Original recorded version
Written by Australian country songwriter and performer Geoff Mack. The song is also known as I've Been Everywhere, Man.
Geoff Mack also wrote the later USA variation recorded by Hank Snow (1963), Johnny Cash (1996) and others.
Lucky Starr also recorded versions of this song with British, American and New Zealand place names, all written by Geoff Mack.
There are numerous other variations and parodies, including a Springfield's State version from The Simpsons episode Mobile Homer. In Australia, BigPond Wireless Broadband has used I've Been Everywhere in TV advertisements.
The definitive source of information may be IveBeenEverywhere.com.au by Peter Harris who has visited every place mentioned in the song. Highly recommended.
The prototype of I've Been Everywhere, written in 1959 and performed by Geoff Mack in his stage shows before it was retitled for the recording by Lucky Starr in 1962.
References, further reading: 1. Geoff Mack himself tells the story of Swagman Rock-I've Been Everywhere at caricaturist Mick Joffe's website. 2. Geoff Mack page at Australian Country Music Hall of fame. 3. Richard E Patterson, "Geoff Mack: The man who wrote 'I've been Everywhere' " (2000), Country Music News Magazine, Canada, republished at CountryRagePage.com.
Thanks to Jan Baart for alerting me to this history.
Version with US place names, adapted by Geoff Mack from his original Australian version. #1 on US country charts. The lyrics to Hank Snow's recording are at CowboyLyrics.com.
Hank Snow: country music legend, born in Canada in 1914, in the USA from the mid-1940s.
Australian comic singer-songwriter, painter and TV compere, famous initially for his 1960 hit, Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport. Long resident in the UK. On 1963 album Sun Arise.
Rolf Harris’s version alters a few of the placenames.
Popular New Zealand country singer, later known as John Grenell.
Original composer Geoff Mack apparently wrote a version with New Zealand place names. Some sources claim the NZ lyrics on this recording were written by John Hore, but I'm unable to verify this.
The New Zealand lyrics are at International Lyrics Playground.
Further reading: Bruce Sergent's page on John Hore at his New Zealand music site.
On 1968 album Promises, Promises, on Chart label, also released as a single.
US country singer (b.1947) who had a #3 pop hit in 1970 with Rose Garden.
On their 1973 debut album Comin' Right At Ya.
Grahame Bond, Rory O'Donaghue and Garry McDonald as Ernest, Ernie and Enzo Farrelly, suburban country and western artists, on the 1974 Polydor album Aunty Jack Sings Wollongong
The characters originated in Australian ABC-TV's comedy series The Aunty Jack Show (1972-73) and featured in an episode of the follow-up series Wollongong the Brave (1974).
As David Overett points out, this was the other great Oz version… where the lyric line, when it got to the place names, was 'Wollongong, Wollongong, Wollongong etc. etc.' with the odd Dapto thrown in for good measure. (Email)
Aunty Jack Sings Wollongong was reissued in 2006 (with a second disc to accommodate bonus tracks) to coincide with a stage revival of the Aunty Jack troupe.
On 1996 album Unchained, using US place names as heard on Hank Snow's version (see CowboyLyrics.com).
This is the version heard in Choice Hotels advertisements in the US.