As far as we can tell, "Alabama" and "Arkansas" are just random words here.
Both songwriters, Alex Ebert and Jade Castrinos, are from Los Angeles, but everybody loves a little list of state names in a folk song, especially if there’s alliteration involved. We gotta hand it to Castrinos and Ebert, as they sure know how to write catchy lyrics: this simple line is also a memorable one, earning "Home" the frequent Google search "Alabama Arkansas song."
Love ballads and love duets are a tradition as old as American music itself—well actually, even older.
Throughout music history, people have often wondered if famous duet partners were as in love in real life as they professed to be in their songs. While it usually isn’t the case—and CERTAINLY wasn’t for Kiki Dee and Elton John—, with “Home,” Ebert and Castrinos actually were in love. That might explain the joyful chemistry between them when they perform the song live. Watching them sing is almost like seeing a private conversation between two people. The song isn’t just about their love for one another, though. “Home” is a celebration of the love and friendship that developed between each member of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros collectively. Aww, isn’t that special?
In-song dialogue can be cheesy, but somehow they make it work.
Jade Castrinos and Alex Ebert actually address each other directly and look into each other's eyes as they say these lines. They even change the lines around during live performances to keep things fresh and sounding natural. The result, even in the studio recording, is a fun and lively chemistry that borders on corny but never quite crosses the line. (We have thus far been unable to locate concrete evidence regarding the veracity of this story about her falling out of his window, but if we do, you’ll be the first to know.)
Not exactly the most original lyrics, but it sure gets the point across.
No offense to Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, but we have to admit that it can be tempting to brush off yet another song about wanting to go home as a bit of a cliché—especially when the line also makes use of another cliché, the whole "you are my home" comparison.
Even if the chorus is a bit unoriginal, though, it somehow still sounds downright sweet. Maybe the idea that "originality isn't everything" is the takeaway here; after all, people have been writing poems about roses for centuries, and while it may be cliché, it still works from time to time. What do you think? Are these lines silly and unoriginal, or do you find it endearing?