Artists across all genres sing about “home.” What is it about this idea of home that makes it so popular among artists and lyricists?
Music is one of the most powerful and universal vehicles to represent and convey our inner emotions. It’s not only an important part of our cultural dialogue, but it also plays a key role in how we feel. Music can lift our spirits and in doing so, improve our quality of life. Music therapy has been used for centuries as a way to restore energy, improve mood, and even help the body heal. Research in The Journal of Positive Psychology and scientists at the University of Missouri found people can improve their mood and overall sense of happiness just by listening to upbeat music. Given all of these benefits, it’s interesting to observe how one of the most talked about topics in all music is this idea of “home.”
To create something that resonates with their audience, skilled lyricists communicate an intimate part of themselves. Writing a song from the heart is the best way to reach out and connect to an audience. Compelling descriptions about a touching experience are the most powerful way to bring listeners deeper into the artist’s world.
And that’s where the idea of home comes into the psychology of songwriting. If home truly is where the heart is, what better topic is there to communicate a message from the heart? When artists turn to experiences that shaped their lives, many times they turn home.
Homes carry unique emotional meaning for all of us. No matter who you are or where you’re from, home means something to you. Homes serve as the backdrop for our childhood memories as well as the background of the interpersonal dramas in our lives. Our homes hold an iconic status as a place we can always belong. A place we can always be ourselves, let our guard down and still be loved.
Music and home share some surprising parallels. Music has the power to unite people. It’s a language that seems to speak to who we really are. And it’s a language that is always evolving. So many emotions exist inside of our music, and there is an undeniable intimate and personal side to it.
All of this can also be said about home. Home unites friends and family. It’s a place we feel safe. It serves as a refuge from a chaotic world. It’s a place we can freely express our true selves. Much like the music we listen to, home communicates aspects about our ever-changing social identity, and it helps us communicate a private part of ourselves to those we choose to let into our world.
Why are there so many songs about home? When an artist looks to share an intimate part of his or her self, one of the first places they’ll naturally turn is “home.”