I've Been Everywhere
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The song as originally written listed Australian towns. It was later adapted by Australian singer Rolf Harris with English and Scottish toponyms (1963), 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. 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), 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.
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, Bouindarra, Wallangarra, Turramurra, Boggabri, Gundagai, Narrabri, Tibooburra, Gulgong, Adelong, Billabong, 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
Western Australian version
In 2005, Athol Wightman 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.
North American version
|"I've Been Everywhere"|
|Single by Hank Snow|
|from the album I've Been Everywhere|
|Recorded||27 June 1962|
|Label||RCA Victor 47-8072|
|Hank Snow singles chronology|
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, Devils 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.
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
- Kaparoa, Whangaroa, Akaroa, Motueka, Taramoa, Benmore, Pongaroa, Horoeka, Riwaka, Rimutaka, Te Karaka, Whangarei, Nuhaka, Waimahaka, Motuhora, Waikaka, 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, Tihoi, 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, Ropata, Ikowai, Waitemata
- Fourth verse
- Ruatoki, Mataura, Taupiri, Maketu, Kyeburn, Sowburn, Wedderburn, Mossburn, Washdyke, Arawhata, Paparoa, Kaponga, Te Aroha, Thames, Kerikeri, Kokoma, Tapanui, Porinui, Tawanui, Otahuhu, Ruatapu, Mosgiel, Whareroa
- Fifth verse
- Kapiti, Ngawaka, Onepu, Reporoa, Tongariro, Tomoana, 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, Sandthorpe, 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, Ross Wear, 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.
Other notable versions
- 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, Canada Needs You, 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.
- 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.
- Finland (adapted by Turo's Hevi Gee)
- "Oon käyny kaikkialla". The singer chats with a train conductor, and gives a list of Finnish places.
- 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!
- 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.
- Houston (adapted by Hayes Carll)
- "I been to Houston, Houston, Houston, Houston...".
- 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."
In October 2003, the publisher Rightsong Music BMI granted permission to Frank Loconto 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.
Bruce Springsteen used the song as a snippet for "Light of Day" during his 1999-2000 Reunion tour.
- Rolf Harris ::: Ive Been Everywhere (with Rolf's lyrics). 16 April 2009 – via YouTube.
- Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 324.
- Video on YouTube
- "Song takes man nearly everywhere - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)". Abc.net.au. 31 August 2011. Retrieved 10 December 2011.
- "ladislav vodicka - ja tu zemi znam". YouTube. 19 February 2008. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
- "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.
- "Om resor, turism, flyg, charter och hotell - First we take Manhattan". Firstwetakemanhattan.se. 8 April 2013. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
- "I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue". www.bbc.co.uk. 19 November 2018. Retrieved 19 December 2018.