25 Songs About Home (Leaving and Coming Back)
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The concept of home has a different meaning for everyone.
For some, it is the place where they were born. Others define home as the place where they lived the longest. Still others call the place where they’re currently living “home.”
There are those who maintain that home is not actually a place but a person—typically someone they love or consider to be family.
For some people, home is not associated with a structure, geographic location, or person, but instead a feeling. This could be the feeling of being completely accepted, or being allowed to be vulnerable yet protected at the same time.
Regardless of how you define it, there may come a time when it becomes necessary to leave home. Then, in the great cycle of life, there will likely come a time when you’ll be making a homecoming.
In today’s article, we share a collection of songs about home to celebrate the place, person, or feeling closest to your heart.
Many of the hits featured today celebrate the place where we can be most vulnerable. There are several that evoke a sense of nostalgia. Some describe the pain of leaving the familiar, while others are about the excitement of coming home after being away for a long time.
Read on for a list of the best songs about home.
What You Will Learn
- 1. Home, Michael Bublé
- 2. Who Says You Can't Go Home, Bon Jovi and Jennifer Nettles
- 3. The House That Built Me, Miranda Lambert
- 4. That's What I Call Home, Blake Shelton
- 5. Life of Leaving Home, Yellowcard
- 6. Never Ready to Leave, Sherwood
- 7. Coming Home Pt. II, Skylar Grey
- 8. Almost Home, Mariah Carey
- 9. Home, Daughtry
- 10. Homeward Bound, Simon & Garfunkel
- 11. She's Leaving Home, The Beatles
- 12. Hometown Glory, Adele
- 13. I Feel Home, O. A. R.
- 14. It's Time to Go, Taylor Swift
- 15. Home Again, Michael Kiwanuka
- 16. Caledonia, Dougie MacLean
- 17. Take Me Home, Country Roads, John Denver
- 18. Missing Home, Flora Cash
- 19. Come Home, OneRepublic
- 20. Castle on the Hill, Ed Sheeran
- 21. Empire State of Mind, Jay-Z feat. Alicia Keys
- 22. Home, Phillip Phillips
- 23. My Love, Westlife
- 24. Welcome to New York, Taylor Swift
- 25. Don't Forget Where You Belong, One Direction
- Songs About Home, Final Thoughts
1. Home, Michael Bublé
via Michael Bublé
“Another airplane, another sunny place. I'm lucky, I know. But I wanna go home… I gotta go home.”
This song expresses a person’s homesickness after being away for a long time.
It tells of the person’s pain that results from being separated from the familiar and comforting. The opportunities, fame, and fortune that come his way while overseas aren’t enough to console him in his loneliness.
2. Who Says You Can't Go Home, Bon Jovi and Jennifer Nettles
via Bon Jovi
“Who says you can't go home? There's only one place they call me one of their own. Just a hometown boy born a rolling stone. Who says you can't go home?”
For some people, home is where they feel a sense of belonging. This song is about that feeling.
In this case, home is not necessarily the place where someone was born. Rather, it is the place where you are welcomed as family, whether you have blood ties there or not.
3. The House That Built Me, Miranda Lambert
via Miranda Lambert
“If I could just come in I swear I'll leave. Won't take nothin' but a memory from the house that built me.”
Many of us no longer live in the places where we were born. In the 2007 American Community Survey, the US Census Bureau estimates that Americans can expect an average of 11.7 moves in their lifetime.
This country song brings a feeling of nostalgia to those who have lived in different houses, towns, cities, and countries throughout their lives.
If you’ve already moved several times over the years, what place do you miss the most?
4. That's What I Call Home, Blake Shelton
via Blake Shelton
“Daddy don't know a stranger. A handshake and he's your friend. Oh, and Mama is an angel. She'll hold you tight till the heartache ends. Just a place made of nails and wood. But it's the love that makes you feel so good. That's what I call, that's what I call home.”
Here is another country song that makes listeners feel nostalgic for those carefree moments during childhood and those places where everyone looks out for each other.
Add this to your playlist if you resonate with the longing for a place where you are loved and accepted unconditionally.
5. Life of Leaving Home, Yellowcard
via Hopeless Records
“I am awake and alive, there is something calling me. More than a moment in time, it's a dream I'm following on my own… More than a moment in time, it's a life of leaving home.”
People who are in pursuit of their dreams sometimes find that the home environment they are in makes it impossible to achieve what they want. The only way for them to be able to soar is to leave home.
If you find yourself in this situation, this song from Yellowcard might be a good addition to your playlist as you prepare to leave home and everything that’s familiar to start fulfilling your vision.
6. Never Ready to Leave, Sherwood
via Sherwood – Topic
“And I'll tell you the worst part: You're exactly the way that I thought you would be. So I'll stay for the last call. ‘Cause I'll move away, but I'm never ready to leave.”
While some people are excited to leave home and embrace the possibilities that come with their newfound independence, some are hesitant and even scared to venture out and make it on their own.
This song is about that reluctance to leave what’s familiar and comforting.
We hope those who are reluctant to leave home when it’s time to do so will eventually find the motivation to set out on their own and grow.
7. Coming Home Pt. II, Skylar Grey
via Skylar Grey
“I'm coming home… Tell the world I'm coming home. Let the rain wash away all the pain of yesterday. I know my kingdom awaits and they've forgiven my mistakes. I'm coming home… Tell the world I'm coming.”
People leave home for various reasons, such as a job offer in another city, the search for independence, or even a conflict.
When you leave home because of a negative experience or conflict, the tone of your homecoming will depend on whether peace has been restored between the people involved.
For some, the time away might feel like an exile. This song has a hopeful message for those who are away from home and hoping for a peaceful and joyous homecoming.
8. Almost Home, Mariah Carey
via Mariah Carey
“When you let your heart be the compass, you won't get lost, not if you trust it. When you hear the sound of the trumpet, louder than ever before, when you're almost there. Almost home. Just open up your eyes and go, go. ‘Cause you're almost there.”
We’ve all heard the adage, “Home is where the heart is.”
This song assures listeners that they will never be lost if they let their hearts guide them. They will always know how to find their way back home.
9. Home, Daughtry
“Well, I'm going home, back to the place where I belong. And where your love has always been enough for me. I'm not running from, no, you got me all wrong. I don't regret this life I chose for me. But these places and these faces are getting old. So, I'm going home. Well, I'm going home.”
Success can sometimes bring us to unfamiliar places and situations. Going through these experiences can be disconcerting, but having something familiar to center you can be a source of comfort and strength.
This is the message of this song from Chris Daughtry, whose stint at American Idol propelled him to success. Despite his success, he longed for the sense of belonging that one can only get at home.
10. Homeward Bound, Simon & Garfunkel
“Homeward bound. I wish I was homeward bound. Home, where my thoughts escapin'. Home, where my music's playin'. Home, where my love lies waitin' silently for me.”
Here is another song that expresses a longing for the familiar and comforting. Success can often be lonely, and the dynamic duo of Simon & Garfunkel must have felt this as they toured around the world during the height of their fame.
They surely longed for home, for being with the people who truly knew and loved them.
11. She's Leaving Home, The Beatles
via The Beatles
“She (we gave her most of our lives). Is leaving (sacrificed most of our lives). Home (we gave her everything money could buy).”
In this song, a girl has had enough with home and not receiving the love and affection she needed there. She decides to leave and carve her own path through life.
This is a sad reason for leaving home, but The Beatles were able to tell a beautiful, cleverly written song with this story.
12. Hometown Glory, Adele
“Round my hometown, memories are fresh. ‘Round my hometown, ooh, the people I've met are the wonders of my world… Are the wonders of this world. Are the wonders of now.”
Memories often come flooding back when you return to your hometown after several years away.
Each spot around town probably has a significant memory for you, whether a sweet or bitter one.
This song talks about those memories that anchor you to that one place in the world where you truly belong.
13. I Feel Home, O. A. R.
“Well, I've been away but now I'm back today. And there ain't a place I'd rather go. I feel home when I see the faces that remember my own. I feel home when I'm chillin' outside with the people I know.”
Many of us are in search of that special place where we can put down roots and have a place to call home.
For those who have already found that place, their decision to settle there might have been influenced by how the members of the community made them feel.
In this song, that sense of belonging is described as seeing faces that recognize you, even after being away for some time. Do you have a special place that you call home?
14. It's Time to Go, Taylor Swift
via Taylor Swift
“That old familiar body ache, the snaps from the same little breaks in your soul. You know when it's time to go.”
We mentioned earlier that the concept of home is not limited to a place. It can be a person, too.
This song is about leaving a relationship with someone you may have considered “home.”
The relationship might have been wonderful at first, but as time passed toxic personalities may have been unmasked.
It’s time to go. Perhaps it’s time to build a new home with someone else.
15. Home Again, Michael Kiwanuka
via Michael Kiwanuka
“Home again… One day I know I'll feel home again… One day I know I'll feel strong again.”
Home is not necessarily a structure, a place, or even a person. It can also be a feeling.
Michael Kiwanuka expressed this wonderfully when he explained the meaning of his song in an interview in Q magazine:
“It's about comfort and peace. Home is where you're most yourself – you don't have many inhibitions, you just feel free to be who you are. The song is about getting back to that….”
16. Caledonia, Dougie MacLean
“Oh, but let me tell you that I love you. That I think about you all the time. Caledonia, you're calling me. And now I'm going home. If I should become a stranger, you know that would make me more than sad. Caledonia's been everything I've ever had.”
Quick trivia: Historically, Caledonia was the old name for the area in north Great Britain that currently includes Scotland.
Scottish singer-songwriter Dougie MacLean wrote this song as an ode to his homeland. Obviously he was terribly homesick when this song was written.
The song has become the country’s unofficial national anthem and is sung at various cultural events.
17. Take Me Home, Country Roads, John Denver
via John Denver
“Country roads, take me home to the place I belong. West Virginia, mountain mama. Take me home, country roads.”
This song is about homesickness and nostalgia, but this time it’s for a home state instead of a country.
John Denver’s song is so powerful that it spawned numerous memes in recent years, with people posting about missing West Virginia even though they’ve never set foot there.
18. Missing Home, Flora Cash
via Flora Cash
“Been a lot of hard days and been a lot of long nights. And even though I love the road, I'm missing home somehow.”
This song was written after duo Flora Cash experienced an extreme bout of homesickness. They were away from family and friends, pursuing their dreams of making it big in the music scene.
This song gave them comfort. For listeners, it is a reminder to have faith in their dreams and believe that, as Flora Cash said, “…we can make ‘home’ wherever we happen to be.”
19. Come Home, OneRepublic
“So, I say to you come home, come home. ‘Cause I've been waiting for ya for so long… And right now there is a war between the vanities. But all I see is you and me. And the fight for you is all I've ever known. So come home.”
This song is about leaving home, from the perspective of the one left behind.
How do you cope with a loved one who’s left home?
What will you do while waiting for them to return?
Finally, if you could turn back time, would you allow them to leave in the first place?
20. Castle on the Hill, Ed Sheeran
via Ed Sheeran
“Found my heart and broke it here. Made friends and lost them through the years. And I've not seen the roaring fields in so long. I know I've grown, but I can't wait to go home.”
Here is a song that makes you nostalgic for your childhood. If you need a song to help jog your memory about “the good old days,” add this to your playlist and find yourself transported to the past.
21. Empire State of Mind, Jay-Z feat. Alicia Keys
“In New York, concrete jungles where dreams are made of. There's nothing you can't do. Now you're in New York. These streets will make you feel brand new. Big lights will inspire you. Hear it for New York.”
When you consider a place your hometown, you feel a certain pride about its features and anything associated with it. This song celebrates New York City as the place where dreams have the chance of coming true.
22. Home, Phillip Phillips
via Phillip Phillips
“Just know you're not alone. ‘Cause I'm gonna make this place your home.”
The feeling of home holds a power that can heal, comfort, energize, and rejuvenate you. When you listen to this song, you can’t help but feel this power.
It makes you look forward to all the good things that you can experience at home. The song also opens the doorway to happy memories.
23. My Love, Westlife
“So I say a little prayer and hope my dreams will take me there. Where the skies are blue. To see you once again, my love. Overseas, from coast to coast. To find a place I love the most. Where the fields are green. To see you once again, my love.”
Similar to Caledonia, this song from Westlife has often been interpreted as an ode to their homeland. The members of the group are all from Ireland, and the song is their declaration that the miss the place they love and are looking forward to seeing it once more.
24. Welcome to New York, Taylor Swift
via Taylor Swift
“Walkin' through the crowd the village is a-glow. Kaleidoscope of loud heartbeats under coats. Everybody here wanted somethin' more. Searchin' for a sound we hadn't heard before. And it said, “Welcome to New York! It's been waiting for you.””
This is the second song in this collection dedicated to New York City. Delivered in an upbeat style, the song’s cheery melody gives hope to those wanting to make the city their home.
25. Don't Forget Where You Belong, One Direction
via One Direction
“Been a lot of places. I've been around the world. Seen a lot of faces. Never knowing where I was on the horizon. Umm, well I know… the sun will be rising back home.”
The final song in this collection is about someone who has risen to fame, met many people, and had a lot of amazing experiences. But despite all of this, his thoughts wander back to the place he calls home.
Each experience he has is juxtaposed with what would be happening in his hometown.
His memory of home is an assurance that there is a place where he truly belongs.
Songs About Home, Final Thoughts
There you have it—songs that have the power to make you to think about home. What is your favorite from the ones included in this collection?
We all have different experiences and definitions of home. Ultimately, it is that which has made the greatest contribution to who we are today.
If you loved today’s compilation of songs about home, you might also be interested in other song collections found in the following posts: