Johnny Cash Has Been Everywhere... But Have I?

Over Christmas, Trevor introduced me to Jet Lag: The Game. It's basically Gen Z YouTubers playing a much shorter version of the Amazing Race. Three friends (and sometimes a fourth guest) compete, solving challenges as they travel. I started watching the current season and am now going back to watch the first seasons. In one episode, one of the duos had to memorize all of the place names in Johnny Cash's version of "I've Been Everywhere." 

This is not an easy task. Take a listen. 


Before I go on, I want to acknowledge that this is not the original version of the song. The original I've Been Everywhere was written in 1959 by Geoff Mack, featuring Australian place names. After becoming a hit in Australia, Mack rewrote the lyrics for Canadian musician Hank Snow in 1962, using a North American atlas. Johnny Cash did not release his recording until 1996. There are actually at least 131 versions of the song that exist, adapted for New Zealand, the UK, Ireland, Finland, Germany, and many other places. In short, a lot of different people have recorded a lot of different versions of this novelty song. 

Just looking at Cash's version the song, there's some disagreement about some of the locations. Between possible mispronunciations and multiple places with the same name, it's unclear exactly what Mack intended. This website tracks Cash's distance traveled, but some of the places are different than appear in this List Challenge, for example. You can see some of the discrepancies in the notes on the Wikipedia page. This is Wikipedia's map:

I was curious to see if I'd been "everywhere." Below you'll find "everywhere" that Johnny Cash has been, divided by verse. I've highlighted all the places I've been, with links to the ones I've mentioned on the blog. 

I've Been Everywhere

Verse 1:
Winnemucca, Reno, Chicago, Fargo, Minnesota, Buffalo, Toronto, Winslow, Sarasota, Wichita, Tulsa, Ottawa, Oklahoma, Tampa, Panama, Mattawa, La Paloma, Bangor, Baltimore, Salvador, Amarillo, Tocopilla, Barranquilla, Padilla

(Nine out of 24. I'm not off to a very good start. And now I can officially say I have not been everywhere.)

Verse 2:
Boston, Charleston, Dayton, Louisiana, Washington, Houston, Kingston, Texarkana, Monterey, Ferriday, Santa Fe, Tallapoosa, Glen Rock, Black Rock, Little Rock, Oskaloosa, Tennessee, Hennessey, Chicopee, Spirit Lake, Grand Lake, Devils Lake, Crater Lake.

(Ten, for a total of 19 out of 47.)

Verse 3:
Louisville, Nashville, Knoxville, Ombabika, Schefferville, Jacksonville, Waterville, Costa Rica, Pittsfield, Springfield, Bakersfield, Shreveport, Hackensack, Cadillac, Fond du Lac, Davenport, Idaho, Jellico, Argentina, Diamantina, Pasadena, Catalina

(Seven this time. I've been to the biggest Springfield, but apparently not the right one. 26 out of 69.) 

Verse 4:
Pittsburgh, Parkersburg, Gravelbourg, Colorado, Ellensburg, Rexburg, Vicksburg, El Dorado, Larimore, Atmore, Haverstraw, Chatanika, Chaska, Nebraska, Alaska, Opelika, Baraboo, Waterloo, Kalamazoo, Kansas City, Sioux City, Cedar City, and Dodge City.

 (Only five more. 31 out of 92.)

I've officially been to 33.7% of everywhere. Not great, but it's a start. Quite a few locations are on my Future Travels list, so I should be able to bump up my percentage in the next few years. 

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