Be It Ever so Mumble

Home, is where I want to be
But I guess I’m already there
I come home, she lifted up her wings
I guess that this must be the place
I can’t tell one from the other
I find you or you find me?
There was a time before we were born
If someone asks, this is where I’ll be, where I’ll be.

—”This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody),” Talking Heads

Give me a country or pop song about home or going home and my immediate reaction is often, “That’s right. That’s what I need.” I am a sucker for cliché. I am not someone who makes wherever I am at the moment into home. The myth of Home will always outweigh the fact of Residence in my psyche.

Conversely, whenever I hear a “road” song like Geoff Mack’s “I’ve Been Everywhere” (best spoke-sung by Johnny Cash), it becomes a to-do list in my heart. I have not been everywhere, far far from it, but I ran when I could. Not far and not often, but let no one make your journeys anyone else’s cliché. My travels are unique to my eyes and ears.
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Queen of the Hudson

One of the unique things that is somehow common to many people (we are all alike in our uniqueness) is a stated belief that our hometown is no place special. We are taught to be humble, so anyplace that our humble selves hail from must be thought of as not all that special, either.

This often masks a fierce inner secret belief that one’s hometown is in fact the best place to be from and (insert name of a higher power one believes in here) please help those who chose to be born somewhere else, especially those unlucky ones born in the nearest next neighboring town. Those people are the unluckiest of all, perhaps because they were born so near to our town’s greatness but were not, which renders all the more dramatic their failure at their life’s first and easiest task: pick the right place to be born.
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