The Best Songs: Where have all the average people gone by Roger Miller

My father used to play this great record by Roger Miller, “Roger Miller” from 1969. There was one particular song that has always stuck with me. Lately I have been listening to the lyrics  more thorough and it has become one of my favourite country songs of all time.

It’s a relatively obscure record, but a great one, so start hunting collectors!

Where Have All the Average People Gone.

The late Dennis Linde wrote “Where Have All the Average People Gone.” Roger Miller recorded it and the song only reached No. 14 on the country chart in 1969, but the lyrics and social commentary still seems relevant. The song is about stereotypes and putting people into categories  based on prejudices.

“Funny I don’t fit,
Where have all the average people gone?”

Roger Miller – Where have all the average people gone (audio):

Roger Miller – vocal
Jerry Kennedy – lead guitar
Ray Edenton, Chip Young – rh.guitar
Harold Bradley – bass guitar
Buddy Harman – drums
Bob Moore – bass
Hargus Pig Robbins – piano
Charlie McCoy – organ
Recorded 1969, Mercury Custom Recording Studio, Nashville

Roger Miller – Where have all the average people gone (live, Fort Worth, Texas, 1969):

Bonus: A great cover version by Scott Avett (The Avett Brothers)

From CMT:
Explaining how his brother introduced the song to the other band members, Seth Avett said:

“Scott started playing that song, and he got through a verse or two, and he stopped because he couldn’t remember the next part. I was like, ‘Oh, man, I hope you wrote that one.’ … But that’s good evidence and a good sign that maybe you should cover it because it was a little bit obscure — which doesn’t hurt — but also it was just so natural.”

From CMT:
“That song just cuts that down the center and basically says the unspecial and the special don’t exist,” Scott added. “It’s a beautiful thing. So those kinds of things are something we do consider.” He also says their original songs often change meanings as they write them. “The meanings will definitely morph and change as we have relationships and analyze the words and live through the words a little bit,” he explained. “We just completed, in the studio, a song that we had to live the past six years to finish because there were parts of our lives that we knew we’d never be able to write, or we’d have to live these parts of our lives for us to be able to write this third part of this song. I don’t know. The message to us is huge and important to us as well besides the connection.”

Where have all the average people gone Lyrics
(Dennis Linde)

The people in the city call me country because of how I walk and talk and smile
Well I don’t mind them laughin’ in the city but the country folks all say I’m citified
The fightin’ men may say that I’m a coward because I never pushed no one around
Gentle people call me troublemaker cause I’ll always fight and stand my ground

Funny I don’t fit where have all the average people gone

Some pious people point and call me sinner because to them I’ve never seen the light
Other folks think of me as a preacher I’m just doin’ what I think is right
The wealthy people think that I am a hobo lean and hungry writin’ mornful songs
And the poor poor people think I am a rich man but really I’m just tryin’ to get along

Yes it’s funny I don’t fit tell me where have all the average people gone

And the government has given me a number to simplify my birth and life and death
And still my woman thinks I’m awful important
Like moon and sun and sea and sky and breath
Yes it’s funny I don’t fit where have all the average people gone

Funny I don’t fit where have all the average people gone


– Hallgeir

Bonus no.2: The Avett Brothers live version:

– Hallgeir