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Eric Church, ‘Homeboy’ – Lyrics Uncovered

Eric Church
Michael Buckner, Getty Images

Eric Church‘s haunting new single, ‘Homeboy,’ is a lyrical journey through three stages of the song’s title. The idea came from a comment that Church’s co-writer, Casey Beathard, said to his son one afternoon.

“Casey was watching his teenager son playing football or something, and he was with a couple of buddies of his,” Church tells Taste of Country. “He said, ‘Come on, homeboy … let’s get out of here.’ Casey and I sat together not long after that. He said, ‘How about “Come On Homeboy” as a song title?’ I thought it was unique, [and] I’d never heard it as a song. We sat there and talked about the best way to write it, and we kind of went through the scenarios.”

The song’s opening lyrics reference “homeboy” in the slang term — something that isn’t typical in your every day country song:

“You were too bad for a little square town / With your hip-hop hat and your pants on the ground / Heard you cussed out mama, pushed daddy around / When you tore off in his car / Here you are runnin’ these dirty old streets / Tattoo on your neck, fake gold on your teeth / Got the hood here snow, but you cant fool me, we both know who you are,” Church sings.

The second verse of ‘Homeboy’ uses the word as a place to where he’s being called “home, boy,” but it’s the song’s final verse that will run chills through your spine and bring a tear to your eye:

“You can’t hold back the hands of time / Mama’s going gray and so is Daddy’s mind / I wish you’d come on back and make it all right before they’re called home, boy.”

“The thing that was cool about [this song] was how we came up with three separate uses of the word,” notes Church. “So just being able to use it in three different ways is something that creatively challenges us as songwriters, and I love songs that do that. It also challenges the listener. They’ve got to sit there and follow the story.”

“This was a song that when it was written, I knew it was a good song, but it didn’t really come to life until we got in the studio,” Church continues. “It just took on a whole different level. It just became a real journey from start to finish. You really take a couple different trips. It’s very different and very unique, and that’s what I love doing. I love stuff that’s just different … sometimes some people say it’s odd and strange, but that’s okay, too [laughs]! I like stuff that just stands out.”

Listen to Eric Church’s ‘Homeboy’

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