Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros – Home

When I heard this on Lightning 100 in Nashville (alternative station) I thought it was an old song. I liked it off the bat. Alex Ebert had left his band Ima Robot and formed this odd hippie type band with Jade Castrinos. They were a band that had members that would come and go and were like a commune type group. The song was released in 2010 and it charted at #25 in the Billboard Alternative Songs in 2010 and #50 in the UK Charts in 2013.

The song is extremely catchy. Unfortunately Jade is not in the band now…

From Songfacts.

This feel-good song was written by Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros vocalists Alex Ebert and Jade Castrinos, who were a couple at the time. As Jade tells it, they were enjoying a romp through Elysian Park in Los Angeles when she lost her shoes and he carried her on his back. The scene was like a montage from a romantic comedy, and giddy with love, they returned to his apartment and wrote the song. Using Ebert’s Pro Tools setup, they put the song together on the fly, with each trading lines and then singing together on the chorus.

The lyrics are effusively lovey, but genuine:

I’ll follow you into the park
Through the jungle, through the dark
Girl, I never loved one like you

And while there are many songs called “Home,” this one has a key hook line in the lyric that connected with listeners:

Home is wherever I’m with you

Ebert does the whistling intro, which is reminiscent of the Ennio Morricone scores found in many westerns, often starring Clint Eastwood.

Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros rose to power early in the American folk music revival that included acts like Mumford & Sons and The Lumineers. “Home” was part of their debut album Up From Below, and established their love-centric, communal sound that made them a festival favorite. 

The band is named after a character from a novel Ebert was writing – Edward Sharpe is an otherworldly figure who comes to Earth to offer enlightenment to the masses, but finds himself getting distracted by the beautiful women. Ebert, raised in an upper middle class household, spent a lot of time looking for the meaning of life, and created his own hardship by getting hooked on heroin. He got clean, but sobriety didn’t suit him, so he ditched treatment and switched to (mostly) mushrooms. He went minimalist, with no car or cell phone, and began working on the Up From Below in a tiny apartment. After meeting the like-minded Jade Castrinos, they put a 10-piece band together and went all-in on the joyful, enlightened sound. Even churlish listeners who weren’t buying this hippie vibe agreed that it was convincing, and even after they found an audience with this song, Ebert stayed steady to his creed, often blurring the lines between Edward Sharpe and his true self.

When Ebert and Castrinos banter about her falling out of a window on this track, they’re recounting a true story:

Jade Alexander, do you remember that day you fell out of my window?
I sure do, you came jumping out after me

Castrinos was defenestrated from his second-story apartment, and couldn’t walk for a week. Ebert came to her rescue and took her to the hospital.

In 2014, the band parted ways with Jade Castrinos, changing the dynamic of this song considerably (she and Ebert had broken up). At their first show without her – May 11, 2014 at the Shaky Knees Music Festival in Atlanta – Ebert turned much of the song over to the crowd, doing it “campfire style.” It worked, and the band continued performing it that way, with the crowd filling in much of Castrinos’ vocals.

Like many songs in its genre, this song didn’t make the US Hot 100, even though it seemed to be everywhere. Much of its ubiquity comes from its use in commercials – the message and the melody make it suitable for a number of companies looking to project community.

In 2010, the NFL used it in a spot titled “There’s No Place Like Home”; that same year it was in commercials for the Kin phone, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, Levi’s, and the trailer for the movie Cyrus. They did turn down some offers: AT&T wanted to use the song where “Home” was the AT&T store, and the band declined.

Home

Alabama, Arkansas
I do love my ma and pa
Not that way that I do love you

Holy moley, me oh my
You’re the apple of my eye
Girl, I’ve never loved one like you

Man, oh man, you’re my best friend
I scream it to the nothingness
There ain’t nothing that I need

Well, hot and heavy, pumpkin pie
Chocolate candy, Jesus Christ
Ain’t nothing please me more than you

Ah, home, let me go home
Home is wherever I’m with you
Ah, home, let me go home
Home is wherever I’m with you

La, la, la, la, take me home
Mommy, I’m coming home

I’ll follow you into the park
Through the jungle, through the dark
Girl, I never loved one like you

Moats and boats and waterfalls
Alleyways and pay phone calls
I’ve been everywhere with you

That’s true, laugh until we think we’ll die
Barefoot on a summer night
Never could be sweeter than with you

And in the streets you run a-free
Like it’s only you and me
Geez, you’re something to see

Ah, home, let me go home
Home is wherever I’m with you
Ah, home, let me go home
Home is wherever I’m with you

La, la, la, la, take me home
Daddy, I’m coming home

Jade Alexander, do you remember that day you fell out of my window?
I sure do, you came jumping out after me
Well, you fell on the concrete, nearly broke your ass,
You were bleeding all over the place and I rushed you out to the hospital, you remember that?
Yes, I do, well, there’s something I never told you about that night
What didn’t you tell me?
While you were sitting in the backseat smoking a cigarette you thought was going to be your last,
I was falling deep, deeply in love with you, and I never told you until just now

Ah, home, let me go home
Home is wherever I’m with you
Ah, home, let me go home
Home is where I’m alone with you

Home, let me come home
Home is wherever I’m with you

Ah, home, yes I am home
Home is when I’m alone with you

Alabama, Arkansas
I do love my ma and pa
Moats and boats and waterfalls
Alleyways and pay phone calls

Ah, home, let me go home
Home is wherever I’m with you
Ah, home, let me go home
Home is where I’m alone with you

Author: badfinger20

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

9 thoughts on “Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros – Home”

  1. I listened to this song SO many times when it first came out! It’s ridiculously fun. On a side note — always nice (and weird) to see “defenestrated” show up in someone’s life story.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s cool seeing this group get a mention. I saw them at a festival in 2014. This song took forever, because they paused in the middle and let people in the audience say what ‘home’ means to them. It was neat. I’m not very familiar with this group, but did get their album ‘Here’, because I love their song, ‘Man on Fire’.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t know if I know that one–will check it out! The ones I know were played on one of the sirius/xm stations that play new music…can’t recall which one but I always liked their songs.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Janglin’ was in a Volkswagen commercial I believe…
        Hans… I hope you have a great Christmas. It’s been great conversating with a fellow Beatles and Baseball fan.

        Liked by 1 person

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