Home. Maybe it’s the place that built you, the place you run back to, or where your heart is. Wherever your home may be, in country music it can be a place that defines where you were, where you are, and where you’re going.
I grew up going from house to house every few years. For the longest time I considered my home to be the place I was born and lived for 8 years. Like Miranda Lambert’s song “The House That Built Me,” the house that built me was in a small town on a little street corner in the most peaceful neighborhood. It’s where I spent my time expanding my imagination and growing my innocence. It’s a house full of memories and pen stains of marked heights, similar to the handprints on the front steps that Lambert references in her song. Country acknowledges that, like a first love, you can’t forget your first home. But other songs dig a little deeper.
As I grew older, I don’t find myself yearning to go back to the house where I spent my childhood. “Home” took on a different meaning when I entered the college bubble. Now I relate this term to the way Blake Shelton describes it in his song “Home.” It’s a place I can always go back to whenever I’m lost and need to find myself again. “May be surrounded by a million people. I still feel all alone. I want to go home.” It’s the place my parents reside. It’s a place full of irrevocable love. Country’s description of home is the idea of safety and peace; a place that can’t be tarnished by outside forces. Country’s deeper meaning of home is really felt in this song. It describes home as more of a relationship than an object.
As I transition into adulthood, I know the meaning and feelings I have toward the term “home” will change again like it has before. “Home Is Where The Heart Is” by Lady Antebellum is the best way to describe an adult searching for her new home. Lady A describes packing up and leaving behind her small town to find her dreams elsewhere. I know someday in the near future I’ll be the one packing up once again and heading out of the great state of Texas to chase my dreams and find a home. At the end of this song, there is a realization that stresses the underlying meaning of establishing a home: love. Home is where the heart is and home is where the love is.
Whether it is your first home, where your parents are, or where you’re going to end up, you find your home through love. Country music interprets home differently through several songs, but it doesn’t escape this recurring theme in country music altogether. To me, country music in itself is home; it’s safe, peaceful, emotional. It’s my past, my present, and my future.