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
ReleasedAugust 1988 (United Kingdom)
1993 (United States)
March 2007 (UK re-release)
Format7", cassette single, CD single
Recorded1988 (Original version)
2007 (Re-recorded version)
GenreCeltic rock, folk pop, college rock
Length3:33 (Original album version)
3:42 (2007 version)
LabelChrysalis
ProducerPete Wingfield
The Proclaimers singles chronology
"Make My Heart Fly"
(1987)
"I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)"
(1988)
"Sunshine on Leith"
(1990)
Peter Kay chronology
"Is This the Way to Amarillo"
Tony Christie ft. Peter Kay
(2005)
"I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)"
feat. Andy Pipkin and Brian Potter
(2007)
"The Winner's Song"
(2008)
 
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"I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)"
Single by The Proclaimers
from the album Sunshine on Leith
ReleasedAugust 1988 (United Kingdom)
1993 (United States)
March 2007 (UK re-release)
Format7", cassette single, CD single
Recorded1988 (Original version)
2007 (Re-recorded version)
GenreCeltic rock, folk pop, college rock
Length3:33 (Original album version)
3:42 (2007 version)
LabelChrysalis
ProducerPete Wingfield
The Proclaimers singles chronology
"Make My Heart Fly"
(1987)
"I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)"
(1988)
"Sunshine on Leith"
(1990)
Peter Kay chronology
"Is This the Way to Amarillo"
Tony Christie ft. Peter Kay
(2005)
"I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)"
feat. Andy Pipkin and Brian Potter
(2007)
"The Winner's Song"
(2008)

"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 one of their most popular songs, 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 four years later when the song appeared in the film Benny and 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".

Contents

Popular culture

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.[1]

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 Moffat era of the show.

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

On 11 September 2010, Matthew Wilkening of AOL Radio ranked the original version of the song at #50 on the list of the 100 Worst Songs Ever, exclaiming, "We're halfway through our list! Doesn't it feel like your ears have walked through 500 miles of bad songs?"[2]

The song has been associated with Terry Fox's Marathon of Hope for cancer. This was the favorite song of Liu Peiwen and his girlfriend Ling Hsueh, and she told him if he walked 1000 miles, she would try to get her mother to let her marry him. So he walked the distance of 1000 miles from his city to hers, where they subsequently married each other. It became an international news item in 2011[3], and was featured in Ripley's Believe It or Not[4] in 2012.

The song is featured in the Family Guy episode "You May Now Kiss the...Uh...Guy Who Receives."

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.

The song is featured in the movie Bachelorette. 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.

Track listing

Original 1988 version

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

Charts

End of year chart (1993)Position
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[5]27

Comic Relief

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.[6] 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.[7]

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 credited as appearing in the video. It was broadcast during the Comic Relief 2007: The Big One TV special.

References

Preceded by
"Walk This Way" by Sugababes vs. Girls Aloud
United Kingdom number-one single (Comic Relief version)
25 March 2007 - 8 April 2007
Succeeded by
"Give It to Me" by Timbaland featuring Nelly Furtado and Justin Timberlake