Song of the Day #313: ‘ You’re My Home’ – Billy Joel

pianomanJoel’s breakthrough album, Piano Man, is probably best remembered for the tune that gave it its title. ‘Piano Man’ is indeed a great song, but it’s become a cliché. Has there been a write-up of Billy Joel in the past 36 years that hasn’t referred to him as a “piano man?”

In addition to that signature tune, though, Piano Man contains a treasure trove of beautifully written and played songs. Several, such as album opener ‘Travelin’ Prayer,’ ‘The Ballad of Billy the Kid’ and today’s song, have a strong country vibe. One of Joel’s greatest strengths is his ability to bring his own flavor to a wide range of genres and he proved that right out of the gate.

Piano Man also contains the wonderful epic of suburban adolescent angst ‘Captain Jack,’ which to this day might be the only song I own that includes the word “masturbate.” A dubious honor, that.

‘You’re My Home’ is a simple country-fueled love ballad that, as one YouTube commenter pointed out, would be right at home in the John Denver songbook. This is one of my favorite love songs, as much for the gently gorgeous melody as the lyrical message. I can’t think of a sweeter sentiment than “Well I’ll never be a stranger and I’ll never be alone… whenever we’re together, that’s my home.”

When you look into my eyes
And you see the crazy gypsy in my soul
It always comes as a surprise
When I feel my withered roots begin to grow
Well I never had a place that I could call my very own
That’s all right, my love, ’cause you’re my home

When you touch my weary head
And you tell me everything will be all right
You say, “Use my body for your bed
And my love will keep you warm throughout the night”
Well I’ll never be a stranger and I’ll never be alone
Whenever we’re together, that’s my home

Home can be the Pennsylvania Turnpike
Indiana’s early morning dew
High up in the hills of California
Home is just another word for you

Well I never had a place that I could call my very own
That’s all right, my love, ’cause you’re my home

If I travel all my life
And I never get to stop and settle down
Long as I have you by my side
There’s a roof above and good walls all around
You’re my castle, you’re my cabin and my instant pleasure dome
I need you in my house ’cause you’re my home.
You’re my home.

You’re my home.

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6 thoughts on “Song of the Day #313: ‘ You’re My Home’ – Billy Joel

  1. Amy says:

    I sit hear getting choked up as I listen to this song, as though I’m hearing it for the first – rather than the 372nd – time. After seeing Up this past weekend, this song is being accompanied by very literal images of “home is just another word for you.” :(

    Yes, it’s difficult to imagine a more pure and effective love song than this one. It and Elton John’s “Your Song” have always struck me as being absolutely perfect in their simplicity. Funny, I”ve never thought about this song being “country” before, but I agree with the observation that it’s easy to imagine John Denver singing it. I don’t think I’ve ever heard Joel perform this song live. I wonder if he ever does.

  2. Amy says:

    btw, I wonder because it would introduce the song to those “Best of” Billy Joel fans, who know all the greatest hits but not the B cuts. Where did this song fall into our contest a few years back? Any idea?

  3. Dana says:

    This song most certainly has a country structure,which was played up through the instrumentation in the Piano Man version, but minimized in the Songs in the Attic version. It likely won’t come as a surprise that I like the latter version better:)

    Piano Man is indeed a fine album, though still not wonderfully produced. Good production doesn’t come along for Joel until The Stranger when he teams with Phil Ramone. Captain Jack from Songs in the Attic is another example of a song much improved from the studiio version.

    In addition to the songs you mentioned, I’ve always been very fond of Ain’t No Crime.

    And yes, Amy, he has played You’re My Home in concert, but probably not so much in the past 10 years.

  4. pegclifton says:

    I agree Amy, it’s hard to imagine a more perfect love song.

  5. Clay says:

    Amy: In the Billy Joel game, it looks like ‘You’re My Home’ lost in Round Three to ‘Scenes from an Italian Restaurant.’

  6. Amy says:

    Well, hard to complain about that. Too bad it faced such tough competition that early.

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