I’ve Been Everywhere / Lynn Anderson

everywhereI am behind. Two posts behind to be precise. But this isn’t a “blog daily” thing it’s a “do 30 posts in 30 days” thing. So I still have time to catch up because it is still early.

When Lynn Anderson passed away earlier this year, I had coincidentally been into her signature song “(I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden.” The only reason it’s in my iTunes library at all is because it was included on the Zodiac soundtrack which I purchased in the heady days after seeing and loving that movie.  “Rose Garden” has some of the best rhymes, and the fact that they are subtle rhymes makes it even better. My favorite rhyme in the whole song is when she rhymes “jolly” with “melancholy.”

Smile for a while and let’s be jolly
Love shouldn’t be so melancholy
Come along and share the good times while we can.

essentiallynnWhen she died, I was compelled to listen to more of her music, and thanks to Spotify, I was able to do so.  I don’t know much about what Lynn Anderson albums are considered “essential” so I started with the one that told me it was essential – the compilation album The Essential Lynn Anderson. At 40 tracks, certainly there could be nothing left out.  So I started listening to it and I couldn’t get over how many songs I actually knew. Some of them were songs I knew because other artists had recorded them, but a surprising number were ones that I knew but didn’t realize Anderson was the voice behind the song.

One of those songs was “I’ve Been Everywhere.” If asked to pinpoint when and where I first heard this song, I would be hard-pressed to come up with the answer. It’s one of those songs that make up the “soft rock/country rock” repertoire that I was raised on. It might have been Hee-Haw, it might have been The Lawrence Welk Show (which my mom watched on Saturday nights occasionally.) Whenever and wherever I first heard it, it and its rapid fire list of all the places that Anderson had been had been banished to a deep part of my subconscious.

That is some seriously big hair.

I didn’t know that, in its original form, “I’ve Been Everywhere” rattled off a litany of Australian places that the singer had been. Naturally, when an American singer recorded it, the places had to be American, so the American version of the song was born.  And it didn’t stop there, there are many versions of this song. An exhaustive list is located on the song’s Wikipedia page, but among them is a version for New Zealand, Canada, Singapore, and Great Britain. But perhaps my favorite is the Dave Shirley parody “I’ve Used Every Swear.”  Language is totally NSFW, obviously.

A karaoke candidate? I’m not sure I’m brave enough to try it.

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