Sheryl Crow is in a loveless marriage in the poignant ballad “Home.”
A twangy guitar fades in, setting a desolate tone. It’s around 8 a.m. in the morning and she is lying awake in her bed. Her husband has left for work already. She doesn’t miss him in the least yet she doesn’t want to be alone. Her mind is figuring out the confusing puzzle her emotions have been in. She walks from their bedroom to the kitchen, remembering the artificial memories.
“I woke up this morning/Now I understand/What it means to give your life/To just one man/Afraid of feeling nothing/No bees or butterflies/My head is full of voices/And my house is full of lies.”
In the chorus, she reflects that this is her life and the choices she could’ve made.
“This is home, home/And this is home, home/This is home.”
She met her husband when she was 17. They were high school sweethearts. She thinks of how she felt when he first proposed: overjoyed at finding someone who returned her love and could tell silly jokes to until the sun rose. At 32, she can’t stand him. She can’t believe she fell for him at all. For years, she repeated the vows she said to him to herself. It reminded her to overlook his resistance to change and unpredictablity. She has since stopped saying the vows. During the day, she escapes by reading romance novels. She thinks of how when they first broke up and the couple dates she went on in between. Would’ve one of those worked out? Did she pass on a man who would’ve been a better match?
“I found your standing there/When I was seventeen/Now I’m thirty-two/And I can’t remember what I’d seen in you/
I made a promise/Said it everyday/Now I’m reading romance novels/And I’m dreaming of yesterday.”
In the bridge, she thinks of the few dreams she still has left: drinking a glass of red wine while on a yacht, dancing cheek-to-cheek with a handsome man as a violinist serenades them, and tuck herself in another man’s chest as the sun rises.
“I’d like to see the Riveria/And slow dance underneath the stars/I’d like to watch the sun come up/In a stranger’s arms.”
In the final verse, she remarks that her need to be somewhere else has made her irritable and depressed. She wanted to be with her husband and learn every inch of his brain. However, she wants something more. She’s distracted by the questions she’s asking herself: should she leave? what will happen? will she be content then? Her husband senses her distress and is heartbroken.
“I’m going crazy/A little everyday/And everything I wanted/Is now driving me away/I woke this morning/
To the sound of breaking hearts/Mine is full of questions/And it’s tearing yours apart.”
The chorus ends the single.
“Home” is a bleak and raw listen. Crow is tearful as she regrets her decisions. Life has not turned out the way it she thought it would. It took her nearly 15 years to realize it. It’s not only her life she ruined, it’s her husband’s. Crow, unfortunately, has discarded the storytelling aspect of her music. In “Home,” she developed a modern tragedy with a three-dimensional woman as its narrator.