Temporary Home

Album: Play On (2009)
Charted: 41
Play Video


  • This poignant ballad is a track from American country artist Carrie Underwood's third studio album, Play On.
  • In this song Underwood sings about her Christian belief that "life on this Earth is just passing through" and heaven is the final destination. She co-penned the song with Zac Maloy and Luke Laird. It was the first time that combination of songwriters had worked together though Lard previously co -wrote Underwood's hit singles, "So Small" and "Last Name." The trio spent a two-day writing session and on the second day Underwood came in with an idea she wanted to explore with her two co-writers. Laird recalled to USA Today: "She had the whole thing mapped out. She had the title, knew basically what she wanted each verse to say. She didn't have anything actually written down, but that made a huge difference. Most songs, even when I'm writing with other writers, we don't have them that mapped out, so we're just filling in the pieces. But she really knew what she wanted to say."

    Zac Maloy explained in an interview with ASCAP: "Carrie had had this thought that, I believe, she read about in a book that life is a temporary home. I think it's an amazing song and feel pretty proud to be a part of the writing process for a song like that. I hear so many people talk about how they were so touched by it. I had messages on my e-mail, Facebook and Twitter saying, 'This song helped me get through something traumatic.' I think the song is great and is a beautiful three-part story about how [everything is] OK; this is just temporary, and you'll get through it."
  • The song depicts in three episodes a six-year-old boy in a foster home, a single mother in a hostel and a dying man surrounded by family members in a hospital - all of whom see their present situations as only temporary. Laird told USA Today, "This song was very emotional for Carrie. If you heard our work tape, you'd know she was really in it." He added that he didn't connect as emotionally with the song, even though he drew from his personal experiences to write it, though he did relate to the first verse. "Growing up, when I was young, I had foster brothers and sisters," he said. "This was probably for only four or five years, but this really took me back there, thinking about these kids who never really have a place. For me, that's what helped me write that verse."

    Not long after they'd written the song Laird got some bad news that his badly ill grandmother hadn't long to go. "I had to go home to Pennsylvania in May," he said. "I got a call while was at the nursing home, 'Hey, Carrie cut 'Temporary Home'.' I was excited to get a Carrie cut, but it was weird, because I was losing my grandmother." The next day, Laird's grandmother passed away. "I liked the song, but, until that moment, it was weird how it hadn't hit me on an emotional level," he said. "But Carrie really, really wanted to have this song. I just felt honored that she had this idea and wanted to write it with us."
  • Underwood's ice hockey player boyfriend Mike Fisher suggested the song title from a Biblical-based devotional study the two were doing on Christian minister Rick Warren's Purpose Driven Life. Underwood told The Boot: "They're not exactly easy words to sing when you think 'Temporary Home. It doesn't sound like a song to me. But I bounced [the idea] around in my head for a couple of days, 'Maybe I can incorporate this somewhere. I don't know.' I was getting ready to go in to write with Luke Laird and Zac Maloy, and it just hit me like a ton of bricks, just a flood of words and stories. And all of a sudden, I thought of a little boy in a foster situation, and he knows where he's going, and the place where he is isn't where he should be, but he'll get there someday." Underwood added that the song had some different words prior to recording it. "Stuff kind of changed around and never ended up the way it was until we were done with it. Then it was like, 'Oh my gosh! This is pretty amazing!'"
  • Underwood told AOL's The Boot about the inspiration for this cut: "This [song] means so much to me. I was a co-writer on it. I was reading a book called Purpose Driven Life. It talks about how this world is temporary. It's a temporary home, and we're on our way to someplace else, and we need to do everything we can here now because this isn't it. It's not over. That is something I believe down to my core. One day I was getting ready to write, and it just comes in like a flood. It's a sad song, but it's a joyful song because these people are on their way someplace else. This is just a stop on the way."
  • In the song's music video Underwood is shown riding around town in a taxi cab. During the journey she watches a young boy with his new adopted mother, and a mother trying to get a job. Finally she reaches her destination, a hospital room with an elderly man, presumably her grandfather, lying on his deathbed. Underwood told AOL's The Boot that she felt the clip takes a different perspective compared with the song's lyrical content, but still keeps true to the story. She said: "It's kind of like one person on their way somewhere, which is a theme of this song. You're headed someplace, and then they kind of share these special moments with the characters. But through that, I felt like everybody's on their own journey, and we all cross paths. So I felt like it was close enough to the story, but just far enough away to where it kind of provided a different angle."
  • This was Underwood's ninth #1 on Country Songs, and the singer's second chart-topper from Play On, following "Cowboy Casanova." The song's elevation to peak position meant that Underwood became the first solo female to release three consecutive studio albums containing at least two #1s on Country Songs since Reba McEntire strung together four long players each containing at least two chart-toppers - Whoever's in New England, What Am I Gonna Do About You. The Last One to Know and Reba between 1986 and 1989.
  • The music video won Inspirational Video of the Year at the 2010 Inspirational Country Music Awards.

Comments: 1

  • Kaylen from Lagrange , InThis song reminds me alot of myself , and what ive been going through... i listen to it all the time
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