The Lyrics of Johnny Cash’s “I’ve Been Everywhere” Charted on a Dynamic Google Map

johnny cash mapped

The coun­try music clas­sic “I’ve Been Every­where” was first record­ed by Lucky Starr in Aus­tralia in 1962, then lat­er adapt­ed by Hank Snow, var­i­ous oth­er artists, and even­tu­al­ly the great John­ny Cash. The lyrics begin:

I was tot­ing my pack along the dusty Win­nemuc­ca road
When along came a semi with a high an’ can­vas-cov­ered load
“If you’re goin’ to Win­nemuc­ca, Mack, with me you can ride.”
And so I climbed into the cab and then I set­tled down inside
He asked me if I’d seen a road with so much dust and sand
And I said, “Lis­ten, I’ve trav­eled every road in this here land!”

I’ve been every­where, man
I’ve been every­where, man
Crossed the desert’s bare, man
I’ve breathed the moun­tain air, man
Of trav­el I’ve had my share, man
I’ve been every­where

I’ve been to:
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, Ten­nessee, Chicopee, Spir­it Lake
Grand Lake, Dev­il’s Lake, Crater Lake, for Pete’s sake

And that’s not all of the loca­tions the nar­ra­tor trav­els to. If you chart and con­nect all of the des­ti­na­tions men­tioned in the song — as Iain Mul­lan has done in this handy, dynam­ic map — you’ll find that the singer cov­ers some 112,515 miles (or 181,075 kilo­me­ters). Even bet­ter, you can watch the trav­els take place in real-time on a Google map. Just click play, and you will be on your way.

For more trav­els on a Google map, don’t miss our recent post:

Jack Kerouac’s On The Road Turned Into Google Dri­ving Direc­tions & Pub­lished as a Free eBook

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Comments (5)
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  • Chris Beaven says:

    Thanks for the inspi­ra­tion. This is a great idea to do with kids in music class when learn­ing anoth­er adven­ture bal­lad. ( like Roll on Colum­bia or Fifty States)It’s too bad I can’t show your exam­ple to my class since John­ny throws a bone the end.

  • M.R. STRINGER says:

    We had a Dow­nun­der ver­sion, and believe me, some of our pla­ce­names are rip­pers! The bloke who did the cov­er ver­sion was called ‘Lucky Starr’ !!! Long time ago ..

  • Great find and a great song. That song has a myr­i­ad of vari­a­tions I men­tion in this post:
    I also am intrigued by the Keru­ac eBook men­tioned. Love the mash ups that tech­nol­o­gy affords us.

  • brian says:

    So excit­ed to show it to my kids and share with col­legues. Oh and then we have the mid­dle fin­ger.…. (insert a very sad pan­da)

  • Terry O'Donnell says:

    The Lucky Starr ver­sion is the orig­i­nal record­ed ver­sion.
    It was writ­ten and per­formed live in a cabaret show by Geoff Mac.
    At the same time, Geoff also wrote UK and New Zealand ver­sions.
    Three years after the orig­i­nal was record­ed, Geoff MAC wrote a North Amer­i­can ver­sion which was first record­ed by Hank Snow.
    This just in: The Unit­ed States of Amer­i­ca is not the only coun­try.

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