Everyone leaves their hometown to pursue job opportunities, acquire an increase in pay, or simply move away for a loved one. But it’s the songs about going home that hit differently, as they can invoke nostalgia and of course are heartwarming to hear on the radio. So without further ado, here are some of the best songs on this topic.
Best Songs About Going Home
Let’s begin with a song by John Denver
Take Me Home, Country Roads by John Denver
If you haven’t been to West Virginia in person, a quick online image search will show you how naturally beautiful the state is. And after flipping through the first few pictures, it becomes pretty clear why someone would take a lot of pride in calling it home.
In Take Me Home, Country Road by John Denver, John sings of this beautiful state, and all the things about it that draws him back. Not only does Denver describe the alluring imagery, but he expresses a deep feeling of belonging there.
Take Me Home, Country Road may reference West Virginia in the lyrics, but the specified location does not limit the song’s powerful effect on natives from other homelands. With its release in 1971, during prime Vietnam War time, Take Me Home, Country Roads became known as a “universal nostalgia,” making it a common theme song for citizens dreaming of going home across the world.
Whether country or city, paved or gravel, foreign or domestic, may the roads you travel always take you home.
- You Might Also Like: Songs About Hometowns
The House That Built Me by Miranda Lambert
Sometimes going home doesn’t involve a long-term stay. In Miranda Lambert’s song The House That Built Me, she revisits the childhood home that her family sold to someone else. Her goal is to reestablish the sense of identity seemingly lost in her adulthood.
Throughout the song, Miranda describes memories to the present-day owner of the house, sharing intimate details such as where her favorite dog is buried, which room she originally learned music in, and the fact her father built the house for her mother.
While many of the memories mentioned in the song are happy ones, the overall message of The House That Built Me isn’t necessarily about growing up in a happy home. Rather, it’s about how revisiting a foundational piece of your life can provide you with the potential closure and healing that is needed to understand yourself.
While Lambert’s personal connection to her childhood home is full of cherished nostalgia, many people from all backgrounds can certainly find value in a song about going home to their roots to heal.
Carolina Calling by Mipso
Have you ever felt so rooted within your home state, you can feel it calling you back even before you’ve left it?
In the song Carolina Calling by Mipso, they sing of a future anticipation of coming home after a life of travel. In the song, they describe daydreams of where their journey may potentially take them over time (cities or colder climates). However, within their plans of travel comes an awareness; the inevitable reality that North Carolina will eventually call them all back home.
In an interview, band member and guitarist Joseph Terrell explains how the song is “a response to the sentiment that ‘you can’t go home again’.” While it may be true that things change over time, the sense of home remains, pulling us back to the places we came from.
Carolina Calling is a particularly potent song for an adventurous heart. It’s lyrical structure and upbeat rhythm gives permission to the childlike craving of exploration, while simultaneously leaving the door open to go home when the appeals of adventure have concluded.
Mipso’s song reminds us: home is always calling, but it is up to us when we will answer that call.
I Wanna Go Home by Sundy Best
You can take the boy out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the boy. In their song I Wanna Go Home by Sundy Best, the Appalachian folk duo sings about wanting to go home after establishing a successful traveling music career.
The upbeat tempo guides the listener through toe-tapping, reminiscent lyrics that speak about family bickering, childhood memories, generational names, and good times. However, just when you’ve become comfortable, bobbing your way through this feel-good tune, at the 2 minute 30 second mark, the song pumps the breaks for an emotional slow down. Sundy Best reminds us in this moment: despite seeing the world, home is ultimately the place you want to rest your body and soul.
To traveling individuals, hitting the pavement and seeing the world is enticing and attractive, but at the end of it all, going home is ultimately all you want to do. Eventually long-term exposure to strange scenery and nameless people starts to wear you down, and you just want to be back in the place where your name is known, and your family is close.
If you’re looking for one of the best songs about coming home to family, you’ve found it in this Sundy Best song.
I Woke Up in A Car by Something Corporate
A lot of people know home traditionally as one place, but what if home is everywhere? In I Woke Up In A Car by Something Corporate, the concept of going home is a reality with the passing of every state line.
In his song, lead singer Andrew McMahon describes his surroundings from the driver’s seat of his car, expressing how the feeling of being lost is truly the feeling of being home. With the car as his house, and the road as his guide, he sings poetically of multiple American cities that he passes through, expressing his emotional connection to all of them.
This musical composition is an empowering anthem for those of us who may not have a traditional sense of home in any singular place or person, but rather, can find home within the very absence of one.
Home by Bobaflex
The life of a traveling musician can be challenging and lonely. With constant movement to meet the demands of the lifestyle, it can leave the human spirit craving the consistency and vitality that comes with being home.
In the song Home by Bobaflex, the McCoy brothers sing about the monotonous impersonal effects of stardom, and the meaningless relationships they encounter on tour.
The lyrical simplicity of this song represents a much bigger, complex beast – success in the music industry. What starts as something you do because you love it, becomes something you do because of contracts. What starts as jam sessions and dreams, evolves into assigned concerts, ticket sales, and long stretches of soul sucking travel.
No disrespect towards established musicians, bands, and artists, but like all professions, there is a reality of musical fame, which is what Bobaflex seems to be representing in this song. When you reach a certain height, all you really want to do is put down the mandatory assignments, and just go home to personal musical fulfillment.
Come Back Home by Lauv
To many, home can be represented beyond a physical location, and can sometimes supersede an external source altogether. In the song Come Back Home by Lauv, home is beautifully represented as oneself.
Come Back Home is a very symbolic, poetic song, that utilizes analogy to explain how coming back home means coming back to yourself after getting lost in someone else for too long.
By using the heart to represent the pull of outward love, and bones to represent his sense of self, Lauv (Ari Leff) explains how sometimes you have to trade your heart for bones to understand that you need to come back home to who you are.
In a unique spin, Come Back Home is a fantastic song about going home when you’re feeling lost within your personal life. This song offers a camaraderie needed in those moments where we, as humans, forget who we are for the sake of someone else. As hard as it is to give up on something you really don’t want to, it can be necessary for survival’s sake.
Coming Home by Falling In Reverse
To parents, their life has no sense of home without their children. With his two-year long project, Falling in Reverse front man Ronnie Radke sings about going home to his (now 9-year-old) daughter after being away from her for far too long in his song Coming Home.
The lyrics of Coming Home explain Ronnie’s personal guilt for missing out on so much of his daughter’s life. This symbolism is further demonstrated in the song’s music video, as Ronnie is seen as an astronaut floating through space. As he continues to orbit the sun, he eventually floats close enough to planet earth, entering the atmosphere and falling into its gravitational pull. The music video ends with Ronnie shooting across the sky, appearing as a meteor, implying that he intends on getting home to his daughter, even if it kills him.
Ronnie’s song about going home to his daughter is a message many parents can relate to. Regardless of the career path, parents of all lifestyles can certainly relate to the guilt of missing out on life events of their children, as well as the determination to make their children a priority over work.
Home by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
For many, home is not a place, but rather a person. That’s what Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros sing about in their effervescent and lively song Home.
In spoken word style, vocal duo Alex Ebert and Jade Castrinos bounce through lyrics with a back-and-forth banter. In their lyrical discourse, they exchange their thoughts on loving each other, ending each verse with the whole point – going where the other is.
This song is truly a heart-warming piece. No matter what kind of day you’re having, listening to Ebert and Castrinos sing of their love for each other will have any listener feel like they too are coming home to the one they love.
Coming Home by Stick Figure
Going home can look like returning to the foundational beliefs that you were raised on, especially amidst a deep psychological depression. We see a demonstration of coming back to the home within ourselves in Coming Home by Stick Figure.
In this song, we listen as lead singer Scott Woodruff explains how he lost himself to the negativity of his surroundings. Giving credit to his mother’s life mantras, Woodruff narrates that life is about balance, self-reflection, and faith. Despite the mental turbulence, he reestablishes his sense of reality that his dreams are still alive and well, and by coming home to himself, he can keep the momentum of forward progress.
Stick Figure’s attractive reggae beat gives their music an omniscient, slightly haunting sound that hits the listener right in the feels. This emotional fusion of instrumentals and vocals are what make the poetry of Stick Figure’s songs extra potent.
Home is subjective to the individual. No matter what home looks like for you, be it a house with a front door, an engine with four wheels, or the company of someone you love, going home means going somewhere you feel like you belong.
While my list of songs about going home represents a variety of destinations, there are still countless other ways people could measure what home looks like.
Whether it’s within my cultivated list, or your own personal music library, I hope you find the music that depicts your sense of home perfectly, and I hope it takes you there safely.