Housing Issue playlist

Songs about home


“Home” can be a convenient metaphor in music. Images of houses can be used to represent love, sex, sadness, restlessness and desolation. Whatever it may be, countless artists have used the home and common day-to-day household imagery in their music to represent something larger.

Here is a Spectrum playlist featuring some of the artists who have used images of the home as the main catalyst for their inspiration.

“A** Back Home”

Gym Class Heroes, The Papercut Chronicles II

Everyone has wanted desperately to be home, but not able to go. We’ve all been there.

Whether it’s at the end of a long, long road trip or just after a bad day at work, everyone has those moments where they drive a little too fast just to get home that much quicker.

“A** Back Home” is the seventh track on the Gym Class Heroes’s second Papercut Chronicles. It’s a song about being in a relationship with artist who is constantly on tour.

It’s about the waiting and the anxiousness that come with wanting to be home, but not being able to.

“When I Get Home”

The Beatles, A Hard Day’s Night

This song describes the moment right when you finally walk in the door to your home. It’s all the relief you feel right when you get back to your safe place.

In “When I Get Home,” The Beatles sing about finally getting home to their lovers. The relieving moment right when you get home after a long day and fall into your lover’s arms – according to The Beatles, there’s nothing better.

“Welcome Home”

Tegan and Sara, Under Feet Like Ours

Where The Beatles sang about finally getting home, Tegan and Sara switch things around in “Welcome Home” and sing about waiting for their lovers to get home.

They know that their lovers will always come back to them, but that they will always have to leave again the next day. It’s a bittersweet song that still feels hopeful and special because Tegan and Sara are singing about true love. At the same time, it’s sobering because it’s about lovers who will always be struggling to find time to be together.

“Where is Home?”

Bloc Party, A Weekend in the City

Breaking apart from themes about love and distance, Bloc Party’s song “Where is Home?” is a track about not knowing where your true home is.

The band sings about Christopher Alaneme, a boy murdered in Kent because of his ethnicity. The agitation and restlessness in the singer’s voice emphasizes the desperation you feel when you feel lost, especially lost in your own body.

“Where is home?” Kele asks on the hook.

Of course, home is supposed to be the place where you can find peace and quiet and be accepted for who you are, but for those who really don’t have their own place, all they can do is keep searching.

“Take Me Home”

Phil Collins, No Jacket Required

“Take Me Home” is often mistaken as a gentle, happy song about man who is finally returning home. The song is actually protest song that serves as an ode to “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and misfits everywhere.

Just how “Where is Home” deals with not finding anywhere you can fit in, Collins is similarly singing about how “misfits” are often confined in asylums in Britain. More generally, Collins is commenting how misfits are put in a box for being different, lamenting how being too much of an individual makes you ostracized in society.

For the “crazy” ones, Collins sings, it’s even harder to find a home.

“Night Ride Home”

Joni Mitchell, Night Ride Home

In “Night Ride Home,” Joni Mitchell conceptualizes “home” as a moment.

Different from how The Beatles or the Gym Class Heroes are pining to get home to their lovers as fast as they can, Mitchell is the exact opposite.

Sometimes there are moments that just fly by – they are poignant and overwhelmingly meaningful. But, of course, these are the moments that seem to go too fast and happen too few and far in-between.

Here, she is singing about how she wishes this moment would never end.

For Mitchell, it would be better if she never got home: she wants live in the moment forever.

Brian Windschitl is the senior arts editor and can be reached at brian.windschitl@ubspectrum.com