"Missing home" in songs

In this post, part of a thread about country music, olivesmarch4th says:

This links to something I’d been idly thinking about for a while (idly because according to my search-fu I never did start that thread about it, so here it is), but my knowledge of music in English isn’t that wide, so maybe I’m wrong: there is a kind of song which is very common in Spanish, you can find it in any genre, but which seems to me to be much more genre-restricted in English. Again: I don’t listen to much rap, so maybe the reason I haven’t heard a rap song about this is my choice of artists, not the lack of such songs.

I’m talking about a specific kind of nostalgic songs: songs about a place you left behind. Not about your ex, or your childhood, or times gone by, but about places gone by.

They can be about wanting to go back home even if it’s to be buried (The Green Hills of Tyrol); about missing home (not the wife or the kids: Butterfly Kisses doesn’t count; If Dallas was in Tennesee does); about feeling like a fish out of water in this land which isn’t yours (Englishman in New York).

I ask you, oh Dopers: can you please supply me with more titles about this subject?

There’s millions of them. The first one that comes to mind is John Prine’s “Paradise”.

John Denver sang “Take Me Home Country Road…West Virginia”

I prefer Toots And The Maytals West Jamaica

In My Life” by the Beatles, written by John Lennon about his childhood in Liverpool.

“Main Street” by Bob Seger seems to be about both a place and a time gone by.

As the title might suggest, there’s a very amusing take on this theme by the Austin Lounge Lizards called “Godforsaken Hellhole I Call Home.”

I’ve almost finished writing a great song about my longing to return home- I just need to come up with a good rhyme for “statute of limitations.”

There are songs about missing home in general, and then there are nostalgic songs about a specific place (a town, state, or geographical area). Heck, there are even songs about missing the planet (“Rocket Man,” “Major Tom (Coming Home)”).

Sweet Home Alabama - Lynyrd Skynyrd

Birmingham Blues”, by the Electric Light Orchestra. Songwriter Jeff Lynne is from Birmingham, England; the Birmingham Blues also happen to be the football team which Jeff supports. :slight_smile:

Simon and Garfunkle: Homeward Bound

Iris Dement: Our Town

Springsteen: My Hometown

Ellis Paul: Take Me Down
“I’m a one man line at the twenty-four hour store
I’m in a town that reminds me of my home town streets
I roamed the aisles a thousand miles from what I was looking for
A familiar face that would smile at me sweetly”
Jackson Browne: Looking Into You

“Well I looked into a house I once lived in
Around the time I first went on my own
When the roads were as many as the places I had dreamed of
And my friends and I were one
Now the distance is done and the search has begun
I’ve come to see where my beginnings have gone”

Bill Morrissey: Ice Fishing

There ain’t much to leaving home

There ain’t much to ice fishing
Till you miss a day or more
And the hole you cut freezes over
And it’s like you have never been there before."

Yeah, there’s a million of them.

“Detroit City” - Bobby Bear

Home folks think I’m big in Detroit City
From the letters that I write they think I’m fine
But by day I make the cars,
By night I work the bars
If only they could read between the lines
I wanna go home…

“Green green grass of home” - Curly Putman Jr, Porter Wagoner, Bobby Bear, et. al.

Dixie on my Mind–Hank Williams, Jr.

New York’s Not my Home–Jim Croce
Georgia on my Mind*–as covered by Ray Charles

New York State of Mind - Billy Joel

The Boxer - Paul Simon

*California Dreamin’ *- the Mamas & the Papas

Dolly Parton did a concept album on this subject: My Tennessee Mountain Home. Some songs about the good parts of her childhood and some are about the bad but the overall feeling of the album is highly nostalgic and all about either missing home or missing it but being grateful to be gone.

James Taylor - Carolina In My Mind , Copperline

Simon & Garfunkel - Homeward Bound


And, interestingly, the same duo also gave us My Little Town, which is about not missing your home town.

I’m sure there has to be a million of them… but so far we don’t have many.

If you want us to list all one million, it might take a while. :slight_smile:

“All I Can Do is Write About It” by Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Well this life that I’ve lead has took me everywhere
There ain’t no place I ain’t never gone
But its kind of like the saying that you heard so many times
Well there just ain’t no place like home

Fiddle Peghead, when you’re quoting a song, please don’t use more than four or five lines. Quote a little and link to the rest. I shortened the excerpt in your post to fit with our copyright policy.

Dwight Yoakam has several. A couple off the top of my head:

Bury Me - Dwight Yoakam
Readin’ Rightin’ Route 23- Dwight Yoakam

Then there’s:

Coal Miner’s Daughter - Loretta Lynn

And Randy Travis sings nostalgically about Mama’s farm in:

Storms of Life - Randy Travis