house music

August 3rd 2013 Comments: 16 Topics: ,

Music has always played a huge part in our office.  Bobby has been making “mix tapes” as gifts for as long as I can remember.
We even have an in-office festive musical tradition called “Show Tune Friday” (much to the chagrin of some of my co-workers).  To set the mood, Bobby occasionally plays his musical assemblages as introductions to his lectures.  We always seem to have melody swirling around us in the midst of our work – a lifelong soundtrack.

This got me thinking of compiling a collection of favorite songs that lyrically convey concepts of house and home.  The results follow.

What are some of your favorite house/home tunes?  Leave your suggestions in the comment section.  We’ll add them to our office stereo to pleasure our ears and inspire our hands.

This was the very first song that came to mind when I started this list.  It’s a heartbreaker from the brilliant songwriter Randy Newman.  “Feels Like Home”, from Newman’s theatrical outing “Faust” (and here sung by Bonnie Raitt) always brings a tear to my eye.

This song, by country singer Miranda Lambert, was Bobby’s immediate choice for this list. It’s about a lost woman returning to her since-sold childhood house trying to rediscover who she was. This lyric says it all:

You leave home, you move on and you do the best you can. 
I got lost in this whole world and forgot who I am.

We’re showing our age on this one.  The pop band ‘Til Tuesday had a brief but stunning career in the 1980s and Aimee Mann’s haunting voice bids “Welcome home” in this song.

Michael Buble’ just wants to go home.  This song rings true to anyone who’s ever traveled around a good deal in their work (as we do all the time).

What playlist is complete without Grand Funk Railroad?  Another traveler desperately trying to get back home.

This classic song from the first couple of country music, George Jones and Tammy Wynette, is a sad tale of aspiration.  A big, fancy house with “chandeliers in every room and silks and satin all about”  but built without love feels mighty vacant.

Another lyrical classic from our younger days.  Billy Joel’s “You’re My Home”, from his debut album, is a story of how a long-wandering gypsy finds his home.

This selection goes out to one of our partners, John Sease (who is a huge Simon and Garfunkel fan). This hit is the quintessential tune about home yearning.  Here, a twist on the performance with Simon performing with the Beatle’s George Harrison on the stages of Saturday Night Live.

This one is the saddest of the lot.  Written by Burt Bacharach, Broadway dynamo Kristin Chenoweth realizes an empty house is, well, empty.

Greg Tankersley for McAlpine Tankersley


  1. Adriane Stark says:

    Thanks for including “Homeward Bound” from the now infamous surprise appearance by George Harrison on SNL. I still remember watching the duet that night preceded by an equally brilliant “Here Comes the Sun” (also on You Tube). Classic Harrison – adding the wry guitar riff at the end – can’t watch it without getting choked up!

  2. Missy says:

    I like “Southland in the Springtime” by the Indigo Girls. Not about a specific home but about the south being home.

  3. Bridget says:

    I have always loved John Denver’s Take Me Home Country Roads. My dad used to sing
    that in the car on the dirt road toward our home! Also, This Must Be the Place by the Talking Heads has a fun rhythm.
    Lucinda Williams’ Lake Charles sort of pertains- I like the album cover and its name too, Car Wheels on a Gravel Road.

  4. cwhitneyward says:

    Yes…Take Me Home Country Roads…his voice makes me feel ‘home’…wonderful post!

  5. Victoria Athens says:

    Thanks; all lovely tunes. My favorites are the George Harrison/Paul Simon duet, Michael Buble and Kristin Chenoweth (such a poignantly powerful voice in such a petite person). I think you would enjoy Home by the late Laurie Beechman as well as her version of A House is Not a Home.

  6. David Williams says:

    “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes. A happy feel good anthem. And love the first line since I’m from Arkansas: “Alabama, Arkansas, I sure love my maw and paw, but not the way that I love you”

  7. John Denver’s “Country Home” …..this is the music I played every time we returned to our Colorado home. I filled the house with his
    music. Everyone who came to our home would comment….’you’re always playing John Denver’, especially our children. John sang of the mountains and I would sit on my porch and gaze at the Colorado mountains listening to John Denver. It always felt right.

  8. Bridget says:

    Song about not having a home… Papa was a
    Rodeo by the Magnetic Fields. Great line in this song …”Home was anywhere with diesel gas…”

  9. Carolyn says:

    Great selection! I think of “Home” by Karla Bonoff.

  10. Joanna says:

    Love the playlist! Sheryl Crow has a great tune “Home”.

  11. Susan Nelson says:

    Thanks Greg for another brilliant blog and for including Billy Joel’s “You’re My Home” one of my favorites !

  12. Chris Eller says:

    Come On A My House from Della Reese……and several others.

  13. janinedunn says:

    This is SO wrong but because I sometimes am unable to suppress my twisted sense if humor, I found myself thinking how funny it would be, as a Friday Finale to include The Pistol Annie’s (Miranda Lamberts girl group) Trailer For Rent. I’m sorry. That just makes me laugh. Janine Dunn

    Sent from my iPhone

  14. Michael says:

    Phil Collins’ Take Me Home (I listened to it continuously while traveling in India many years ago!

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