Song Spotlight: “I’ve Been Everywhere”

Blue vintage automobile with luggage on the top rack. Label reads "country"
  • Mood: Cheerful 
  • Themes: Travel
  • Tempo: Medium
  • Genre/Style: Country

Here’s a great song to celebrate travel, at any time of year.  This song is also a great start to dreaming up all of the places you could possibly go. 

In 1959, an Australian songwriter named Geoff Mack wrote this tune to highlight many Australian towns. It was adapted several times by other songwriters to fit the names of other regions like Britain and New Zealand, but Mack himself wrote the North American lyrics using a North American atlas that was given to him by Hank Snow’s publisher. In Australia, Lucky Starr popularized the song, while in the U.S., Hank Snow brought it to country music listeners in 1962.

In the United States, the tune has been recorded by many artists, and in 1996 Johnny Cash recorded the wordy tune that captures 92 places in just a few minutes. 

Here are some of the lyrics:

I was totin’ 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 deserts bare, man

I’ve breathed the mountain air, man

Of travel I’ve had my share, man

I’ve been everywhere

Try This:

This is a great song to use within a group where the topic is traveling or with people who have an extensive history of traveling. It can be used as a transition into reminiscence about past vacations, as an opportunity for musical engagement on instruments or singing, and would be a great ending song after playing music together. 

Theme – Travel: This song would fit well into a travel theme. Encourage the group to reminisce by sharing their favorite travel memories and combine this tune with other songs about travel to continue the fun. Other complementary songs may include “On The Road Again,” “Sentimental Journey,” and “Roam.

Musical Engagement: Add a rumble at the start of the song and shake on a steady beat or clap your hands along with the song. 

Mark a Map: Gather pins and a map. Mark all the places the members in your group have been and count the total number of places everyone has traveled to.

Movement: You can do rhythmic movement to this song, like leg extensions or toe/heel tapping.

Invite participants to bring photos of favorite trips. 

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