August 5.2015 – The Story Behind “The House That Built Me” by Miranda Lambert

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‘The House That Built Me’, a huge hit and an award winner for Miranda Lambert was originally pitched to her ex-husband Blake Shelton. It was only after Blake played it for her and she started crying that he suggested maybe she should cut the song.

Miranda tells this story about the first time she heard the song; “We were driving home one night from the airport and I was listening to a compilation CD I had been given of songs that had been pitched. I didn’t like any of them and Blake said, ‘Here, listen to what I have and maybe you’ll find something.’ ‘The House That Built Me’ was the third song on his CD, and I cried all the rest of the way home. We immediately called and asked [producer] Scott Hendricks if he could get the hold on the song moved from Blake to me.”

Written by Allen Shamblin and Tom Douglas, Allen first had the idea for the song. Both songwriters say they are grateful for the touch Miranda put on it. “It was Miranda’s passion from the beginning that carried the song and made it happen.”

“The House That Built Me” was written six years before Miranda heard it, while the two writers were at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah. Allen told Tom his idea for the song and they started discussing it. Four years later they re-wrote the tune and started playing it for people.

Allen says, “The inspiration for me was the last ten years or so with having my own children. I often think about the neighborhood and the house that my father built that I grew up in.”

“It was Allen who turned the phrase from ‘the house that I built,’ to ‘the house that built me,’” notes Tom. “I think even if you haven’t had that home, people get the feeling that it’s the home you’d like to have.”

The house Miranda pictures when she hears the song is one where the Lambert family lived in Lindale, Texas, during a time when the family was struggling to make ends meet. The place needed a little TLC but her mother made the run-down house a home room-by-room, including the little room at the top of the stairs where Miranda learned to play guitar. There was a garden out back, and the family raised rabbits. And yes, Miranda had a puppy who lived to be 14 and was eventually buried in the back yard.

Miranda says when her family first heard the song, they thought she had written it. They couldn’t believe total strangers had written a song that so paralleled their own lives.

“Those were hard times but when I look back, I realize that those were times that made us [as a family] stronger than ever,” Miranda said. “And it made me.”

“The House That Built Me” went on to win the Academy of Country Music’s Single and Song of the Year honors in 2011.

At the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards on February 13, 2011, she won a Grammy for Best Female Country Vocal Performance for “The House That Built Me.”

It is the fastest-rising single of her career, reaching the Top 20 in its eighth week. For the chart week of June 12, 2010, the song became Lambert’s first Number One hit on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, and held its place at the top for four consecutive weeks. Additionally, it was her second single to receive a platinum certification from the RIAA on January 31, 2011

LYRICS – written by Allen Shamblin and Tom Douglas
I know they say you cant go home again.
I just had to come back one last time.
Ma’am I know you don’t know me from Adam.
But these handprints on the front steps are mine.
And up those stairs, in that little back bedroom
is where I did my homework and I learned to play guitar.
And I bet you didn’t know under that live oak
my favorite dog is buried in the yard.

I thought if I could touch this place or feel it
this brokenness inside me might start healing.
Out here its like I’m someone else,
I thought that maybe I could find myself
if I could just come in I swear I’ll leave.
Won’t take nothing but a memory
from the house that built me.

Mama cut out pictures of houses for years.
From ‘Better Homes and Garden’ magazines.
Plans were drawn, concrete poured,
and nail by nail and board by board
Daddy gave life to mama’s dream.

I thought if I could touch this place or feel it
this brokenness inside me might start healing.
Out here its like I’m someone else,
I thought that maybe I could find myself.
If I could just come in I swear I’ll leave.
Won’t take nothing but a memory
from the house that built me.

You leave home, you move on and you do the best you can.
I got lost in this whole world and forgot who I am.

I thought if I could touch this place or feel it
this brokenness inside me might start healing.
Out here its like I’m someone else,
I thought that maybe I could find myself.
If I could walk around I swear I’ll leave.
Won’t take nothing but a memory
from the house that built me.

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About Robynn

Robynn Jaymes has spent her whole life in radio… 30 years!! And almost half of them have been at Star Country. Originally from Cincinnati, Robynn came to the area as a Liberty University student. Along with all things country music, Robynn is a big fan of Football!—The Virginia Tech Hokies, The Washington Redskins and, of course, the Cincinnati Bengals. And also, “I’m addicted to the Weather Channel,” she says. Right now, Robynn is a big fan if the music coming from Miranda Lambert, Lady Antebellum and Kenny Chesney! Robynn is also a winner of the Billboard Air Personality of the Year award. Hear all new Warm & Fuzzies with Robynn M-F at 11:45AM!

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