Why do I get emotional when I hear Eric Church’s new single “Give Me Back My Hometown?” It’s not like the song is particularly deep or thought provoking. Perhaps it’s because like every Eric Church song, a picture is painted, a story is told and the vocals convey that story believably. Eric is a true artist and one that puts everything he has into every song. He consistently makes music that, to me, never disappoints (yes, even including “The Outsiders”).
If you were worried that Eric was going to veer off and go completely heavy metal, “Give Me Back My Hometown” will put your mind at ease. The song is undeniably country with a highly relatable story. With its nostalgic theme, melody and “whoa yea yeas” the song is reminiscent of Eric’s biggest song to date (and an easy one to sing along to) “Springsteen.” And similarly, where that song paired a melody with a memory, this one pairs a look at a past love and how that memory affects him, especially in regards to his hometown. He sings:
“All the colors of my youth
The red, the green, the hope, the truth
Are beaten’ me black and blue cause you’re in every scene………
These sleepy street lights on every sidewalk, side street
They shed a light on everything that used to be
Give me back my hometown.”
It’s the place where he grew up, a place that should hold fond memories, but it has become tainted because she in every place he goes and everywhere he looks. You can hear emotions painful, angry and then pleading around the 2:00min mark when he sings that she can have everything if he just can have his hometown back.
“You can have my grandma’s locket
The knife out of my grandpa’s pocket
And my state champion jacket
I don’t care you can have it
Every made memory, every picture, every broken dream
Yeah everything, everything, everything”
Will “Give Me Back My Hometown” be a radio hit? I, for one certainly hope so, but it doesn’t really matter. Eric did not build his fan base on number ones. He built it on quality songwriting, storytelling and electric live performances. This song follows in that vein and I for one cannot wait to hear it live.
The single will be available January 14th.