There's no place like it: five songs that celebrate the home

Posted 25 March 2016

Home. It's a simple word, only four letters, but it is one of the most evocative words in the entire English Language. A house may be something you inhabit, but a home is the place you really live. A home will see meetings, partings, good times and bad, soaking up the emotions with you and providing comfort in the difficult moments. It's unsurprising then that the idea of home is one that has appeared so often in music over the years.

Here are some of the finest tributes to the place we make our own.

Our House – Madness

Madness had a huge string of hits throughout the decades and yet Our House is still possibly the one with the broadest appeal. A ska band by trade, Madness often dipped their toes into reggae and, occasionally, straight-up pop, and Our House is probably the most famous hit by ska and reggae band Madness. They may have had a string of other hits throughout the decades but nothing comes close to the tune about that place ‘in the middle of the street’.

Homeward Bound – Simon and Garfunkel

The kings of folk-rock, Simon and Garfunkel racked up an amazing number of hits over their years together and they are still a Smooth Radio favourite today. Perhaps one of their most enduring classics is Homeward Bound, which sees the pair ruminate on their touring lifestyle while still yearning for some home comforts. You don’t have to be a multi-platinum-selling artist to relate to this song about walking back through a familiar door and settling back into a life filled with creature comforts, though. Many of us do it day in and day out when we return from work.

Station Approach – Elbow

Elbow are a band who have never been afraid to wear their heart on their sleeve, especially when it comes to singer Guy Garvey's somewhat misty-eyed lyrics. Garvey has always been a kind of street-level romantic, an ordinary man with a poet's tongue. Nowhere does this come to the fore more than in Station Approach.

The opening track to Elbow's third album, Station Approach is essentially a love letter to the band's hometown of Manchester and that feeling of arriving after an absence. Garvey sings that when he's low he needs to 'be in a town that know what I'm like and don't mind'. Something we can all relate to.

Driving home for Christmas – Chris Rea

Okay, so this one is a tiny bit seasonal but there’s never a time that we yearn to return home than Christmas. Released 30 years ago, way back in 1986, Chris Rea's festive masterpiece remains a staple of Christmas playlists. Driving Home For Christmas perfectly encapsulates the sense of longing and weariness when travelling back home.

Run For Home – Lindisfarne

North East prog-rock giants were well into the swing of their somewhat turbulent career by the time they released Run For Home. Nestled in the middle of their sixth album, Back and Fourth, in 1978, Run For Home gave the band their first hit in the US among other places. It's a beautiful song from Newcastle's favourite sons, full of swirling strings and gentle keys. Much like Simon and Garfunkel's Homeward Bound, Run For Home is the story of a man spending his life on the road. However, Run for Home represents a break, that moment where nothing else matters and you simply need to get back to the place you belong. 

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