A Thousand Miles

Album: Be Not Nobody (2002)
Charted: 6 5
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  • This describes the feelings of anyone who has lost someone they really loved. Carlton sings about how she would do anything to be with that person, or even to just to see them. It is about a person who is in an untouchable world because of the pain they have from their loss. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Megan Anderson - Watertown, SD
  • This got Grammy nominations for both Record of the Year and Song of the Year, but like just about everything else that year, it lost both to "Don't Know Why" by Norah Jones. Carlton performed this on the show.
  • This song features prominently in the 2004 movie White Chicks, starring Shawn and Marlon Wayans as FBI agents who go undercover as white girls. The agents are nearly busted when they're riding in a car with some real white chicks when "A Thousand Miles" comes on and they don't know the words like every white girl should. Later in the movie, we find out that it's the favorite song of another character in the film, who happens to be a big black guy (Terry Crews). The movie was trashed by critics and nominated for a Golden Raspberry award for Worst Movie, but some people love the film and lots of people saw it both in the theaters and on its many TV showings.

    When Songfacts spoke with Vanessa Carlton in 2011, we asked her how she felt about her song in the movie. She said: "I thought it was hilarious. Those guys are really nice, too. I ran into them backstage or something, and they asked me if they could use it. They're like fans, they're so cute. But the scene that was in was hilarious." When we asked how she feels about the song being used as a white girls anthem, she replied, "If you've seen it, that's not the message of it. That is not the way that they plug it in the film. It's actually the secret song of that big, black dude in the SUV, it's like his jam. But the irony is that people associate it with a white girl playing the piano. It's like his secret jam, so it's able to push through all of those micro genres and you can't profile who's going to like the song. That's what they were displaying in that scene. And I really liked that a lot."

    According to Terry Crews, he memorized the song and nailed the scene on the first take.
  • The song was covered a cappella style by the cast during the movie Pitch Perfect 2.
  • Kanye West included the song on his iTunes Celebrity Playlist. He said: "This must be the white song that all black people like, you know every year there's a song that black people like and this is that. I love the string arrangements."
  • Vanessa Carlton wrote the lyrics after coming up with the song's piano riff in the summer of 1998 at her parents' house in Philadelphia. She revealed in a Vice documentary she penned the words about a Juilliard student she had a crush on while studying at the School of American Ballet.

    However, her love was unrequited. "I would never talk to this person," Carlton said. "I was very shy. I was like, 'There's just no way on God's creation that this would ever happen.'"
  • Carlton refused to reveal the subject's name to Vice because he's a "famous actor" now, but her disclosure got various media outlets digging, including Pop Crush, who listed some of the few notable actors that graduated or attended Juilliard in the mid-'90s. Any one of Wes Bentley, Christian Camargo, David Conrad, Alan Tudyk or Glenn Howerton could be the mystery muse.

Comments: 41

  • Joe from 49417How does Nohate not seem to notice or comment that Marlboro lifted it's theme DIRECTLY from The Magnificent Seven (1960) theme?
    By contrast, Carlson's tune is light years more original than Marlboro's stolen theme.
  • Chris from SomewhereThe "big black guy" who loved the song in White Chicks is former football player and actor Terry Crews who has admitted in interviews that "A Thousand Miles" really IS his jam! In fact, when Terry Crews was on Spike TV's "Lip Sync Battle" his main performance was indeed "A Thousand Miles"!
  • Esskayess from Dallas, TxGreat instrumental, but rather airheaded singing.
  • Nohate from Sf, CaWhy does no one seem to notice or comment that she lifted the beautiful chord rift right out of the old Marlboro cigarette TV commercial theme song from the 1960's? Check it out. Just search on "Marlboro cigarette theme song" and see for yourself.
  • Steve from Whittier, CaGreat song..still a huge hit..but has anyone noticed it goes back to 2001, in Legally Blonde?? Check the credits!!:)
  • Elliott from Franklin, TnI really like this song. Acutually I really like the Victoria Justice version a bit more than Vanessa's.
  • Ivy from Springfield, NeI love this song. One of my good songs. 9/10
  • Aimee from Renton, WaVanessa Carlton said that she wrote the song about someone on whom she had a crush, but admitted that he was unaware of her unreciprocated feelings for him. She has also called the song "a combination of reality and fantasy. It's about a love that so consumes you that you do anything for it. That's how I felt at that time"
  • Kyle from Bundaberg, AustraliaI love the one about the condor. I think this song is about a dog trying to find it's way back home, kind of like the song Hannah Montana sings in the movie of hers. I love to eat cookies. I want to say hello to all my friends in Bundy!!! We did it!!! Woooooo!!!! I love you alll!!!!! Goodnight!!!
  • Peter from Munising, MiI had a girlfriend 1100 miles away from me for a long time, and I still miss her to this day. Some days, I actually do wonder if I could walk the distance to see her. Love this some. Brings a tear to my eye every time.
  • Karen from Manchester, NhTo Marissa, Akron, OH: Can't tell the difference b/n Phil Collins & Peter Gabriel? I would bet you ARE the only one! :) Yes, this is a beautiful song.
  • Dave from Easton, PaGeez...i've heard of writer's cramp, but THAT'S writer's diarrhea!!
  • Rahul from Chennai, Indiashe sounds a bit....a bit like taylor swift doesn she? lol
  • Theresa from Murfreesboro, TnShe sounds like Jewel in this song. Great video.
  • Marissa from Akron, OhI adore this song, of course. Vanessa Carlton is one of my many musical role models. If only I could play the piano... I can sing, nothing like her of course but no two voices are exactly the same (though I'm sure I'm not the only one who has a hard time differentiating between Phil Collins and Peter Gabriel.) The lyrics are also great.
  • Maddie from New York, NyI absolutly love this song! It's beautiful. I think its about a long distance relationship and how she would do anything to see him again.
  • John from Mansfield, TxVery Surprisingly Upbeat Breakup Song!!
    While Not As Anguished as Del Shannon's"Runaway"or Melancholy as Johnny Cash's"I Still Miss Someone";It Still Manages To Convey the Loneliness and Hurt After A Breakup!!
    Ironically,Zale's Jewelers*(*I Think)Uses The Opening Piano Rift From"A Thousand Miles"In Their TV Commercials to Sell Diamonds!!
  • Seronica from Jefferson, GaI love the way David Archuleta sings it.
  • Katie from England, United KingdomThis song reminds me of a great friend who passed away...I definately would walk a thousand miles to see him!
  • Lydia from Elyria, Ohthis song is sooooo pretty. :)
    it describes a lot of the same sort of stuff as the Plain White Ts' " hey there delailah" only it is more pure.
  • Sandy from Warsaw, InI think about this song as her boyfriend or husband is at war and she would walk 1000 miles to see him. This song can be taken different ways and thats the way I take it.I absolutely love this song!
  • Mike from Germantown, MdI have unwillingly heard this song probably a thousand times, which makes me hate it even more every time.
  • Ritha from Germantown, MdOmg..this song is the best..I get so emotional..and I love it sooo much...Its AWESOME! A thousand miles is a lot...and i can totally relate to the song.
  • Sapphire from Denver, CoMy BFF, Mandi, can play this on the piano. Whenever I hear this song I think of her. I can get really emotional sometimes when I hear this song because Mandi moved and I really miss her.
  • Jaja from Philippines, Otheroh 1000 miles is my fave song.....bcoz it really hits me.....the only song that hits me....
  • Sarah from San Antonio, TxI think it's about (litteraly) walking 1,000 miles to like New York or San Francisco or something like that.
    - Dave, Eau Claire, WI

    r u seriously serious?!?!
  • Mari from California, Caits just all metaphors so it depends how you want to take it. this song just reminds me how all my friends are deployed and i'm stuck here. i'd so anything to bring them home or at least know that they are not in any danger.
  • Pete from Nowra, AustraliaCrikey what have all you guys been sniffing????

    obviously she's dreaming of a past life as a condor sailing through the skies of Trinidad, then flying down to earth for a brief rest, whereupon she finds she can no longer fly , so she has to walk a 1000 miles to meet up with her flock.....see nothing to complex

    the piano playing reminds me of Billy Joel
  • John from Sydney, AustraliaAll your comments are good, but there is still a question which I want to ask. What do you all think of the lines "If I could fall into the sky, do you think time would pass me by"? Do you think it's a continuation of the 'walking a 1000 miles' metaphor, or do you think it goes further?
  • Ingrid from Hialeah, FlThis song is awesome but any girl who walks a thousand miles 4 a guy is on crack!!! A guy is suppossed 2 walk a thousand miles 4 me no me 4 him!! anyway...the song is nice.....even though sorta old!!..... :-)
  • Hannah from Barraba, ArI really relate to this song because i have lost someone i really loved and i know i will never see them again but i would do anthing in the world if it was possible to see them agian.
  • Kristina from Houston, Txi would never walk 1000 miles for anyone. the song is great though haha
  • Kristina from Houston, Txwhite chicks is my favorite movie so whenever this song comes on the radio, i just start laughing.
  • Mistik from Sydney, AustraliaThis song is good and her piano playing is nice, its funny, have you guys seen white chicks? lol and the big guy sings it when they're in the car.
  • Sara from Anoka, Mni love this song. it so relates to my relationship with this guy i liked, before we actually had a relationship.
  • Sam from Dublin, Irelandi've been in love with this guy for years and years and he dosen't know it. i think about him everyday. i only see him if fate works it's magic...and i would walk 1,000 miles if i could just see him tonight
  • Tammia from Birminham, AlI thought the song was about was no matter how far the person you care about lives, or goes to school whatever the case may be. You would do anything just to see that person even if you had to walk 1,000 miles to do so. Thanks a bunch...
  • Dave from Cardiff, WalesWhen this first came out, many UK critics noticed an uncanny resemblance between this and Bruce Hornsby's "Every Little Kiss" - as they did with Ben Folds Five's "Philosophy" several years earlier.
  • Shana from Radcliff, Kyyou'd do anything to get a person you accidentally lost by being stupid...anything because you care for them so, so much!
  • Melissa from Modesto, CaShe doesn't care about anything else but getting back to the person she loves. She hopes they feel the way she does.
  • Dave from Eau Claire, WiI think it's about (litteraly) walking 1,000 miles to like New York or San Francisco or something like that.
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