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Song Parodies -> "I've Been Everywhere (Japanese version)"

Original Song Title:

"I've Been Everywhere"

Original Performer:

Johnny Cash

Parody Song Title:

"I've Been Everywhere (Japanese version)"

Parody Written by:


The Lyrics

I wanted to try this just to see if I could. And as I live in Japan, I didn't even use a map!

One of Johnny's more rockabillyish outings, this song is actually a reworded cover of a big 1962 Australian hit (comparatively speaking) for Lucky Starr (believe it or not, not his real name - b.Leslie Morrison) and penned by Jeff Mack. Apparently Hank Snow charted with it, but I've used the Johnny Cash recording which you'll find here. Imo, the original Oz version is funnier and faster and you can judge for yourself by going here.

For a really funny parody of this (funnier - and racier - than mine), I recommend veteran AIRhead Andy Primus's recent take on it, one of the best Xmas parodies of last season's crop. It's here:

Juicy trivia: Lucky Starr was involved in a sex scandal in 1960 with a touring Disney Mousketeer, the late Cheryl Holdridge, who was just under sixteen at the time. For my money, she was the prettiest one. As I was in elementary school short pants at the time, I don't think I would have had much of a chance with her, but at least I would have been safer.

There's a brief note on Japanese pron. below if it's of any help.
I'VE BEEN EVERYWHERE (Japan version)

I was totin' my rukku along the misty Toyonaka road
When along came a Hyundai with a rice-and-semiconductor load
'Iffu you go Toyonaka, dozo issho ni, hai!
So I climbed in to the cab, there was a GPS inside
He asked me if I'd seen a load of his native home, Japan
And I said 'Nissan? Oops! Been everywhere in this fair land …

'I've been everywhere, man, dokodemo e, san
Across the Inland Sea, man, Fujiyama scree, man
Like the spore of the sugi tree man
I've been everywhere

'I've been to Juso, Kamino, Yano, Fuku-oka
Mi-no, Awano, Joto, Kamioka
Kuzuha, Noma, Osaka, Shirahama
Tana-be, Ko-be, Matsu-e, Kawakama
Hagiwara, Kawahara, Tanibara, Yamanashi
Furuhashi, Shinsaibashi
Yao Higashi - kinda trashy!

'I've been everywhere, man, dokodemo e, san
Right to the Emp'ror's lair man
I've breathed the city air, man
Pollution had my share, man
I've been everywhere

'I've been to Hyogo, Sogo, Togo, Kawanishi
Kashiba, Chiba, Yoriba, Mitsubishi
Inou-e, Kawa-se, Uchi-de, Wakataki
Minato, Kyoto, Hiroshima, Nagasaki
Temma-shi, Himeji, Seichi Takatsuki
Sakayuki, Nakanuki, Shin-Suzuki - very spooky!

'I've been everywhere, man, dokodemo e, san
Gathered bamboo shoots man
I've eaten gobo roots man
In shot bars I've had my hoots, man
I've been everywhere

'I've been to Ohara, Nara, Nishitada Matsubara,
Ikeda, Ueda, and Umeda, Shinohara
Shodo, Hamacho, Biwako, Okinawa
Kagawa, Ishikawa, Yodogawa, Tokyo Tower
Kono, Yojo, don't forget Awajishima
Iwojima, Yakushima, cycle-teamer, broke my femur

'I've been everywhere, man, dokodemo e, san
Tsunami-ravaged-where, man
Whatever you can spare man
Families in need of care man
Send from anywhere

'Kanto, Shikoku, Shinosaki, Nishi-Honshu
Kansai, Tohoku, Hokkyu-riko, Kita-kyushu
Niigata, Nagano, Itami, Okayama,
Obata, Yamato, Minami, Yokohama
Shima-ne, Tottori, Kashihara Jingu-Ma-e
Kitahara, konokara, sayonara and bye bye, eh?

'I've been everywhere man, dokodemo e, san
Now my cupboard's bare man
I'm plumb done, out of air, man
Of place-names I've had my share, man
I've named everywhere
Missed one, I don't care.'
* 'rukku' = rucksack, backpack, a borrowed and then 'Japanized' word
* Hyundai - a Korean auto-maker; why Korean? It just rhymes better
* dozo issho ni, hai = (loosely) Let's go together, be my guest
* dokodemo e - everywhere, anywhere, somewhere, somewhere or other, depending on context
* sugi - imported cedar tree, responsible for widespread hay fever in the spring, to which most Westerners are immune. Vast areas were planted out with this species early last century in an attempt to develop a self-sufficient timber industry. It failed but succeeded in wiping out the habitat of untold wildlife.
* gobo = burdock root, a cheap and nutritious vegetable, once a mainstay of rural cuisine

Japanese pron. is quite easy cf. the tonal languages of mainland Asia. The vowels are the same as Italian: a (uh), i (ee), u (oo), e (ay), o (oh)). Normally you should enunciate every syllable equally (there are no internal word stresses in Japanese), but that doesn't apply here as you have to follow the natural stresses of the song's rhythm.

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Pacing: 5.0
How Funny: 5.0
Overall Rating: 5.0

Total Votes: 7

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User Comments

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Wendy Christopher - January 17, 2013 - Report this comment
Lordy, Lifeliver - this one's a challenge and a half, and you nailed it beautifully. How on earth you worked all those Japanese placenames in and still kept the pacing so tight is a minor miracle (I listened to both versions, but with my screwy hearing I didn't stand much chance with the faster version so I went by the Johnny Cash one in the end.) Masterfully done - a well-earned 555 :^)
Old Man Ribber - January 17, 2013 - Report this comment
A tour de force...or tour of Japan....either way! ;D
John Barry - January 17, 2013 - Report this comment
Hard enough OS to take on in English, let alone what you've done!
Lifeliver - January 19, 2013 - Report this comment
Thanks Wendy, Ribber and JB for looking in and for your compliments. I couldn't quite work in some favorite place names like Hibarigaokahanayashiki, Nishinakajimaminamikata and Sh'tennojimaeyuhigaoka, maybe they'll come in handy some other time.
Dave W. - January 21, 2013 - Report this comment
Hmm... lot's of nations left to do....This would be fun to sing by heart..I'm going to try it and see
Lifeliver - January 21, 2013 - Report this comment
Wow! That's very flattering, Dave. Good luck! I can barely manage just reading it while singing to myself and I speak Japanese. I believe there are versions in various languages and a few English ones too, but by all means, please attempt one - I'd like to see that.
Phil Alexander - January 22, 2013 - Report this comment
Brilliant - would be kind of fun to sing (I have one parody to this song recorded, and another I have performed once or twice).. a bit worried by your that "Japanese pron. is quite easy", but if you've been *everywhere* over there, I guess you'll have come across enough of it ;-)
lifeliver - January 22, 2013 - Report this comment
@ Phil A: Thanks for comment; it was fun to write.
日本放浪 - July 07, 2013 - Report this comment
Awesome (素晴らしい) job mate... Having lived there for numerous years myself and travelled extensively, I can appreciate this parody. Don't suppose you have recorded the song as an mp3 or other digital format?
Lifeliver - July 07, 2013 - Report this comment
Thanking you, Nihon nantoka (sorry, don't read kanji, would that be subarashii?). Late hits like yours are always a welcome surprise.

You'll probably have noticed it has a Kansai bias as I'm based in Osaka/eastern Hyogo. You'll probably also have noticed a couple of place names are a bit dodgy for 'artistic purposes' (damn, blown my cover, sprung bad), so don't try to find them.

As far as performing it, as one veteran here put it, I write parodies for the same reason Rocky boxes - because I can't sing and dance. But you're welcome to try, and even change a few places if you like. As long as you don't try to pass it off as your own. May I ask where in Japan you lived? At the risk of alienating you with overkill, here are the links to other Japanese-themed pieces I've done:

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