I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)

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"I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)"
Single by The Proclaimers
from the album Sunshine on Leith
Released August 1988 (United Kingdom)
June 1993 (United States)
March 2007 (UK re-release)
Format 7", cassette single, CD single
Recorded 1988 (Original version)
2007 (Re-recorded version)
Genre Celtic rock, folk pop, college rock
Length 3:33 (Original album version)
3:42 (2007 version)
Label Chrysalis
Producer(s) Pete Wingfield
The Proclaimers singles chronology
"Make My Heart Fly"
"I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)"
"Sunshine on Leith"
Peter Kay chronology
"Is This the Way to Amarillo"
Tony Christie ft. Peter Kay
"I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)"
feat. Andy Pipkin and Brian Potter
"The Winner's Song"

"I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" is a song written and performed by The Proclaimers. It was released on their 1988 Sunshine on Leith album, and subsequently as a single. It has become their most popular song, reaching No. 11 in the UK charts and No. 1 on the Australian ARIA Charts in 1989, and No. 3 in the United States Billboard Hot 100 in 1993 when the song appeared in the film Benny & Joon. The song has become a live staple at their concerts. The Proclaimers played it at Edinburgh 50,000 – The Final Push, the final concert of Live 8 at Murrayfield Stadium on 6 July 2005, to symbolise the conclusion of "The Long Walk to Justice".

Popular culture[edit]

The song is often played in the warm up before the Scotland football team matches when playing at home at Hampden Park in Glasgow, and again when the team scores. The same is true for the Scottish Rugby team at Murrayfield Stadium although since 2013 a mashup version of the song mixed with David Guetta's Titanium and Midnight Oil's Beds are Burning[1] has been used as well.

The song is also often played at Easter Road before Scottish Premiership side Hibernian's home matches. The song is also sometimes played when "Hibs" score a goal.

Scottish darts player Robert Thornton uses the song as his walk-on song.[2]

In 2007, comedians Peter Kay and Matt Lucas recorded a cover version in aid of Comic Relief.[3]

In 2007, Alvin and the Chipmunks covered the song, with minor lyric changes, for their video game Alvin and the Chipmunks.

At the end of the fourth series of the new Doctor Who, a video of the cast and crew of the show (as well as The Proclaimers themselves) singing and dancing along to the song was released, as a farewell to David Tennant, Russell T. Davies, and other key players in the show's development; hailing the shift into the Steven Moffat era of the show.

The song was also very popular in Spain in the late 1990s thanks to TV advertisements. It was a reference song for the ads of Retevisión, one of the first private telecommunications companies in Spain.[4]

The song is also featured on the How I Met Your Mother episode "Arrivederci, Fiero," in which it is revealed that the character Marshall has had a cassette tape with the song on it stuck in his car for years. Commentary on the song's unlimited replay value follows. It remained a running gag for the rest of the series.

This song is also featured on the "Grey's Anatomy" episode in season 9 "Readiness is All" when Matthew proposes to April in a surprise flash-mob to this song.

The song is featured in the movies Bachelorette, Identity Thief, Benny & Joon and Burke and Hare. It is also featured in the movie The Angels' Share directed by Ken Loach, which won the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 2012.

A remix of the song with David Guetta's Titanium is featured in Pitch Perfect.

The song is sung in the television series The Cafe by Ralf Little and cast to close out the final episode of season one, "Deal or No Deal."

The song is also sung in the 2014 Australian film "500 Miles" by the lead actor Pete Valley to the lead actress Ebony Nave in a quite iconic scene that is set in a small country town pub.[5]

In 2011, the Daily Mail reported that that the song inspired a fan, Ling Hsueh, to tease her boyfriend, Liu Peiwen, she would marry him only if he walked 1000 miles for her, and that he, not realizing that she was joking, set out to walk from his home in Anyang, China, to her home in Guangzhou, 1000 miles away.[6]

Track listing[edit]

Original 1988 version[edit]

  1. "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)"
  2. "Better Days"
  3. "Teardrops"


Year Chart Peak
1993 Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[7] 5
1988 Australia (ARIA)[8] 1
1993 Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[9] 42
1993 Germany (Media Control Charts)[10] 40
1989 New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[11] 1
1993 Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[12] 36
UK Singles (The Official Charts Company) 11 (original)
1 (Kay and Lucas cover)
1993 US Billboard Hot 100[13] 3

Comic Relief[edit]

The Proclaimers re-recorded the song with Peter Kay and Matt Lucas as characters Brian Potter from Phoenix Nights and Andy Pipkin from Little Britain respectively. There is a slight change in the lyrics with the words "roll 500 miles" replacing "walk 500 miles". This is because the characters Brian Potter and Andy Pipkin are both in wheelchairs. This version was released as a charity single for Comic Relief on 19 March 2007.[14] It reached No. 3 on the official UK Singles Chart on download sales alone, and one week later reached No. 1, where it remained for three weeks. It sold 126,000 copies in its first week making it the biggest selling number one of the year up to that point. Its sales were double that of the "official" Comic Relief single by Girls Aloud vs. Sugababes, and their cover of Aerosmith's "Walk This Way". The song ended 2007 as the year's 9th biggest-selling single in the UK.[15]

Kay also directed a video clip of the song featuring himself as Brian Potter, Lucas as Andy, David Walliams as Lou, The Proclaimers and an audience of celebrity guests: of Johnny Ball, David Beckham, David Bellamy, Dusty Bin, Tony Blackburn, Stan Boardman, Basil Brush, Bob the Builder, Bucks Fizz, Cannon and Ball, Bob Carolgees & Spit the Dog, Jasper Carrott, Keith Chegwin, Jimmy Cricket, Tess Daly, Bobby Davro (referred to in the lyrics), Carol Decker, Lesley Garrett, Clare Grogan, Paul Henry, Frazer Hines, Siobhan Redmond (credited as "Her off Holby City"), Elton John, The Krankies, Burt Kwouk, Bonnie Langford, Eddie Large, Michael Le Vell, Limahl, Kenny Lynch, Des Lynam, Timmy Mallett, Amanda Mealing, Jennie McAlpine, Terry Nutkins, Bill Oddie, Paul O'Grady, Postman Pat, Wendi Peters, Robert Powell, Rod, Jane and Freddy, Rupert the Bear, Showaddywaddy, Status Quo, Kathy Staff, Frank Sidebottom, Sonia, Dennis Taylor, David Tennant, Willie Thorne, Kate Thornton, Dave Lee Travis, Louis Walsh, Pete Waterman, Lizzie Webb, Sally Whittaker, June Whitfield and Gary Wilmot. Osama bin Laden (then still a fugitive terrorist), Lord Lucan (missing since 1974) and Shergar (a kidnapped race horse) are also falsely credited as appearing in the video. It was broadcast during the Comic Relief 2007: The Big One TV special.


External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Teardrops" by Womack & Womack
New Zealand Singles Chart
13 January 1989 – 26 January 1989
Succeeded by
"Angel of Harlem" by U2
Preceded by
"Walk This Way" by Sugababes vs. Girls Aloud
United Kingdom number-one single (Comic Relief version)
25 March 2007 - 14 April 2007
Succeeded by
"Give It to Me" by Timbaland featuring Nelly Furtado and Justin Timberlake