57 Best Songs About Home: Leaving, Missing, and Coming Home

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Looking for a song that reflects how you feel about home?

Perhaps you’re missing good times spent in places that heavily influenced who you are today.

Hopefully, the connection you have with your home is a loving one. Maybe you associate home with positive times.

If this is the case, it may have been difficult to leave the place when it was finally time to start life somewhere else.

Others are eager to leave home, never looking back once they go. They only remember the tears and pain associated with that period of their lives.

For others still, “home” isn’t a place, but a person they deeply care about. Through this person, they experience unconditional love, acceptance, and security.

This article features a compilation of songs about home and its different meanings. There are songs about leaving home, missing it, and returning after being away for a while.

All of these songs evoke a strong feeling of nostalgia.

Let’s check out these tracks that have a strong link to our past.

1. Homeward Bound, Simon & Garfunkel

Homeward bound. I wish I was homeward bound. Home, where my thought’s escaping. Home, where my music’s playing. Home, where my love lies waiting silently for me.

In this song, you can feel the narrator’s feeling of homesickness. Perhaps he’s grown tired of life on the road and just longs to be home.

Here, home is defined as somewhere you are free to do what you want and spend time with your loved ones.

2. Castle on the Hill, Ed Sheeran

I found my heart and broke it there. 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.

This song is about missing a specific moment in one’s younger years.

That moment is tied to a particular place where one made friends and found love for the first time. Because of this special association, the narrator considers this place to be “home.”

3. Goodbye Town, Lady Antebellum

This ain’t nothing, nothing but a goodbye town. The streets are only bringing me down. Gotta find a way to finally get out. Out of this goodbye town.

Some people have compelling reasons for leaving their hometowns.

This song is about being badly affected by a breakup. There is a strong desire to leave town just to avoid the bitter memories shared with one’s former partner.

4. Home Again, Michael Kiwanuka

Home again, home again. One day I know I’ll feel home again. Born again, born again. One day I know I’ll feel strong again.

This song is about the search for that place (or person) where you feel you truly belong. It is where you don’t need to hide your true self—where you are celebrated and loved for just being you.

5. Back to the Old House, The Smiths

I would love to go back to the old house. But I never will…

This song is a wistful longing for the past. It’s about missing an old house a person once lived in when they were younger.

However, since that place has been demolished, the person will never be able to go back there.

6. Who Says You Can’t Go Home?, Bon Jovi and Jennifer Nettles

I went as far as I could. I tried to find a new face. There isn’t one of these lines that I would erase. Lived a million miles of memories on that road. Every step I take, I know that I’m not alone. You take the home from the boy, but not the boy from his home. These are my streets, the only life I’ve ever known. Who says you can’t go home?

This song is about initially leaving home and living in different places, trying to find where you truly belong.

Eventually, you realize there’s nowhere else in the world where you feel safe, welcomed, and accepted.

7. Wide Open Spaces, The Chicks

Who doesn’t know what I’m talking about? Who’s never left home, who’s never struck out to find a dream and a life of their own? A place in the clouds, a foundation of stone.

One common reason people leave home is to discover who they are. This song is about striking out on your own, leaving a place of comfort and security, discovering yourself, and gaining independence.

8. Caledonia, Dougie Maclean

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.

The ancient Romans named the area towards the north of Great Britain Caledonia. It is now known as Scotland, and the former name is usually used in a poetic context.

Dougie Maclean is Scottish. He wrote this song while in France, when was feeling extremely homesick.

This song is about the deep feeling of longing for a place you love when you’ve been away for a long time.

9. Home, Foo Fighters

All I want is to be home.

This song is about the intense longing to be with loved ones, and about circumstances that make the reunion almost impossible. All the person can do is wistfully reminisce about the people he loves.

10. You Can Always Come Home, Alan Jackson

You can always come home. Wherever life’s road leads, you can get back to a love that’s strong and free and never be alone.

Home often means a family we can run to when life gets overwhelming.

This song is inspired by a father’s words to a child who is heading off to college. Although the young person has their life ahead of them, the father reminds them that there will always be a place where they are loved and welcomed.

11. Don’t Forget to Remember Me, Carrie Underwood

Before you hit the highway, you better stop for gas. There’s 50 in the ashtray. In case you run short on cash. Here’s a map and here’s a Bible, if you ever lose your way. Just one more thing before you leave: Don’t forget to remember me.

In this song, a young woman has been away from home for years.

She remembers the day she said goodbye to her family and the loving reminders of her mother. Her homesickness inspires her to call home and speak with her mom.

The young woman reminds her mother and other family members to keep her in their thoughts.

12. Breakaway, Kelly Clarkson

I’ll spread my wings and learn how to fly. Though it’s not easy to tell you goodbye, I gotta take a risk, take a chance, make a change, and break away.

This song introduces us to a young woman who leaves her hometown in search of a place where she will be understood, and where she can reach her fullest potential.

Although the goodbye was hard, she understands that she has to take action and find that place where she can truly soar.

13. Home, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros

Oh, home, let me come home. Home is wherever I’m with you.

In this song, a couple express their love and devotion to each other. For both of them, as long as they’re together, anywhere can be home.

14. Never Grow Up, Taylor Swift

So here I am in my new apartment. In a big city, they just dropped me off. It’s so much colder than I thought it would be. So, I tuck myself in and turn my nightlight on. Wish I’d never grown up.

This song is about getting the first taste of independence after leaving home.

It’s lonely and terrifying to be away from your family for the first time.

Often, during the first few weeks, regret settles in. Faced with the challenges of their new lives, some even wish they’d never grown up.

15. Come Home, OneRepublic

Come home, come home, ‘cause I’ve been waiting for you for so long, so long. And right now, there’s a war between the vanities. But all I see is you and me and the fight for you is all I’ve ever known, ever known. So, come home.

Sometimes, it is a person’s job that requires them to leave home, family, and loved ones. The people left behind miss them dearly.

This is a heart-wrenching song from the point of view of someone who has a loved one who’s deployed for service in another country.

16. Home, Daughtry

I’m going home to the place where I belong.

This song is about having seen enough of the world, and finally deciding to go home, where there is peace, love, and a sense of belonging.

This song has also been interpreted as a metaphor for the heavenly home where souls go after they pass away.

17. One Way Ticket, Lee Ann Rimes

Standing on the border, looking out into the great unknown. I can feel my heart beat faster as I step out on my own. There’s a new horizon and the promise of favorable wind. I’m headin’ out tonight, traveling light. I’m gonna start all over again.

This optimistic song is about a person leaving home to start a new chapter in her life. She plans to go on a great adventure, possibly to find a way to heal her broken heart.

18. Come Sail Away, Styx

I’m sailing away. Set an open course for the Virgin sea. ‘Cause I’ve got to be free. Free to face the life ahead of me.

This song is about leaving home to embrace freedom. For the narrator, freedom is all that matters.

However, all the narrator has are memories of his childhood and the willingness to try things out until he succeeds.

19. Meanwhile, Back at Mama’s, Tim McGraw ft. Faith Hill

Oh, I miss, yeah, a little dirt on the road. I miss growin’ corn in a row. I miss being somebody everybody knows. There, everybody knows everybody. I miss those small-town routes, walkin’ around in muddy boots. The sound of rain on an old tin roof. It’s time we head on back.

This song tells the story of a man who leaves his poverty-stricken home for what he believes will be a better life elsewhere.

Things don’t turn out as expected, and he contemplates going back home, where things may be difficult, but at least people accept him and he’s surrounded with things that are familiar and comforting.

20. I’m Coming Home, The Spinners

Sitting in a railway station, my suitcase in my hand. Going back where I came from, had more than I can stand of watching men destroy my dreams. Picked my brain ‘til it was clean. When I was up, they knocked me down. Hey, I ain’t gonna hang around.

In this song, we get to know a guy who left home in pursuit of a better life.

However, he meets with failure. He feels taken advantage of by others, and decides to go home, hoping that he can rebuild his life there.

21. Back Home, Andy Grammer

It don’t matter where we go. We always find our way back home.

People have different ways of maintaining their connections to their homes. In this song, it’s done by holding to the same homegrown values, no matter how far away you go.

22. My Hometown, Bruce Springsteen

Last night me and Kate, we laid in bed, talkin’ about getting out. Packing up our bags, maybe heading south. I’m thirty-five. We got a boy of our own now. Last night, I sat him up behind the wheel and said, ‘Son, take a good look around. This is your hometown.’

This song is about saying goodbye to one’s hometown.

The narrator treasures the place where he grew up. He has precious memories of it, both good and bad.

As the years have passed, the town has changed. Violence has become common in the streets, and other people were packing up and moving away.

The narrator has no choice to do the same, for his family’s sake. Nevertheless, he wants his son to remember that the place is still his hometown.

23. I’m Coming Home, Enrique Iglesias

I don’t want to wait until it’s over. I don’t want to wait until it’s gone. I can’t wait until tomorrow. ‘Cause I’ve been waiting for so long. So, baby, I’m coming home…

This song speaks about being lost and lonely in a place that offers excitement and prosperity.

The narrator is longing to be in the presence of someone who is familiar, loving, and comforting. He decides to return to the person from his past who made him feel like he’s home.

24. I Feel Home, O. A. R.

I feel home when I see faces that remember my own. I feel home when I’m chillin’ outside with the people I know.

In this song, home is described as a place where the people around you know who you are. The narrator also describes home as a place where he can just hang out with people he’s known for a long time.

25. Mama, I’m Coming Home, Ozzy Osbourne

I’ve seen your face a hundred times every day we’ve been apart. I don’t care about the sunshine, yeah. ‘Cause, mama, mama, I’m coming home…

For many people, home is where their parents live. This song is about seeking solace in the home you knew best—the place you were brought up in, where your mother raised and nurtured you.

26. Fast Car, Tracy Chapman

You got a fast car. I want a ticket to anywhere. Maybe we can make a deal. Maybe together we can get somewhere. Any place is better. Starting from zero, got nothing to lose. Maybe we’ll make something. Me, myself, I got nothing to prove.

This song is about leaving a sad, painful life behind, hoping that the new life you’re entering will be better.

However, in this song, the person she chooses to trust to get her out of a bad situation also lets her down. Now she needs to find a way to survive on her own.

27. Don’t Follow, Alice In Chains

Hey, I ain’t never coming home. Hey, I’ll just wander my own road.

Sometimes, people avoid responsibilities, preferring to live untethered to anybody or anywhere. This song is about running away from home and life.

28. A Lot of Movin’, The Avett Brothers

A lot of movin’. A lot of rollin’. A lot of drivin’. A lot of strollin’. A love of leavin’ here. A lot of arrivin’ there. Trying to go just about everywhere. A lot of thinking about where I’m going next.

This song is about constantly moving, with no permanent address and no place to consider a home.

It must be a lonely existence to not be able to grow roots and establish connections with other people. But then again, some people prefer this kind of life.

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29. Home in My Mind, Scotty McCreery

I’m going home in my mind. Cruising by them Carolina pines. Taking it slow, doing 35 down Timber Drive. I can already feel your hand in mine. Sweet tea, porch swings, supper on the stove. Everything I’ve been missing on the road. I can’t be there tonight. But when I close my eyes, I’m going home in my mind.

This song is about missing home, but not being able to go back yet. What the singer does to ease his homesickness is imagine himself driving home, with everything he loves waiting for him.

30. That’s What I Call Home, Blake Shelton

Daddy don’t know a stranger. A handshake and he’s your friend. Oh, and mama, she’s an angel. She’ll hold you tight ‘til 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.

In this song, the narrator reflects about what makes somewhere a home.

He grew up in a simple wooden house built by his father’s own hands. His parents filled the house with love, where even strangers were welcome. That’s what defines a home for the narrator.

31. Streets of New York, The Wolfe Tones

So I landed at Kennedy and a big yellow taxi carried me and my bags through the streets and the rain. Well, my poor heart was thumping around with excitement and I hardly ever heard what the driver was saying. We came in the Shore Parkway to the flatlands in Brooklyn, to my uncle’s apartment on East 53rd. I was feeling so happy I was humming a song, and I sang ‘You’re as free as a bird.’

This song is about a young man who left his homeland in Ireland for New York City.

It’s about leaving all that’s familiar to seek one’s fortunes somewhere else. He settles down in the new city, creating a comfortable life for himself.

Years pass and some of the folks he knew back home pass away while he’s in New York. By this time, he has lived in New York for over two decades, but he never forgets his true home.

32. Leaving on a Jet Plane, John Denver

So kiss me and smile for me. Tell me that you’ll wait for me. Hold me like you’ll never let me go. ‘Cause I’m leaving on a jet plane. Don’t know when I’ll be back again. Oh, babe, I hate to go.

In this song, a man is reluctant to leave home because he’ll also be leaving his beloved.

He says goodbye as a taxi waits to take him to the airport. He makes several promises to his beloved, including that he’ll be home again, even if he isn’t sure when.

33. She’s Leaving Home, The Beatles

Wednesday morning at 5 o’clock, as the day begins. Silently closing her bedroom door. Leaving the note that she hoped would say more. She goes downstairs to the kitchen, clutching her handkerchief. Quietly turning the backdoor key. Stepping outside, she is free.

The inspiration for this song is a newspaper article published in 1967 about a 17-year-old girl who ran away from home to be with her boyfriend.

The song’s chorus is sung from the point of view of the young girl’s parents who lament their daughter’s actions. They tried to give her a good life, but she decided to leave them without even saying goodbye.

34. I’m Already There, Lonestar

He called her on the road from a lonely cold hotel room. Just to hear her say ‘I love you’ one more time. But when he heard the sound of the kids laughin’ in the background, he had to wipe a tear from his eye. A little voice came on the phone. He said, ‘Daddy, when are you coming home?’ He said the first thing that came to his mind: I’m already there…

Sometimes, we have to be away from our families because of the demands of work. This song is about a man’s call to his family while he’s on the road and missing them.

Although he can’t be with them physically, he consoles them by telling them that the love they share will help them feel his presence.

35. The Analog Kid, Rush

When I leave, I don’t know what I’m hoping to find. And when I leave, I don’t know what I’m leaving behind.

This song is about a boy who can’t decide whether to stay or leave home. He lies on the grass, contemplating the consequences of his departure—what he’ll find when he’s out there, and what he’ll lose if he leaves.

36. This Must Be the Place (Naïve Melody), Talking Heads

Home is where I want to be. But I guess I’m already there.

Sometimes, in search of happiness and contentment, we overlook the fact that we already have them in our lives.

This song is about being content when one feels accepted and loved.

37. Coastline, Hollow Coves

I’m leaving home for the coastline, someplace under the sun. I feel my heart for the first time. ‘Cause now I’m moving on, yeah. I’m moving on.

This song is about longing for a place that offers peace and freedom. It’s about someone finally deciding to leave home to find such a place, and going there with someone they love.

38. Ohio, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness

Goodbye, blue house. Goodbye, red door. Abandoned worlds where we would drink on weekends. There’s magnets pulling from the ocean floor. I can’t forget the way you looked when we were leaving.

This song is about a family leaving everything familiar in Ohio to start a new life in California.

Throughout the drive, the singer reminisces about how much they will miss their old place, as well as things they’re looking forward to in their new home.

39. Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song), Billy Joel

And if that’s what you have in mind. Yeah, if that’s what you’re all about. Good luck movin’ up ‘cause I’m movin’ out. I’m movin’ out.

This song highlights the longings of working-class people in New York during Billy Joel’s time.

Working hard doesn’t get them any closer to the American dream, so they are leaving their dead-end jobs and careers to seek their fortunes elsewhere.

40. Birmingham, Amanda Marshall

’Cause there’s another chance. And someday soon, shining like the Alabama moon. She’s looking for the promised land out beyond the lights of Birmingham.

This song is about a woman trapped in a loveless (and possibly abusive) marriage. Each interaction with her husband is toxic.

She finally decides to leave him. As she leaves the home where she never felt safe or loved, she is both scared and hopeful that she can finally start a new life.

41. 500 Miles, Peter, Paul & Mary

Not a shirt on my back, not a penny to my name. Lord, I can’t go a-home this a-way.

This song is about the plight of a worker who is far away from home without any money, and who wants to go home.

However, he is too ashamed to go home in his current state, and instead just wishes he was home.

42. Don’t Throw Out My Legos, AJR

Oh, no. Don’t throw out my Legos. What if I can’t let go? What if I come back home…?

This song is about a young man who is about to leave the nest, but who has a hard time letting go.

Although he wants to move out, there are many parts of his past that he cannot let go of—especially the things that gave him happiness when he was a child.

43. Drivin’ My Life Away, Eddie Rabbitt

Oh, I’m drivin’ my life away, lookin’ for a better way for me. Oh, I’m drivin’ my life away, lookin’ for a sunny day.

This song is about a trucker who spends too much time on the road, away from home. Coffee and conversations with truck stop waitresses seem to be the only things that break up the monotony of his life.

He spends his time on the road longing for sunny days, but knows that this isn’t actually the life he wants to live.

44. Starting Over, Chris Stapleton

And it don’t matter to me. Wherever we are is where I wanna be. And, honey, for once in our life let’s take our chances and roll the dice. And I can be your lucky penny. You can be my four-leaf clover. Starting over.

This is a song about finding home with a person. There will be challenges, but you know you can overcome them if the person you love is by your side.

45. Night Train, Bouncing Souls

I’m leaving everything behind for a peace that I can’t find. Ghosts that roam this house. Winter air right through our souls. And it feels like dying. It feels like time to go.

This song is about leaving one’s old life behind. A relationship has come to an end, and both parties go their separate ways to find freedom and start life anew.

46. Long as I Can See the Light, Creedence Clearwater Revival

Put a candle in the window. But I feel I’ve got to move. Though I’m going, going. I’ll be coming home soon. Long as I can see the light.

This song is about someone who enjoys traveling. However, no matter where they roam, they always remember the place where they belong.

They just need the people left at home to shine a light so they can find their way back.

47. Fly by Night, Rush

Fly by night away from here. Change my life again. Fly by night. Goodbye, my dear. My ship isn’t coming and I just can’t pretend.

In this song, a person is dissatisfied with the direction his life is taking. He leaves his home and goes somewhere he can fulfill his dreams.

48. Going Back to My Roots, Odyssey

Zippin’ up my boots. Goin’ back to my roots, yeah. To the place of my birth back down to earth. Ain’t talkin’ ‘bout no roots in the land. Talkin’ ‘bout the roots in the man. I feel my spirit gettin’ old. It’s time to recharge my soul.

Sometimes, home can mean the legacy of our ancestors.

This song is about reconnecting not just with the family you grew up, with but with the ancestral or cultural heritage that defines one’s personal identity.

49. Welcome to Paradise, Green Day

Dear mother, can you hear me laughing? It’s been six whole months since that I have left your home. It makes me wonder why I’m still here. For some strange reason, it’s now feeling like my home. And I’m never gonna go.

This song is about a boy who has left the familiar and comfortable home of his parents. He’s already been living in a new place for six months.

At first, he complains about the things he doesn’t like in his new home, echoing the sentiments shared by many people who leave their parents’ home for the first time.

He highlights violence and decay as the sources of his discontent and fear.

However, as the months pass, he slowly begins to feel at home.

50. Dreams of Leaving, The Human League

I think I’m going north and now’s the time to leave. The people there, they say, are good to strangers. And if I do my best and try to settle in. I’m sure I can be just like someone’s neighbor.

This is a song about being frustrated by the current state of your life. You begin to reflect that it’s better to leave and search for the proverbial greener pastures.

It’s also about understanding that you might have to change your ways to fit in with the community where you’d like to stay.

51. Heading Home, Katie Melua

It’s not that I miss you all the time. I’m keeping busy and feeling fine. I know you’re proud that I left to roam. I’m heading home.

This song is about a young woman who leaves home to pursue her dreams. She’s done well with her life, and she’s now going back to her roots.

She’s looking forward to reuniting with the people she loves—people who allowed her to spread her wings. Now, they are welcoming her back with open arms.

52. Thank God for Hometowns, Carrie Underwood

Thank God for hometowns and all the love that makes you go round. Thank God for the country lines that welcome you back in when you were dying to get out. Thank God for church pews and all the faces that won’t forget you. ‘Cause when you’re lost in this crazy world, you got somewhere to go and get found. Thank God for hometowns.

Here is a tribute to hometowns. It can make you feel nostalgic for the place where you grew up and everybody knows everybody.

This is the place where you feel that people have your back, even when you’ve been away for a long time.

53. This Is Home, Switchfoot

This is home. Now I’m finally where I belong… Yeah, this is home. I’ve been searching for a place of my own. Now I’ve found it. Maybe this is home. Yeah, this is home.

This song is about finally finding a place to call home. It is somewhere you feel you belong, and somewhere your heart feels happy.

54. There Goes My Life, Kenny Chesney

He checked the oil, slammed the hood. Said, ‘You’re good to go.’ She hugged ‘em both and headed off to the West Coast. And he cried, ‘There goes my life. There goes my future, my everything. I love you, baby. Goodbye.’

This song is about a loving father seeing his daughter off to venture out on her own for the first time.

It recounts how the father was originally hesitant to welcome the daughter in his life, but now is emotional as he says goodbye and watches her leave to find her independence.

55. Leaving Home, Katie Armiger

Mama, don’t you cry. I’m moving on but know this ain’t goodbye. We might be miles apart. I’ll carry you in my heart. I’ll send you kisses on the phone. But, mama, I’m leaving home.

In this touching song, a daughter bids farewell to her mother. The daughter is ready to start a new life and explore her independence.

She’s just assuring her mother that she’ll be okay, as her mother seems to be worried about her. This song teaches us that we need to lovingly let go of our children once they’re ready.

56. More Hearts Than Mine, Ingrid Andress

I can’t wait to show you where I grew up. Walk you ‘round the foothills of my town. Probably feel like you’ve been there before after hearing all the stories I’ve been telling you for six months now.

This song shows how loved ones can unite in support of their own. In it, a young woman brings her boyfriend home and introduces him to her family and friends.

The young woman is in a vulnerable position, but her family and friends are supportive of her.

She reveals to her boyfriend that her family and loved ones are the ones who will be most devastated if the relationship doesn’t work out.

57. Home, Michael Bublé

Another airplane, another sunny place. I’m lucky, I know. But I wanna go home…

This song is about someone famous touring around the world. You’d think that they would be happy with the fame and fortune that they have, but their only wish is to be home with the person they love.

Final Thoughts on Songs About Home

Songs about home allow us to reconnect with our past, and sometimes heal something that’s broken within us.

They bolster positive feelings we have about the places and people who represent our personal concept of home.

The songs in this collection are great examples of the many ways we see and feel about home. Hopefully, you’ve found several favorites to add to your playlist.

If you enjoyed this article, you might want to check out more posts about song compilations for specific topics:

songs about home | best songs about home | songs about home playlist
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