Country music and the blues from southern United States have a strong geographical component: the landscapes of the Mississippi Delta and the plains of the Mojave Desert have traversed maps and time to become immortalized in songs that travellers still sing today.

The song “I’ve Been Everywhere” was recorded for the first time by Lucky Starr in 1962, but other singers would later change the lyrics in order to tell of the many places they had visited, both in their real lives and in their imagination.

The most famous version of the song is probably the one sung by legendary Johnny Cash. According to his song he’d visited:

Reno, Chicago, Fargo, Minnesota

Buffalo, Toronto, Winslow, Sarasota

Wichita, Tulsa, Ottawa, Oklahoma

Tampa, Panama, Mattawa, La Paloma

Bangor, Baltimore, Salvador, Amarillo

Tocopilla, Barranquilla, and Padilla, I’m a killer

[…]

I’ve been to:

Boston, Charleston, Dayton, Louisiana

Washington, Houston, Kingston, Texarkana

Monterey, Faraday, Santa Fe, Tallapoosa

Glen Rock, Black Rock, Little Rock, Oskaloosa

Tennessee, Hennessee, Chicopee, Spirit Lake

Grand Lake, Devil’s Lake, Crater Lake, for Pete’s sake

And those aren’t all the places he mentions in the song!

To get a clear idea of the distance travelled by this errant troubadour, Iain Mullan came up with this dynamic map on Google Maps, where we can see, to the rhythm of the song, all the places Johnny cash has visited.

The song, in total, covers 181,075 kilometers and not just in the United States, but also in several countries in Central and South America. An example of how music can travel over huge distances (and leave its mark on the way).

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Country music and the blues from southern United States have a strong geographical component: the landscapes of the Mississippi Delta and the plains of the Mojave Desert have traversed maps and time to become immortalized in songs that travellers still sing today.

The song “I’ve Been Everywhere” was recorded for the first time by Lucky Starr in 1962, but other singers would later change the lyrics in order to tell of the many places they had visited, both in their real lives and in their imagination.

The most famous version of the song is probably the one sung by legendary Johnny Cash. According to his song he’d visited:

Reno, Chicago, Fargo, Minnesota

Buffalo, Toronto, Winslow, Sarasota

Wichita, Tulsa, Ottawa, Oklahoma

Tampa, Panama, Mattawa, La Paloma

Bangor, Baltimore, Salvador, Amarillo

Tocopilla, Barranquilla, and Padilla, I’m a killer

[…]

I’ve been to:

Boston, Charleston, Dayton, Louisiana

Washington, Houston, Kingston, Texarkana

Monterey, Faraday, Santa Fe, Tallapoosa

Glen Rock, Black Rock, Little Rock, Oskaloosa

Tennessee, Hennessee, Chicopee, Spirit Lake

Grand Lake, Devil’s Lake, Crater Lake, for Pete’s sake

And those aren’t all the places he mentions in the song!

To get a clear idea of the distance travelled by this errant troubadour, Iain Mullan came up with this dynamic map on Google Maps, where we can see, to the rhythm of the song, all the places Johnny cash has visited.

The song, in total, covers 181,075 kilometers and not just in the United States, but also in several countries in Central and South America. An example of how music can travel over huge distances (and leave its mark on the way).

.

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