500 Miles

When I was a kid, part of my summer vacation was spent in Sister’s Lake, Michigan at my grandparents’ summer home. My family & my dad’s sister’s family spent many weekends over the summer, playing in the water, fishing, riding on the pontoon boat, tubing, skiing (or at least trying to), building sand castles, eating Cheetos & cheese balls, playing Uno… You get the picture.

One of my favorite memories was when all 7 cousins (all one year apart) were sitting around the kitchen table with a music tape and a tape player. We had been blasting the radio all weekend and continued to listen to the same song, “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” by the Proclaimers. (You know the one – “And I would walk 500 miles. And I would walk 500 more.” Are you singing it now? Sorry if it is stuck in your head – it is stuck in mine.) We were so in love with that song! We had one problem – we didn’t know all the words. So there we sat, at the kitchen table, with our tape player, pencils and papers trying to write down all the words to the song.

We were not so smart at first because we just started writing when they started singing – like we could write as fast as they were singing. Once we figured things out, things went a little something like this: Play. Stop. Rewind. Play. Listen. Write. Stop. What did they just say? Rewind. Play. Stop. No, they didn’t say that. What do you think they said? Rewind. Play. Listen. Write. Are you sure those are the words? This went on for hours. We never got all the words down, but that never bothered us.

Those were the days. Now all someone has to do is search on the internet and all the lyrics will pop up. I am so glad we did not have the internet back then!


14 thoughts on “500 Miles

  1. I love this story-what a great memory. It is sad to realize this unforgettable memory would not happen today since someone would just look it up and never think of it again.

  2. OMG I did exactly the same thing when I was 11 or 12! My friend Karen and I tried to write down all the words to every song on the Elton John album; Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only the Piano Player! I thought I would write about it one day, also! Such a great memory!!

  3. I love this so, because you just brought every slicer back to the tape rewind days. I remember trying to catch a song on the radio to record it for my own mix tape.

  4. This reminds me of our camping trip with cousins. I love that you were able to slice about a small portion of what I’m sure was filled with lots of fun times.

  5. I really like your ending Kelly. Those were the days and they were because it was simpler then. I was giddy inside knowing you were trying to write down the words to the song. A friend and I did the same exact thing with Mr. Wendell. 🙂 Really cute post!

  6. Kelly, how funny! I was reading this aloud and only made it as far as 500 Miles before we burst into song. How funny that the very next thing you wrote was “Are you singing now?” This is such a relatable slice!

  7. So diligent even then! I was too lazy. I just made them up. I do remember waiting for songs to play and taping them on tapes! Pause, record, stop, pray, play! Love that use of verbage.

  8. Oh, I remember those days of rewind and fast forward buttons. Life is so much easier now that we can just use our finger to ‘inch’ our way back on an iPod. (And having lyrics on Google at our fingertips helps too.)

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