Hedy West - 500 MILES

First performance: 00/10/1965


Coverinfo

Bruce covered the song only once:
 
1965-10-00 - RECEPTION HALL, MONMOUTH COUNTY, NJ
 
One show, with The Castiles the sole act on the bill. The 27 song titles of this show plus two titles that are illegible have been culled from a surviving inventory/setlist document that was originally in the possession of a member of The Castiles. This list is believed to have emanated from a wedding reception the band performed in the autumn of 1965. With the exception of "Sidewalk" (co-written by Bruce) all of the songs are covers of other artist’s material, with the most recently released song at the time being Sonny & Cher’s "I Got You Babe" (July 1965). The setlist includes numerous 1964-1965 'British Invasion" hits by the Stones, Yardbirds, Kinks, Zombies and Beatles - a clear indication of the kind of music the band was playing at teen gigs. The high proportion of 1950s ballad material in this particular show (sung by George Theiss, not Bruce) is likely the result of it being a wedding, with manager Tex Vinyard making sure his boys also catered to the older relatives in attendance. These include the G-Clefs’ "I Understand", Acker Bilk’s "Stranger On The Shore", Don & Juan’s "What’s Your Name" and Anton Karas’ "The Third Man Theme". There is no circulating audio of any of this performance . Frank Marziotti has recalled the bride's choice of song was the jazz standard "Moonglow".
 
 
 

Songinfo

"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. The simple repetitive lyrics offer a lament by a traveller who is far from home, out of money and too ashamed to return. The song 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. David Neale writes that "500 Miles" may be related to the older folk song "900 Miles", which may itself have origins in the southern American fiddle tunes "Reuben's Train" and "Train 45". The most commercially successful version of the song was Bobby Bare's in 1963. His version became a Top 10 hit on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, as well as a Top 5 hit on both the Country and Adult Contemporary charts.
 
 
 

Bruce on the artist

Lyrics

If you miss the train I'm on, you will know that I am gone
You can hear the whistle blow a hundred miles
a hundred miles, a hundred miles, a hundred miles, a hundred miles
You can hear the whistle blow a hundred miles

Lord I'm one, Lord I'm two, Lord I'm three, Lord I'm four
Lord I'm 500 miles from my home
500 miles, 500 miles, 500 miles, 500 miles
Lord I'm five hundred miles from my home

Not a shirt on my back, not a penny to my name
Lord I can't go a-home this a-way
This a-away, this a-way, this a-way, this a-way
Lord I can't go a-home this a-way

If you miss the train I'm on you will know that I am gone
You can hear the whistle blow a hundred miles