gulgong, Adelong, , Cabramatta, Parramatta, Wangaratta, Coolangatta
Verse 4
Ettalong, Dandenong, Woodenbong, Ballarat, Canberra, Milperra, Unanderra, Captains Flat, Cloncurry, River Murray, Kurri Kurri, Girraween, Terrigal, Fingal, Stockinbingal, Collaroy, Narrabeen, Bendigo, Dorrigo, Bangalow, Indooroopilly, Kirribilli, Yeerongpilly, Wollondilly

For some of the above, more than one place in Australia has the same name (e.g. Coolangatta, Gin Gin, and Fingal). The links given above are the most famous locations with those names.

Western Australian version

In 2005, wrote the Western Australian Version, keeping Geoff Mack's original tune but using places throughout the state of Western Australia. It was produced at the EMI Belinda Music Australia Pty Ltd studios.

Wightman included towns like Gingin, which was also included in the Australian version; Kellerberrin; Meekatharra; Collie; and Busselton.

North American version


Geoff Mack's music publisher offered the song to Canadian-born country musician Hank Snow in 1962. Snow thought the song had potential for the Canadian and American markets, but only if the toponyms were adapted to North America. At his publisher's urging, Geoff Mack consequently rewrote the song using a North American atlas supplied to him by the publisher. The North American version starts: "I was totin' my pack along the dusty Winnemucca road". Below are the places mentioned in this version of the song, most of which are in the continent of North America, while seven are in Central and South America (Panama, Salvador, Costa Rica, Barranquilla, Tocopilla, Argentina, and Diamantina):

First verse
Reno, Chicago, Fargo, Minnesota, Buffalo, Toronto, Winslow, Sarasota, Wichita, Tulsa, Ottawa, Oklahoma, Tampa, Panama, Mattawa,[nb 2] La Paloma, Bangor, Baltimore, Salvador, Amarillo, Tocopilla, Barranquilla and Padilla.
Second verse
Boston, Charleston, Dayton, Louisiana, Washington, Houston, Kingston, Texarkana, Monterey, Ferriday, Santa Fe, Tallapoosa, Glen Rock, Black Rock, Little Rock, Oskaloosa, Tennessee, Hennessey, Chicopee, Spirit Lake, Grand Lake, Devil's Lake and Crater Lake.
Third verse
Louisville, Nashville, Knoxville, Ombabika, Schefferville, Jacksonville, Waterville, Costa Rica, Pittsfield, Springfield, Bakersfield, Shreveport, Hackensack, Cadillac, Fond du Lac, Davenport, Idaho, Jellico, Argentina, Diamantina, Pasadena and Catalina.
Fourth verse
Pittsburgh, Parkersburg, Gravelbourg, Colorado, Ellensburg, Rexburg, Vicksburg, Eldorado, Larimore, Atmore, Haverstraw, Chatanika, Chaska, Nebraska, Alaska, Opelika, Baraboo, Waterloo, Kalamazoo, Kansas City, Sioux City, Cedar City and Dodge City.
A map of all locations named in the North American version

New Zealand version

The New Zealand version starts: Well I was hitching a ride on a winding Hokitika road, when along came a lorry....

First verse
, Whangaroa, Akaroa, Motueka, , Benmore, Pongaroa, Horoeka, Riwaka, Rimutaka, Te Karaka, Whangarei, Nuhaka, Waimahaka, , , Motunui, Hokonui, Papanui, Wainui, Matawai, Rongotai, Pikowai
Second verse
Woodville, Dargaville, Lumsden, Katikati, Naseby, Cambridge, Porirua, Mangaroa, Hastings, Tikitiki, Tauranga, Auckland, Naenae, Waitaha, Hamilton, Poroporo, Taupo, Timaru, Oamaru, , Awanui, Wanganui, Pauanui
Third verse
Featherston, Palmerston, Woolston, Te Awamutu, Riverton, Queenstown, Picton, Ohinemutu, Morere, Korere, Rotorua, Kaikoura, Matamata, Ruakura, Ikamatua, Papakura, Waitaki, Pukaki, Taranaki, Te Kauwhata, , , Waitemata
Fourth verse
Ruatoki, Mataura, Taupiri, Maketu, Kyeburn, , Wedderburn, Mossburn, Washdyke, , Paparoa, Kaponga, Te Aroha, Thames, Kerikeri, , Tapanui, , , Otahuhu, Ruatapu, Mosgiel, Whareroa
Fifth verse
Kapiti, , Onepu, Reporoa, Tongariro, , Renwick, Papamoa, Karitane, Oxford, Parihaka, Karetu, Coalgate, Whitecliffs, Urenui, Mamaku, Waimea, Waharoa, Dannevirke, Ngahere, Gordonton, Kingston, Oban

Great Britain and Ireland version

Lucky Starr's Great Britain and Ireland version starts: "I was peddlin' me bike on a narrow road near Brightlingsea, When along came a lorry and pulled up alongside o' me, 'Ere chuck your bike up on the back cop and with me you can ride, So I climbed up in the cabin and I settled down inside, He told me of the towns he'd seen and bashed me ear for several miles, I said 'ere, mug it cop, I've been to every town in these 'ere isles."

First verse
Bradford, Guildford, Oxford, Littlehampton, Bedford, Chingford, Hereford, Wolverhampton, Shrewsbury, Canterbury, Aylesbury, Liverpool, Scunthorpe, , Mablethorpe, Hartlepool, Whitehall, Blackpool, Mildenhall, Davenport, Newport, Southport, Stockport
Second verse
Farnborough, Edinburgh, Peterborough, Felixstowe, Middlesbrough, Loughborough, Scarborough, Walthamstow, Blackburn, Lisburn, Bannockburn, Derry, Wicklow, Glasgow, Hounslow, Tipperary, Hempstead, Wanstead, Banstead, Woodstock, Bass Rock, Bell Rock, Tilbury Dock
Third verse
Weymouth, Yarmouth, Bournemouth, Huddersfield, Lewisham, Faversham, Petersham, Chesterfield, Southend, Mile End, Land's End, Birkenhead, Birmingham, Nottingham, Gillingham, Holyhead, Cambridge, Tonbridge, Knightsbridge, Broadstairs, Edgware, , Carstairs
Fourth verse
Westminster, Southminster, Kidderminster, Accrington, Eastbourne, Southbourne, Sittingbourne, Paddington, Bolton, Paignton, Stockton, Inverness, Renwick, Brunswick, Chiswick, Dungeness, Mansfield, Sheffield, Enfield, King's Cross, New Cross, Charing Cross, Banbury Cross

Covers of this version were also recorded by the British group The Mudlarks and by Australian singer Rolf Harris, who added a few tongue-twisting Welsh placenames but (humorously) referred to them as Scottish, found them so hard to pronounce he said, "Better get back to the English version," and concluded with the final verse above.[1]

Texas version

Texas country singer Brian Burns released his version of the song in 2002, featuring numerous locations throughout Texas. This version was also featured in the movie Grand Champion.[5] The Texas version starts: "I was totin' my pack along the dusty Amarillo road, when along came a semi with a high and canvas covered load."[6]

First verse
Waco, Hico, Hondo, Navasota, Winnsboro, Jacksboro, Hillsboro, Santa Rosa, Austin, Houston, Galveston, Texarkana, Frisco, Buffalo, Conroe, Corsicana, Goliad, Groesbeck, Glen Rose, Red Oak, , Live Oak, Lone Oak
Second verse
Krugerville, Pflugerville, Van Horn, Val Verde, Brackettville, Bartonville, Beeville, Bulverde, Bear Creek, Cedar Creek, , Mineola, Maypearl, Monahans, Telephone, Tuscola, Redwater, Round Rock, Round Top, , Sour Lake, Southlake, Springlake
Third verse
Greenville, Gatesville, Gainesville, , Kerrville, , Bastrop, Benavides, Somerville, Smithville, Stephenville, Prairie View, Luckenbach, Longview, Plainview, Idalou, Justin, Junction, , Pasadena, Angelina, Lorena
Fourth verse
Valley Mills, Pine Mills, Dime Box, Duncanville, New Home, New Hope, New Deal, Liberty Hill, Rockport, Rock Creek, Bridgeport, Brownwood, Cleburne, Comanche, Cut & Shoot, Cottonwood, Bayview, Bayside, Baytown, Bay City, Falls City, , Bridge City

Other notable versions

Aunty Jack
"I've been to Wollongong (x 22), Dapto, Wollongong." (Dapto is a suburb of Wollongong.)
Canada
Stompin' Tom Connors adds an extra spoken segment of locations in Ontario and a verse for locations in the Maritimes. He also substitutes Canadian cities, including Halifax and Montreal, at various points in the other verses. Mike Ford, formerly a member of Moxy Früvous, did an all-Canadian version for his album, , in 2005. Ford's version includes the fictional town of Melonville, home of SCTV. Canadian comedian Rick Moranis has a version called "I Ain't Goin' Nowhere" where he sings about why he will not leave his easy chair. Canadian comedy duo MacLean & MacLean wrote a parody entitled "I've Seen Pubic Hair." It first appeared on their 1976 album Bitter Reality as part of the live piece "Bland Ole Opry (Slim Chance, Stretch Marks)", and then a studio version with an added verse was featured on their 1980 album Suck Their Way to the Top/Take the "O" Out of Country. The song lists various types of pubic hairs that the singer has seen, including "...great ones, straight ones, on my dinner plate ones, long ones, strong ones, little curly blonde ones, red ones, dead ones, layin' on the head ones". George Fox released his version in 1988.
Czechoslovakia (adapted by Ladislav Vodička)
"Já tu zemi znám"[7]
Eugene Chadbourne
The US entertainer recorded a version on his 1988 album, also entitled I've Been Everywhere. He starts with Hank Snow's opening verse and then rattles off city names from all over the world (including Bogota, Khartoum, and Nairobi), throws in a gentle poke at Neil Young and Farm Aid, and ends with Eugene declaring only one place he has not been to - Alcatraz.[citation needed]
Finland (adapted by Turo's Hevi Gee)
"Oon käyny kaikkialla". The singer chats with a train conductor, and gives a list of Finnish places.[citation needed]
Germany (adapted by Jackie Leven)
"I was walking down the Ku'damm in the City of Berlin." Complete with an entire verse of Baden-Baden. Published on the 2007 album Oh What A Blow That Phantom Dealt Me![citation needed]
Springfield's state (adapted by Tim Long)
The Simpsons episode "Mobile Homer" includes a version of the song listing the following various fictional towns in the series: Springfield, Shelbyville, Ogdenville, Cap City, Ogdenburg, Shelbytown, Spring City, Cap Field, West Springfield, Paris, Rome, and Shelbyville Adjacent.[citation needed]
Houston (adapted by Hayes Carll)
"I been to Houston, Houston, Houston, Houston...".[8]
World (adapted By Medeski Martin and Wood)
"This jazz group made a children-oriented version titled 'Let's Go Everywhere', using city names from all over the world."[citation needed]
MacLean & MacLean
The Canadian comedy duo released a parody version called "I've Seen Pubic Hair" on their 1976 part live / part studio album titled "Bitter Reality"[9][circular reference]
Catalonia (adapted by )
The Catalan band vàlius adapted the song as an homage to writer Josep Maria Espinàs, author of several travel books through Catalonia.[10]
Lockdown 2020
Chuck Mead recorded a version as 'The Official Song of Quarantine' during the COVID-19 pandemic in May 2020, entitled 'I Ain't Been Nowhere'[11]

Other uses

Kris Kristofferson also did an abbreviated version in the 1973 film Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid during his escape scene. In 1996, legendary country singer Johnny Cash recorded and released his version on his second American Recordings album Unchained. Cash's version of I’ve Been Everywhere was featured in Citgo commercials in 1999, featuring the tagline "You know me". The song was also featured in Choice Hotels commercials from 2003 to 2009. In 2004, the Chicago Transit Authority used a version of the song, listing neighborhoods and stops along the transit lines in two 30-second spots. In 2010, The Sports Network used a version of the song, listing cities and regions in the National Hockey League, to promote its coverage of trade deadline day.

In October 2003, the publisher BMI granted permission to to write new lyrics and title for the 2004 presidential campaign of Bob Graham. Title: "I've Done Every Job, Man" commemorating the more than 300 'workdays' performed by Graham during his 30 plus years of public service to the people of Florida. The song recorded by Frank Loconto FXL Records was included in a promotional CD Bob Graham Charisma Album 2004.

Australian Peter Harris visited all the locations in the Australian version of "I've Been Everywhere" between December 2009 and July 2011. A record of his trip is located here.[12]

In 2010, the Swedish band Movits! used the track for one of the episodes of their US tour movie, First We Take Manhattan.[13]

Bruce Springsteen used the song as a snippet for "Light of Day" during his 1999-2000 Reunion tour.

John Finnemore did a version listing places in Dorset for an episode of I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue recorded in Poole.[14]

Australian singer and pro-gun activist Steve Lee recorded a version called "I've shot every gun". In verses, he sings about gun brands, e.g. "Winchester, Sako, Bruno, Remington, Colt, Glock, Stirling, Smith & Wesson...", weapon calibers or action types of firearms.

Johnny Cash's 1996 version was used in the Family Guy episode “The Most Interesting Man in the World”, the seventeenth episode of the twelfth season, episode 227 overall, which originally aired on April 13, 2014.

Notes

  1. ^ 'humpin' my bluey' here means carrying my swag (bedroll)
  2. ^ This could be either Mattawa, Ontario or Mattawa, Washington.

References

  1. ^ a b Rolf Harris ::: Ive Been Everywhere (with Rolf's lyrics). 16 April 2009 – via YouTube.
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 324.
  3. ^ Video on YouTube
  4. ^ "Song takes man nearly everywhere - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)". Abc.net.au. 31 August 2011. Retrieved 10 December 2011.
  5. ^ https://www.brianburnsmusic.com/about.php
  6. ^ https://www.brianburnsmusic.com/song.php?songinfo=031014
  7. ^ "ladislav vodicka - ja tu zemi znam". YouTube. 19 February 2008. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
  8. ^ "Hayes Carll - I've Been Everywhere". Youtube. Retrieved 13 April 2020.
  9. ^ "Maclean & Maclean Wiki Page". Wikipedia.
  10. ^ "Espinàs - Vàlius". Bandcamp.
  11. ^ "Mead, Chuck - I Ain't Been Nowhere". Youtube. Retrieved 29 May 2020.
  12. ^ "I've been everywhere, man! | Visiting all 94 places in Australia, one town at a time". Ivebeeneverywhere.com.au. 9 December 2009. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
  13. ^ "Om resor, turism, flyg, charter och hotell - First we take Manhattan". Firstwetakemanhattan.se. 8 April 2013. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
  14. ^ "I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue". www.bbc.co.uk. 19 November 2018. Retrieved 19 December 2018.