500 Miles

"500 Miles" (also known as "500 Miles Away from Home" or "Railroaders' Lament") is a song made popular in the United States and Europe during the 1960s folk revival.


500 Miles (WORD)
500 Miles (PDF)

YOU CAN PLAY ALONG with the first video in GCEA tuning, if you put your capo on the 2nd fret!

"500 Miles" is generally credited as being written by Hedy West, and a 1961 copyright is held by Atzal Music, Inc. "500 Miles" is West's "most anthologized song". Some recordings have also credited Curly Williams, or John Phillips as co-writers, although Phillips admitted he had only rearranged it and "didn't deserve the credit".

David Neale writes that "500 Miles" may be related to the older folk song "900 Miles" (Roud 4959), which may itself have origins in the Southern American fiddle tunes "Reuben's Train" and "Train 45". Folklorist Norm Cohen writes that 900 miles, rather than 500, is the most common distance referenced in versions of the traditional song, but other distances including 400 miles and 10,000 miles also appear.

The song appears on the 1961 eponymous debut album by The Journeymen; this may have been its first release. It was further popularized by Peter, Paul and Mary, who included the song on their debut album in May 1962. The most commercially successful version of the song was Bobby Bare's in 1963.

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