August 11, 2015

Craig and Charlie Reid on "I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)"

The Guardian had a chat with Craig and Charlie Reid about The Proclaimers hit song I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles). Craig wrote in about 45 minutes and took it to Charlie:

I can’t play guitar, so I played it to Charlie and he changed it to those Buddy Holly-type downstrums. It’s not a hard song to play. Right from the start we knew it was catchy, but when we started playing it live the reaction was tremendous. People make all sorts of interpretations of the lyrics – especially the supposed religious significance of 500 miles – but it’s just a love song. I stuck the Scottish word “havering” in there because that’s just what I’d say. It means talking nonsense, but in America one DJ thought we were singing about vomiting.

Charlie about the longevity of the song which has become a sporting events favorite:

The song’s now a big tune at sporting events, in America and in Scotland, of course, where it’s used by the national football and rugby teams. It’s also played at Hibernian FC. They’ve been our team since we were skint and getting nowhere, but now it takes us half an hour to walk anywhere in the ground because so many people want to say: “Hi!” The band is nowhere near as famous as the song and we never will be. When they write our obituaries, whether in Scotland or Kazakhstan, they won’t mention much else.


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