500 Miles

Folk song
First published in 1961
Words & music by the American folksinger and songwriter Hedy West

First verse:
If you miss the train I'm on, you will know that I am gone. / You can hear the whistle blow a hundred miles. / A hundred miles, a hundred miles, / A hundred miles, a hundred miles, / You can hear the whistle blow a hundred miles.

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500 Miles guitar tab and notes (pdf)

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500 Miles instrumental guitar (mp3)

500 Miles - guitar tab, notes, chords and lyrics

"500 Miles" (a.k.a. "500 Miles Away from Home") is foremost credited to the American folksinger and songwriter Hedy West, but also mentioned as a traditional song which relates to older folk songs. Apart from Hedy West, several other artists have performed the song. Bobby Bare's country version is one of the most famous. "500 Miles" was a representative piece in the folk music revival during the 1950s and 60s, performed by artists such as Peter, Paul and Mary and Joan Baez. In the 1980s, The Hooters, modernized version became a hit.

500 Miles (full accompaniment)

"500 Miles" for guitar with full accompaniment. Free download in pdf-file and audio.

500 Miles guitar accompaniment

500 Miles (only melody)

"500 Miles" standard and tablature notation for guitar.

500 Miles notes and tabs

Tips on how to learn this song

The easiest way to learn "500 Miles" is probably to look at it as a song with two similar sections which a slight variation in the middle. The first section includes the pick-up bar and the seventh following bars. The variation happens in the eighth bar followed by the second section until the end.

In the seventh bar, an A note is played, which differ from the G note in the final bar. It will not sound wrong to play a G note in the seventh bar as well, but it creates some tension which finally resolve with the anticipated G note in the final bar.

Lyrics and chords

500 Miles chords in the key of G If you (G)miss the train I'm (Em)on, you will (Am)know that I am (C)gone.
You can (Am)hear the whistle (C)blow a hundred (D)miles.
A hundred (G)miles, a hundred (Em)miles,
A hundred (Am)miles, a hundred (C)miles,
You can (Am)hear the whistle (C)blow a hundred (G)miles.

Lord, I'm (G)one, Lord, I'm (Em)two, Lord, I'm three(Am), Lord, I'm (C)four,
Lord, I'm (Am)five hundred (C)miles from my (D)home.(D7)
Five (G)hundred (Em)miles, five hundred (Am)miles,
Five hundred (Am)miles, five hundred (C)miles,
Lord, I'm (Am)five hundred (D)miles from my (G)home.

Not a (G)shirt on my (Em)back, not a (Am)penny to my (C)name
Lord, I (Am)can't go (C)a-home this (D)a-way.
This (G)a-away, this (Em)a-way, this (Am)a-way, this (C)a-way.
Lord, I (Am)can't go (D)a-home this (G)a-way.

If you (G)miss the train I'm (Em)on, you will (Am)know that I am (C)gone.
You can (Am)hear the whistle (D)blow a hundred (G)miles.

The key can be transposed by using a capo. These are the keys that the song would transpose in depending on which fret the capo is put:

500 Miles (Open G)

"500 Miles" in Open G tuning (DGDGBD). Free download in pdf-file.

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Key, time, tuning and tempo

Information about "500 Miles" considering musical key, time signature, tuning and bpm.

Key signature music symbol

KEY

The presented version of 500 Miles is played in the key of G.

Time signature music symbol

Time signature

The song is played in 4/4 tempo (counted one, two, three, four for each measure)

Tuning overview

Tuning

The song is normally played in standard tuning (EADGBE).

BPM symbol and numbers

Tempo (BPM)

The tempo in beats per minute is 110 for the presented version. Moderately slow.

Tags: Folk song, Open G tuning