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Lyricist Bernie Taupin grew up in the village of Owmby-by-Spital in Lincolnshire, England. He moved to America in the '70s, eventually settling in a ranch in the hill country above Santa Barbara in California. Taupin denied that this song's sentiments represent a wish to move back home. He told The Daily Telegraph, laughing: "My brother Tony listened to the song and sent me an email saying 'Please tell me you weren't thinking of Owmby-by-Spital when you wrote it.' I said, no Tony, it's a state of mind. Owmby is the last place I'd want to go back to."
The song's music video shows a series of increasingly younger actors playing a single character as he journeys home. Elton is nowhere to be found in the clip. Other visuals in which Elton has declined to appear include the one for "I Want Love
" that featured Robert Downey Jr. lip-synching the song and the promo for "This Train Don't Stop Here Anymore," which starred Justin Timberlake.
When Elton John performed this song at the 2013 Emmy Awards on September 22, 2013, he introduced it by saying that it reminded him of the singer Liberace, who was the subject of an HBO movie called Behind the Candelabra, nominated for 15 awards (the stars of the movie, Michael Douglas and Matt Damon, introduced Elton on the show).
Said Elton: "Bernie and I have written a new song called 'Home Again' that reminds me of him. Because Lee, as he liked to be called, when I met him, he always talked about how much he loved going home to his house. So it's a feeling of being at peace and being yourself. Liberace left us 25 years ago, and what a difference those years have made to people like me."
Liberace was certainly an influence on Elton, but it was clear that the occasion was a convenient excuse for him to perform the song on the show. It became clear that Elton was reading his intro from a teleprompter when he recited a line he obviously didn't write: "What I wasn't aware of until years later was his lifestyle." As this point, Elton looked up and said, "yeah, right" before returning to the script. As he turned away from the prompter and toward his piano to perform the song, he said, "this is a song about going home."
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