History

Revisit Bobby Bare with His Powerful Song, ‘500 Miles’

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Though “500 Miles” is a song with many versions, Bobby Bare’s rewrite is one of the most heart-wrenching versions.

The history of the song is a storied one, as it first appeared on the self-titled 1961 album of The Journeymen. Fast forward two years later to 1963 when Bobby Bare got his hands on the tune.

Bare wrote new lyrics for the track, which eventually charted highest at No. 10, and also rewrote the chord structure for the song, transitioning to the key of G to the key of D in third verse. With all of these changes, one could argue Bare made the song truly his own, and they would be right.

The song is a heartbreaking account of a traveler who is too ashamed to go home after running out of money, though they miss their family desperately. It would strike a chord later with many veterans returning from Vietnam due to controversial political environment in the United States during that time.

Revisit it in this video of Bare performing his classic hit below.