The Story Behind Alan Jackson’s ‘Home,’ His Favorite Song He’s Ever Written

“Home” appears on the country music icon’s debut album.

By

Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

November 29, 2023

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Photo Courtesy Of Alan Jackson

In a recent game of Alan Jackson trivia shared via the country icon’s official X (formerly Twitter) account, a question prompted fans to name Jackson’s favorite song he’s ever written. The answer revealed it to be his original 1989 tune, “Home.”

The Track Appears On His Debut Album

The song appears as one of three tracks written solely by Jackson on his 1990 debut album, Here in the Real World. This project also spawned his first two No. 1 hits, “I’d Love You All Over Again” and “Don’t Rock the Jukebox” as well as a few tunes that charted in the top five like “Wanted” and “Chasin’ That Neon Rainbow.”

Alan Jackson - Here In The Real World
Alan Jackson – Here In The Real World

Six years after its release, “Home” reached a peak of number 3 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, which was called the Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart at the time. Later on, “Home” was featured on Jackson’s first Greatest Hits collection in 1995.

“Home” Tributes His Parents

This deeply personal tune is said to have been penned during Jackson’s first week as a Nashville resident after he moved from Georgia in the mid-1980s to pursue music full-time. The lyrics pay tribute to many aspects of Jackson’s life, including his small-town upbringing, the love story of his parents Joseph Eugene Jackson and Ruth Musick, and everything they went through to build a good life together. 

Jackson’s beloved vocals that represent the distinguished era of ‘90s country come barreling out in the opening lyrics through in soft, yet twangy-fueled tone as he begins to illustrate the start to his parents’ relationship. The pair tied the knot in 1946 when Ruth was just 16 years old and stayed together until Joseph passed away in 2000.

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“In small town down in Georgia / Over 40 years ago / Her maiden name was Musik / Until she met that Jackson boy / They married young like folks did then / Not a penny to their name / They believed the one you vowed to love / Should always stay the same,” Jackson delivers on the opening lyrics.

The sounds of a steel guitar, sharp drum beats and acoustic guitar strums come alive with the increasing tempo as it breaks into the chorus that finds Jackson painting a picture of how his parents settled into their home and found happiness and gratitude among the simple things in life. 

“And they made their house from a tool shed / Grandaddy rolled out on two logs / And they built walls all around it / And they made that house a home,” he continued on the chorus. 

Lyrics Highlight The Lessons He Learned While Growing Up In Georgia

As the story progresses, Jackson shares the lessons he learned from being raised among his four sisters by a mother who “found her strength in the faith of God.” He sings his mother’s praises for her hard work and dedication to their family before moving on to his dad, who “skinned his knuckles” while repairing cars in order to earn just enough money for them to get by. He worked as a mechanic at the Ford Motor Co. assembly plant in Hapeville from 1964 to 1989.

The final line of the heartfelt song sums up all the memories Jackson made throughout his humble upbringing in Georgia. They may not have had much, but their four walls and a roof is a place that will forever be remembered as his true “Home.”

Denise Jackson, Alan Jackson; Photo by Benjamin Askinas, CMA
Denise Jackson, Alan Jackson; Photo by Benjamin Askinas, CMA

Created His Own Love Story

The “Chattahoochee” singer later went on to create his own love story with his wife, Denise. The pair met at a Dairy Queen in his hometown of Newman, Georgia in 1976, back when they were just a couple of teenagers. Then in 1979, they tied the knot and eventually grew their family with the addition of their three daughters, Mattie Denise Jackson, Alexandra Jane Jackson Bradshaw and Dani Grace Jackson.

Along the way, Alan Jackson continued building his music career and grew into one of the most beloved country stars of all time. He has sold more than 75 million records worldwide, has 35 No. 1 hits, and has earned two GRAMMY Awards, 16 CMA Awards, and 17 ACM Awards. Jackson is also a member of Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2017 and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2018.  

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Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.