Everyone has songs that remind them of home and family. This is a playlist of those songs for me. It is by no means exhaustive, and has a few added by my siblings when I asked them what songs remind them of home. Some come from our shared childhood, and others I have stumbled upon through the years and found that they fit here. Follow along with the playlist HERE!
Hey Brother – by Avicii
This song was our bop back in the day. It fits our family particularly well because we have a lot of brothers and sisters. It speaks of distance and the sibling love that overcomes it, a subject that resonates with our family as we are scattered to the four winds.
Suggested by: Talitha
Montana and Montana – Alt Version – by Owl City
I couldn’t decide which version of this song to put on to put on the list, and so added both. They both speak of moving to the west coast, as much of the family did, but also has a sense of returning home. The first version of the song has a sense of adventure, while the second emphasizes a feeling of longing for home. This echoes the optimism of moving to Oregon from Michigan, contrasted with the bittersweet feeling of being separated from our childhood home.
The Glory Days – Michael Giacchino
Oh, The Incredibles. We watched this movie dozens, if not hundreds, of times from 2005 to now. On a roadtrip to Family Camp one year, we decided to quote it from beginning to end. It wasn’t even a challenge. The only movie that might come close to being watched this many times in the Nelson family is The Princess Bride.
You know Bob, a company …is like an enormous clock.
Rivers and Roads – The Head and the Heart
“Been talking ’bout the way things changeThe Head and the Heart
And my family lives in a different state
And if you don’t know what to make of this
Then we will not relate”
This song speaks almost exactly what I feel when I think about the 2,000 miles between me and most of the family. There’s a particular pain and loneliness that comes with that separation, and that’s just from my perspective. Yet the song ends with the hope of seeing each other once again. That is the final word.
Suggested by: Josiah
Get Down and Big House – by Audio Adrenaline
These two songs should be familiar to anyone who went to a VBS in the early 2000’s. For us, it was the Hopevale VBS. It was a highlight of my summer when I was in 3rd grade, what with the games, the super soakers, and, of course, the carnival at the end. It was big deal to be able to go to VBS, and I still know all the movements to Big House.
West Coast – by Imagine Dragons
Ah, Imagine Dragons. Teenage Gabe and Hosanna rocked out to this band. Are they a little derivative? Sure. Does that stop me from having a soft spot in my heart for them? Absolutely not. The fact that they came out with a song about the West Coast is just the cherry on top.
Firebird – by Owl City
This song is primarily on here because it reminds me of that one time four or five of us piled into Emily’s convertible VW and went to Freeland in the middle of the night one summer night to get a movie just because.
“It’s alright, ‘cause everything changes.”
Entertaining Angels – by The Newsboys
Entertaining Angels was an instrumental track in this show we used to watch, Angel Wars. It was, admittedly, pretty cliched. The action was pretty great, though. Think a combination of Star Wars and Narnia and you’re getting pretty close. Of course, we ate it up
The 1812 Overture and the William Tell Orchestra
These two songs were on a CD that made its way onto almost every computer we ever owned, and instilled in me, at least, a sense of the excitement that classical music could hold.
It’s a song with cannons as an instrument, what’s not to like?
The William Tell Orchestra is on here mainly because of the Lone Ranger tapes we would listen to in the 15-passenger van as we went to and from the dentist or whatever. Yes, tapes.
Michigan and Again – by The Accidentals
This song is the unofficial anthem of Michigan. It covers too many different Michigan-isms to recount here. Suffice to say that it’s well worth the listen. Incredibly catchy, this song perfectly encapsulates the quaint beauty of the Great Lakes State and why so many call it home.
“Looking down to the high fiveThe Accidentals
Grazing ground to hear the sound of a heavy sigh
Home is where you left your heart behind”
Again, this list is by no means exhaustive. But perhaps now you have a small glimpse into the musical makeup of the Nelson psyche.