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‘A House Is Not a Home’ and other songs about places

It is said that a newspaper article about a lonely man who jumped to death from a hotel window inspired the lyrics to “Heartbreak Hotel” and given to Elvis Presley, who recorded it in 1956. It has since become a rock ’n’ roll classic.

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ALANIS Morisette sang ‘Your House’ from the album ‘Jagged Little Pill.’

 

Someone once said, “Home is where the heart is.” It’s also the title of a song that Elvis Presley sings in by Paul Young.

“Wherever I lay my hat, that’s my home,” goes the lyrics of a Marvin Gaye hit, later covered by Paul Young.

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY
OF ROCKDOWNCRED
ELTON John’s ‘Burn Down the Mission’ has an anxious tune.

Homebodies stay put in their cribs, while transients are always on the move.

This isn’t so much about a particular home, but more of a random shuffle of tunes about houses and places people stay at, temporarily and sometimes, permanently.
Straightaway, hotels come to mind. They’re home away from home, the favorite subject of many songs.

It is said that a newspaper article about a lonely man who jumped to death from a hotel window inspired the lyrics to “Heartbreak Hotel” and given to Elvis Presley, who recorded it in 1956. It has since become a rock ’n’ roll classic.
Whitney Houston had a similarly titled song in 1995, though not of the same subject as the Elvis hit.

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY
OF ROLLINGSTONE.COM
ELVIS Presley’s ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ was inspired by a lonely man who jumped from a hotel window.

Rockers will always remember “Hotel California,” where “you can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave.”

“Hotel, motel, Holiday Inn,” goes the lines in the Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight”— the first rap tune to become a Top 40 hit.
There’s an inherent sadness in motels abroad. Joni Mitchell sings about a “Blue Motel Room,” Chris Isaak remembers a “Blue Motel, and the Pinoy band Sugarfree namechecks a (once) popular motel in “Mariposa.”

Dine and drink places

What about dine and drink places?

Carole King describes a favorite hangout in “Hard Rock Café,” and Suzanne Vega depicts scenes while hanging out at “Tom’s Diner.”

THE Eagles sang the immortal rock song ‘Hotel California.’

Billy Joel has a poignant tale about a couple in “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant,” while Don Henley captures images of people watching in “Sunset Grill.”
Back in the day, Burt Bacharach wrote “A House Is Not a

Home” — “when the two of us are far apart and one of us has a broken heart.”

Meanwhile, in Jimi Hendrix’s “Red House,” love is for sale, and in The Animals’ “House of the Rising Sun” are stories about a mother who’s a tailor and a father who’s a gambling man.
Loggins and Messina recall a collection of children’s stories in “House on Pooh Corner.”

On the other hand, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young’s “Our House,” is a song Graham Nash wrote about the time he lived with Joni Mitchell.

Similarly, Madness’ “Our House” recalls good times about a family’s home “in the middle of our street.”

‘Your House’

Alanis Morrisette’s “Your House” is about a girl who enters her lover’s house, takes off her clothes, takes a shower, puts on his shirt, plays some Joni (Mitchell), and then finds a handwritten meet-me-later note — except it’s not her writing.

If that’s a sad song, there are anxious tunes, such as Talking Heads’ “Burning Down the House,” Billy Ocean’s “Tear Down These Walls” and Elton John’s “Burn Down the Mission.”

Imagine little “Pink Houses” that John Cougar Mellencamp sang about. Look at life from someone else’s point of view.

 

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