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Off the Beaten Tracks: Your lockdown songbook


A FEW weeks ago I wrote a curfew-themed column on songs about house and home, and invited readers to supply their own selections. Thanks for the response. Here, as lockdown resumes, are some of the best.

First off comes Simon, who suggested Goin’ Home, from the 1966 Rolling Stones LP Aftermath. At over 11 minutes it was a groundbreaking piece of music on a landmark album and remains their longest studio track unless I am mistaken, in which case there will be plenty of commenters keen to put me right.

Simon and Andy Marshall both came up with  
Iggy Pop’s Home, from the 1990 album Brick by Brick. Avoid this video if you object to bare-chested men smoking fags.

Among Andy’s further recommendations was another Stones tune, Down Home Girl from their third album Now! Here is a live version recorded in 1969.

He also championed Neil Young’s Homegrown, which was included on the 1977 LP American Stars ’n’ Bars and returned as the title track of a retrospective album this year.

Getting fully into his stride, Andy gave us Going Back Home by Canvey Island’s finest, Dr Feelgood, Home by Roy Harper, and this version of Randy Newman’s Feels Like Home by Edwina Hayes.

Time Traveller vouchsafed Clifford T Ward’s Home Thoughts from Abroad, performed live here in 1976 by CTW, whose silken tresses were surely sponsored by Silvikrin.

TT also expressed enthusiasm for To Build a Home, by Hattie Briggs, from her 2015 album Red and Gold, and Copied Keys by Kathleen Edwards. The latter selection, from Kathleen’s second album Back To Me, I very much applaud. A column on the Ottawa songbird will be coming soon to a computer screen near you.

Back to her fellow Canadian Neil Young, whose Mansion on the Hill was chosen by Mozzy. It appeared first on his 1990 album Ragged Glory but here’s a live version from London in 2009.

I’m Old Fashioned bemoaned the absence of James Taylor’s Isn’t It Nice To Be Home Again?  – a snippet from his 1971 album Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon. Blink and you’ll miss it.

SiberianRhod took me to task for not including the Lindisfarne hit Run For Home, as he says ‘written by Alan Hull after a disaster of a solo gig in London’. Lindisfarne, too, will be featuring shortly in this space.

MHT, meanwhile, wrote: ‘I’ve been listening to Peter Hammill and Van der Graaf Generator since the early 70s. This is one of his best, A Louse is not a HomeHome is home is home is home is home is home is me!”.

Davey Maitland was keen on Josie by Steely Dan  – ‘when Josie comes home, so good, she’s the pride of the neighbourhood’. The picture quality ain’t great on this video but Walter Becker’s guitar work sure is.

Country Fish and the Joe proposed A Home in Heaven by Hank Williams and two more recent songs, Back Where I Come From by Kenny Chesney and That’s What I Call Home by Blake Shelton.

Little Weed vouchsafed Three or Four Feet From Home by Quicksilver Messenger Service, Take Me Home Country Roads by John Denver and My Hometown by Bruce Springsteen.

Grungeon nominated the haunting Home by the Foo Fighters.

Some further suggestions by myself: House of the Rising Sun by the Be Good Tanyas, the Innocence Mission’s Gentle The Rain at HomeStep Inside This House by Lyle LovettJulie’s House by Leo Kottke and, for sheer weirdness, this performance of Susan’s House by Eels.

I would add Shawn Colvin’s lovely live cover of Talking Heads’ This Must Be The Place and one of Joni Mitchell’s finer efforts from her later career, the title track of the 1991 album Night Ride Homehere beautifully played on an Amsterdam river bank.

And finally, as we move into injury time, the 1970 England World Cup squad perform Back Home.

Jeff Astle seems to be singing louder than anyone else – pity he failed to hit the right notes on the pitch when he missed that infamous sitter against Brazil following Gordon Banks’s wonder save from Pele’s header. Poor Jeff was never allowed to forget it.

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Alan Ashworth
Alan Ashworth
Alan Ashworth is a former national newspaper journalist now retreated to the Ribble Valley, where he grows cacti and tramps the fells. He and his wife Margaret run a website, A-M Records , which includes their collected TCW columns plus extra features including Tracks of the Day. Requests, queries and comments can be sent to

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