I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)

"I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" is a song written and performed by Scottish duo The Proclaimers, and first released as the lead single from their 1988 album Sunshine on Leith. The song reached number 11 in the UK Singles Chart on its initial release, and it has since become their most popular song worldwide, initially becoming a number 1 hit in Iceland, before reaching number 1 in both Australia and New Zealand in early 1990.[3]

For the traditional American song also known as "500 Miles Away from Home" or "Railroaders' Lament", see 500 Miles.
"I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)"
Single by The Proclaimers
from the album Sunshine on Leith
ReleasedAugust 1988 (UK)
June 1993 (US)
2000 (re-release)
Recorded1988, Chipping Norton Recording Studios, Oxfordshire[1]
  • Charlie Reid
  • Craig Reid
Producer(s)Pete Wingfield
The Proclaimers singles chronology
"Make My Heart Fly"
"I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)"
"Sunshine on Leith"

In 1993, following its appearance in the American film Benny & Joon, the song was released in North America and many other countries around the world, it reached number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States in August 1993, as well as reaching number 8 on the Billboard Modern Rock charts and reaching number 25 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary charts.[4] It also reached number 4 in Canada.[5] In 2007, the Proclaimers re-recorded the song with English comedians Peter Kay and Matt Lucas for the UK's Comic Relief charity telethon, scoring a number one hit in the UK, outperforming their original UK singles performance.

"I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" has become a live staple at the Proclaimers' concerts. The duo played it at Edinburgh 50,000 – The Final Push at Murrayfield Stadium on 6 July 2005, the final concert of Live 8, to symbolise the conclusion of "The Long Walk to Justice".


The song was mainly written by Craig Reid in August 1987 while waiting to travel to a Hibernian Football Club match in Aberdeen. Reid recalled, "I can remember sitting at the piano wondering how many steps it would be to the new classroom (I originally thought 83) and the chords just came to me. I reckon I wrote the whole thing in 45 minutes. I knew that it was a good song, maybe even a single, but I had no idea how popular it would become."[6] Reid has said that the band's earnings from the song are about five times the rest of their catalogue combined.[3]

Track listing

All tracks written and composed by Charlie and Craig Reid, except where noted.

  • 7" single
    1. "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" – 3:37
    2. "Better Days" – 3:14
  • 12" single
    1. "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" – 3:37
    2. "Better Days" – 3:14
    3. "Teardrops" – 2:33
  • CD single
    1. "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" – 3:37
    2. "Better Days" – 3:14
    3. "Teardrops" – 2:33
    4. "I Can't Be Myself" (Merle Haggard) – 2:30



Region CertificationCertified units/sales
Italy (FIMI)[21] Gold 25,000
United Kingdom (BPI)[22] Platinum 600,000
United States (RIAA)[23] Gold 800,000[24]

sales+streaming figures based on certification alone

Comic Relief version

"(I'm Gonna Be) 500 Miles"
Single by The Proclaimers featuring Brian Potter & Andy Pipkin
Released17 March 2007
Recorded1988, 2007
  • Charlie Reid
  • Craig Reid
The Proclaimers singles chronology
"Restless Soul"
"(I'm Gonna Be) 500 Miles"
"Life with You"
Peter Kay singles chronology
"(Is This The Way To) Amarillo"
"(I'm Gonna Be) 500 Miles"
"The Winner's Song"
Comic Relief singles chronology
""Walk This Way"
Girls Aloud vs. Sugababes"
""(I'm Gonna Be) 500 Miles"
The Proclaimers featuring Brian Potter & Andy Pipkin
""Just Can't Get Enough"
The Saturdays"

In 2007, the Proclaimers re-recorded the song with Peter Kay and Matt Lucas as their characters Brian Potter from Phoenix Nights and Andy Pipkin from Little Britain respectively. There is a slight change in the title of the song, with the parentheses placed around "(I'm Gonna Be)" rather than "(500 Miles)". The lyrics also include a change, with the words "roll 500 miles" replacing "walk 500 miles", because the characters Brian Potter and Andy Pipkin are both in wheelchairs. "(I'm Gonna Be) 500 Miles" was released as a charity single for Comic Relief immediately following its performance on the Comic Relief 2007: The Big One television show on BBC1 on 16 March 2007.[25] It reached number 3 on the official UK Singles Chart on download sales alone, and one week later reached number 1, where it remained for three weeks. It sold 126,000 copies in its first week, making it the biggest selling number one of the year up to that point.[26] Its sales were double that of the official Comic Relief single by Girls Aloud vs. Sugababes, and their cover of Aerosmith's "Walk This Way". The song ended 2007 as the year's 8th biggest-selling single in the UK.[27] The song was popular in Ireland as well, and peaked at #7 in Irish Singles Chart.

Kay also directed a video clip of the song featuring himself as Brian Potter, Lucas as Andy, David Walliams as Lou, The Proclaimers and an audience of celebrity guests, comprising Johnny Ball, David Beckham, David Bellamy, Dusty Bin, Tony Blackburn, Stan Boardman, Basil Brush, Bob the Builder, Holly Willoughby, Bucks Fizz, Cannon and Ball, Bob Carolgees & Spit the Dog, Jasper Carrott, Keith Chegwin, Jimmy Cricket, Tess Daly, Bobby Davro (referred to in the lyrics), Carol Decker, Sally Dynevor, Lesley Garrett, Andy Gray, Clare Grogan, Paul Henry, Frazer Hines, Siobhan Redmond (credited as "Her off Holby City"), Elton John, The Krankies, Burt Kwouk, Bonnie Langford, Eddie Large, Michael Le Vell, Limahl, Kenny Lynch, Des Lynam, Timmy Mallett, Jennie McAlpine, Bill Oddie, Paul O'Grady, Postman Pat, Wendi Peters, Robert Powell, Rod, Jane and Freddy, Rupert the Bear, Showaddywaddy, Status Quo, Frank Sidebottom, Sonia, Dennis Taylor, David Tennant, Willie Thorne, Kate Thornton, Dave Lee Travis, Martin Tyler, Roy Walker, Louis Walsh, Pete Waterman, Elton Welsby, June Whitfield, Gary Wilmot and Bob Wilson. Osama bin Laden (then still a fugitive terrorist), Lord Lucan (missing since 1974) and Shergar (a kidnapped race horse) are also falsely credited as appearing in the video.

Track listing

  • CD single
  1. "(I'm Gonna Be) 500 Miles" – 3:41
  2. "(I'm Gonna Be) 500 Miles" (1988 Original Version) – 3:39

The enhanced CD and DVD also featured the promotional video for the song and a photo gallery.

Charts and certifications

Later success

Originally recorded and released in 1988, the song's success was initially limited mostly to the United Kingdom and Australia. Later in 1993, it was included as one of the main themes of the 1993 American romantic comedy film Benny & Joon starring Johnny Depp and Mary Stuart Masterson; subsequently, due to its exposure during the film, "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" reached the top 3 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart during the summer of that year.[32][5]


  1. "The Proclaimers – I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)". Discogs. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
  2. Ygelsias, Matthew. "The Ultimate Nineties Alt-Rock Playlist". The Atlantic.
  3. Simpson, Dave (10 August 2015). "The Proclaimers: how we made I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)". theguardian.com. Retrieved 10 August 2015.
  4. https://www.musicvf.com/The+Proclaimers.art
  5. "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles) - The Proclaimers". toponehitwonders.com. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  6. Thrills, Adrian (23 March 2007). "What a Relief! It's No.1 at Last". The Daily Mail. London, England: Daily Mail and General Trust.
  7. "Australian-charts.com – The Proclaimers – I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  8. "Austriancharts.at – The Proclaimers – I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  9. "Ultratop.be – The Proclaimers – I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  10. "RPM Top Singles, August 28, 1993". RPM, Vol. 58 No. 7. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 18 January 2015. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |journal= (help)
  11. "Musicline.de – The Proclaimers Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  12. "Tonlist Top 10". DV. Retrieved 17 August 2017.
  13. "The Irish Charts – Search Results – I'm Gonna Be". Irish Singles Chart.
  14. "Charts.nz – The Proclaimers – I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)". Top 40 Singles.
  15. "Swisscharts.com – The Proclaimers – I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)". Swiss Singles Chart.
  16. "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  17. "The Proclaimers Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  18. "ARIA Charts - End of Year Charts - Top 50 Singles 1989".
  19. "The Official New Zealand Music Chart".
  20. "RPM 100 Hit Tracks of 1993". RPM. Retrieved 23 November 2017.
  21. "Italian single certifications – The Proclaimers – I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved 23 September 2019. Select "2019" in the "Anno" drop-down menu. Select "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" in the "Filtra" field. Select "Singoli online" under "Sezione".
  22. "British single certifications – Proclaimers – I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 23 September 2019.
  23. "American single certifications – Proclaimers – I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 
  24. "Best-Selling Records of 1993". Billboard. BPI Communications. 106 (3): 73. 15 January 1994. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 4 May 2015.
  25. "Stars unite for Comic Relief show". BBC News. 17 March 2007. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
  26. "Singles – 31.03.07: The Proclaimers". Music Week. London, England: UBM. 31 March 2007.
  27. "The 2007 Official Singles Chart". Music Week. London, England: UBM: 11. 12 January 2008.
  28. "The Irish Charts – Search Results – I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)". Irish Singles Chart.
  29. "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  30. "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  31. "British single certifications – Proclaimers ft Brian Potter & Andy Pipkin – I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)". British Phonographic Industry. Select singles in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles) in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  32. "Benny & Joon (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) Rachel Portman". itunes.apple.com. Retrieved 23 November 2016.

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