By Dan Soslowsky:
I was writing a love song the other day, pouring my emotions into words, and I found myself writing this line: “Whenever I’m with you, I can’t help but smile.”
I thought, “Perfect! I could easily finish off this beautiful couplet by sharing how far I would go for love, so that then I could rhyme it with ‘mile.’” However, I couldn’t figure out how far I was supposed to walk for my loved one. How many miles is a reasonable distance? I decided to do some research on how far some other musicians were willing to go for their love...
In 1969, a rock band by the name of The Grass Roots produced a song called “Wait A Million Years.” This song details the extent that the narrator would go to in order to please their love interest. In it, the romantic states that he would, “walk a million miles.” Clearly, those in the 1960s were willing to go extremely far for their significant other.
However, a contrasting view was presented by The Proclaimers in 1988. Their song “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” declares that they, “would walk 500 miles, and [they] would walk 500 more.” Only willing to walk one thousand miles (500 miles plus an additional 500), a tenth of the amount proposed by The Grass Roots, The Proclaimers’ idea of a reasonable distance combats that of the more liberally distanced Grass Roots.
Moreover, the number of miles decreases even further as we delve into the 21st century. Popular singer Shawn Mendes only offered to travel, “a couple hundred miles,” for his loved one in his 2018 song “Lost in Japan.” Furthermore, he’s only willing to, “fly to your hotel,” rather than walking on his own two feet like the other musicians.
After such intense research, it was clear that the distance that one is willing to travel for love decreases exponentially throughout time. In 1969, the reasonable distance was 1 million miles, while in 1988 it decreased to 1 thousand, and then decreased again to about 200 miles by 2018 (and travel by plane, not by foot). For these reasons, it would make perfect sense for me to not really put much effort towards my lover. Filled with my newfound knowledge and inspired by these romantic ballads, I decided to finish my song this way, true to the precedent set before me:
Whenever I’m with you, I can’t help but smile
But I can’t bother getting up, I’ve been sitting for a while