Eric Church’s ‘Give Me Back My Hometown’: Story Behind the Hit Song

by Halle Ames

Eric Church’s nostalgic hit, “Give Me Back My Hometown,” probably gave you the feels (of traumatic memories) of your hometown, but do you know the story behind the song?

Firstly, Eric Church released “Give Me Back My Hometown” in 2014, as the second song on his fourth studio album, The Outsiders. Not to be confused with us, Outsider. But yes, we’d like to say we are basically one and the same. 

Eric Church grew up in Granite Falls, North Carolina, which is the inspiration behind the song. 

The country artist wrote the hit with another veteran writer, Luke Laird. Together, the pair proved to be dynamic as they cranked out numerous tunes while at Eric Church’s cabin in North Carolina. Laird talks about the experience in a 2014 interview with Roughstock

“We wrote it last year,” Laird said. “It was in March. He went up to his cabin in North Carolina, which he did before the last record, too. He stays out there for probably a month or two and just writes songs. I went up there, and we wrote five songs in two or three days. That was one of them. He had that idea, and he already knew that he wanted to write a song called ‘Give Me Back My Hometown.’ I just thought it was a great idea, so we went from there.”

Eric Church Explains The “Loneliest Thing” About The Hit

Eric Church explains the song and how there is an internal struggle between comfort in the place you grew up and the haunting memories of a girl that follows him around while there.

“Something that anybody knows more than anybody else is their hometown. That’s where they’re most comfortable, that’s their comfort,” Church explained. “The loneliest thing about this song to me is here’s a guy who’s left in that place that should be the most comforting place to him, and it’s actually the place that haunts him because the girl left him, and there are memories of her everywhere.” 

Church relates to everyone’s first high school love and that experience of getting your heart broken for the first time. 

“To be at the place that you grow up at that is your home, and the person that left you there took that from you, there’s nothing lonelier than that. So, I love that dichotomy of ‘Give Me Back My Hometown,’ when the person’s in it, they’re standing in it, and that appealed to me as a songwriter.”

The Album and Song Chart Rankings

The Outsiders debuted at number one on both the Billboard 200 and Top Country Albums charts. It was also the best selling country album of 2014 in the US. 

In addition, “Give Me Back My Hometown” ranked well among listeners. Both it and the title track for The Outsiders were released early for excited fans. Both peaked in the top ten of the Hot Country Songs chart. It also reached number one on the Billboard Country Airplay chart, making it Eric Church’s fourth chart-topping single.