Grandpa Jones Was Heading Toward the Home Town of Muhammed Ali
Less than a month before I came into existence, America's most famous poet left the earth. As every new year begins I think of Robert Frost, who passed away on January 29, 1963.
It seems only fitting that his end would occur in the dead of winter, the setting for some of his most beloved poems. Even the least literary Americans can recall the image of the speaker, reflecting on life while watching the wood fill up with snow.
More memorable, however, is the last line of the poem, which Frost repeats to great effect. “And miles to go before I sleep,” the speaker sighs, “And miles to go before I sleep.”
That particular unit of measure happens to be a frequent symbol in our most popular form of poetry, otherwise known as lyrics. Here are fifteen songs that use the word “Mile” or its plural in their titles.
1. I Can See for Miles by the Who
Shortly after boasting about such spectacular vision, Pete Townshend then began composing a rock opera about a kid named Tommy who was blind
2. Half a Mile Away by Billy Joel
One can almost see Little Geo and the singer sharing a bottle from a brown bag on 52nd Street, the thoroughfare serving as the name of the album on which this tune is found.
3. Miles from Nowhere by Cat Stevens
On its fifty year anniversary the folk singer revisited Tea for the Tillerman, the original source of cuts like “Wild World”, “Hard-Headed Woman” and this philosophical folk ballad.
4. I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles) by the Proclaimers
Craig and Charlie Reid were the twin brothers who comprised this Eighties duo, gaining immortality with this Top Ten hit.
5. 500 Miles Away from Home by Bobby Bare
Since he was born in Ironton, Ohio, the country legend could have written these lyrics while in Cincinnati or Pittsburgh or Cleveland or Wheeling or any smaller town along the way.
6. Eight Miles High by the Byrds
Having already been one of the folk-rock group's biggest hit, the song found new life a few years later when Don McLean mentioned it in the title track from American Pie.
7. Miles Away by Josh Ritter
Underrated and underappreciated even for a folk songwriter, Ritter continues to churn out fine records like this one and the rest of the Gathering LP.
8. Miles and Miles of Texas by Asleep at the Wheel
We can only hope that the group was not living up to its name while driving across the Lone Star, as this title imples.
9. Miles End by Gomez
Their third album In Our Gun from 2002 indicated a maturity in the indie band's work, which continued to improve over the next decade.
10. Eight More Miles to Louisville by Grandpa Jones
Rather than use the distance to describe elevation, the banjo picker chose it to reflect Kentucky's largest city. If he were high during the eight miles, it most likely would have been from some good old Mountain Dew.
11. Twenty Miles by Deertick
They have been categorized as alternative, folk, indie, and rock, all of which is evident on this track from the Black Dirt Sessions.
12. Comeback Story (Walk a Mile in Your Shoes) by Kings of Leon
“I walk a mile in your shoes,” sings Caleb Followill on Mechanical Bull. “And now I'm a mile away, and I've got your shoes.”
13. I Walk for Miles by Dinosaur Jr.
Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not marked a strong comeback for J. Mascis, as this cut as well as “Be a Part” and “Tiny.”
14. Million Miles an Hour by Nickelback
This single, along with “Edge of a Revolution”, are the two most enduring offerings from 2013's No Fixed Address.
15. Ninety Miles an Hour Down a Dead End Street by Hank Snow
If the weather forecast matched the last name, the country star might have chosen to slow down the title speed.