It's Very Far

"2000 Miles"
The Pretenders
1983

In the dead of winter, many families gather for the holidays from all over the country, and sometimes all over the world. But some distances are still too great to overcome.

In 1982, the Pretenders were collapsing. After two popular and critically acclaimed records, the band was forced to fire its bassist, Pete Farndon, whose drug problem made him impossible to work with. Just a few days later, guitarist James Honeyman-Scott, who gave such a distinctive sound to songs like "Kid" and "I Go To Sleep," died of a drug overdose. Farndon too was dead less than a year later.

Still, singer and songwriter Chrissie Hynde and the only other surviving member of the band, drummer Martin Chambers, went back to the studio in 1983. With their new band members, they would record the album Learning to Crawl, containing some classic Pretenders tracks, like "It's A Thin Line Between Love And Hate" and "Back On The Chain Gang."

The album wouldn't be released until 1984, but one single came out early: "2000 Miles." Now a Christmas classic, the song was on the charts during the 1983 Christmas season. The lyrics are elusive but evocative; distance, winter, and music combine to paint a picture of the loss Hynde and the band must have been feeling in those sessions:

He's gone
Two thousand miles
Is very far
The snow is falling down
It's colder day by day
I miss you
The children will sing
He'll be back at Christmas time
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