Will and I were listening to "The Great Australian Songbook" this morning while playing with his trains. This album includes such classics as "Waltzing Matilda," "Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport," and "Red Back on the Toilet Seat." But I was pleasantly surprised when Track 11 came on--an Aussie version of "I've Been Everywhere." I knew it as an old song, and was most familiar with the Johnny Cash version that features in a Comfort Inn (I think) ad back in the U.S. It goes something like: "Reno, Chicago, Fargo, Minnesota, Buffalo, Toronto, Winslow, Sarasota, Wichita, Tulsa, Ottawa, Oklahoma, Tampa...I've been everywhere, man, I've been everywhere..."
Well, it turns out the Australian version is the original version, as it was written in 1959 by Geoff Mack in New South Wales. It was later rewritten for a North American audience and recorded by Hank Snow in 1962. I had heard it on Telstra television ads prior to today, but just assumed that they were adapting the 'American' version for Australia. How wrong I was! According to this Wikipedia entry, the Australian version starts:
"Well, I was humpin' my bluey on the dusty Oodnadatta Road..."
The place names listed are:
- Verse 1
- Tullamore, Seymour, Lismore, Mooloolaba, Nambour, Maroochydore,Kilmore, Murwillumbah, Birdsville, Emmaville, Wallaville, Cunnamulla,Condamine, Strathpine, Proserpine, Ulladulla, Darwin, Gin Gin,Deniliquin, Muckadilla, Wallumbilla, Boggabilla, Kumbarilla
- Verse 2
- Moree, Taree, Jerilderie, Bambaroo, Toowoomba, Gunnedah,Caringbah, Woolloomooloo, Dalveen, Tamborine, Engadine, Jindabyne,Lithgow, Casino, Brigalow, Narromine, Megalong, Wyong, Tuggeranong,Wanganella, Morella, Augathella, Brindabella
- Verse 3
- Wollongong, Geelong, Kurrajong, Mullumbimby, Mittagong, Molong,Grong Grong, Goondiwindi, Yarra Yarra, Boroondara, Wallangarra,Turramurra, Boggabri, Gundagai, Narrabri, Tibooburra, Gulgong,Adelong, Billabong, Cabramatta, Parramatta, Wangaratta, Coolangatta
- Verse 4
- Ettalong, Dandenong, Woodenbong, Ballarat, Canberra, Milperra,Unanderra, Captains Flat, Cloncurry, River Murray, Kurri Kurri,Girraween, Terrigal, Stockinbingal, Collaroy, Narrabeen, Bendigo, Dorrigo, Bangalow, Indooroopilly, Kirribilli, Yeerongpilly, Wollondilly
What a silly American I am to think that the Aussies stole something from Johnny Cash! As penance, my goal is to memorise this version. I'll let you know when I do.