The Proclaimers: “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)”

Posted: April 18, 2016 in THE CLASH of Cover Tunes
Tags: , , , , , ,
Tune du Jour: “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” – The Proclaimers
THE CLASH of Cover Tunes: Down by Law vs. MxPx vs. The Toy Dolls
California is a garden of Eden, A paradise to live in or see. But believe it or not, You won't find it so hot, If you ain't got the broccoli

If I Get Drunk,
Yes I Know I’m Gonna Be,
I’m Gonna be the Plant that Get’s Drunk Next to You





The Original


The Proclaimers:


THE CLASH of Cover Tunes


Down by Law vs. MxPx vs. The Toy Dolls
Down by Law:

There is apparently some heated debate within the punker community as to whether this is, in fact, Down by Law, or Arnie’s favorite band, Me First & The Gimme Gimmes. Anyone got any insights? And I do mean any insights, whether pertinent to this song or whatever. I’m just short on insights, okay?!? In other words, if you’ve got some insights, and again song-related or otherwise would be just fine, then please send them my way. 

Now STAY here and make sure no one leaves …

I just got verification from Down By Law that this, in fact, is their song.


Toy Dolls:


Oh the disharmony! Much like Harlan County there are no neutrals here. It is your solemn responsibility to decide which cover song prevails. In other words … Which Side Are You On?!!? 


Disclaimer: Votes cast from Florida may or may not be counted.

  1. Cuspid says:

    I liked all 3 covers. But I think I liked MxPx best. Better vocals and a nice Cheap Trick bridge were the difference for me..

  2. Arnold Plotnick says:

    I’m going with Down By Law because they acknowledge that nobody knows what the fuck “haver” means. MxPx did a good version, but I hate those generic California hipster college vocals.

  3. RDubbs says:

    Ridiculously difficult decision. In fact, Absurd, Impossible, Inconceivable, downright PREPOSTEROUS!!! From the first time I heard this song I loved it. Even a few years after its release when it became a huge hit (thanks to the Benny and Joon soundtrack) and was played ad nauseam, I still loved it. And as an added bonus, this splendid, heavily accented duet by two Eddie Haskell lookalikes translates perfectly to the cynical punk genre.

    All three of these covers are perfect on any scale. I’d be honored to be knocked to and fro if it meant being stage side as any one of these bands blasted through the tune. Having to choose amongst these three is unthinkable. But choose I must.

    I came very close to pressing The Toy Dolls, mostly because they were a fantastic band that does not seem to get the credit it richly deserves. But at the last second my cursor slid over to Down by Law. A click later and this distasteful duty was behind me. DbL took it by the slimmest of margins for their “Haver … Whatever that Means” line. It’s inserted so expertly that it seems to always catch me off guard and elicit a chuckle.

  4. Kerry Black says:

    I voted Toy Dolls, but I may have been influenced by my history with them. I still have a couple of vinyl records by them from the ’80s that I like.

    I was gonna make a joke about “havering”, but it seems you guys beat me to it.

    Arnie, great description of MxPx, “…generic California hipster college vocals.” When I was listening, I thought it sounded like soundtrack music for a film. Picture a college, coming-of-age, stoner film. This song accompanies the frat party mayhem scene. It just hints at being pseudo-edgy, but is nevertheless slick and produced and non-threatening enough for a mainstream film.

    In other news, my new CD copy of “Jesus of Cool” just arrived in the mail. I didn’t notice when ordering, but there’s a bunch of bonus tracks, essentially doubling the length, and not just re-workings of the same songs, but…new songs!

    • Arnold Plotnick says:

      Wow, you ordered the Nick Lowe CD! I hope you listened to some of it before, on YouTube, before plunking down money for it. (I’m impressed that you plunk down money for music these days. I haven’t bought music in years. And yet my collection grows. Go figure. ). Yes, it comes with a bunch of superb bonus tracks. Some of those bonus tracks were actually regular tracks on the album Pure Pop for Now People, like They Called it Rock, Rollers Show, and Heart of the City, while Shake and Pop is a weird alternate version of They Called it Rock. The order of the songs on the Pure Pop album are burned into my brain, so it was weird hearing it as Jesus of Cool. I made a playlist of the album on iTunes where I put the song back in the order I was used to, and then added the bonus tracks at the end. I’m such a purist. Let us all know what you think of the album.

  5. Pete Black says:

    I thought Down By Law did a pretty good job but the lead vocal was based in anger and rage which has nothing to do with the song. I agree with Arnie’s comments about the vocals and Kerry’s about the production as to MxPx’s version. Where is the reckless abandon? Ah, The Toy Dolls. Much more fun, a better feel and a minute shorter for the better.

    • RDubbs says:

      No anger and rage? When’s the last time you walked 500 miles and then 500 more for some crazy lass who, upon your arrival, probably still slam the door in face. Not a good time, my friend. Trust me, I’ve experienced it more times than I’d like to remember! Although it was effective in keeping my weight down.

  6. bornunderabadsign says:

    Toy Dolls Forever!

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