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69 Songs About Leaving Home and Moving

FlourishAnyway believes there is a playlist for just about any situation and is on a mission to unite and entertain the world through song.

Whether you're leaving home for the first time or moving house for some  other reason, make a playlist of pop, rock, and country songs to help you get through the journey.

Whether you're leaving home for the first time or moving house for some other reason, make a playlist of pop, rock, and country songs to help you get through the journey.

Launch Time

My only child packed up most of her worldly belongings in a rental truck, took one last walk around the house where she grew up, and bounded out to make her mark on the world. Having graduated from college, this was her launch time. Her first full-time professional job and first real apartment awaited her, and all of the hugs, wish-you-wells, and words of wisdom couldn't express the bittersweet mixture of pride, love, and natural anxiety that her father and I felt as she faded into the distance.

People move for a variety of reasons: going to college, graduation, job changes, changes in marriage and family status. Whatever your reason, make a playlist of pop, rock, and country songs about packing your bags and moving to a new home. We have a long list of tunes for your trip.

1. "Wide Open Spaces" by The Chicks

This jubilant country tune from 1998 features a daughter who leaves home to strike out on her own. As she loads her car up, she is filled with both anticipation and anxiety about what her future holds. The young woman needs room to meet lots of new people and make her own mistakes. She knows that the stakes are high although she has not yet guessed what life next holds for her.

As dads always do, hers issues advice to check the oil as she drives away. Her mother grows weepy and recalls how it wasn't that long ago that she was in her own daughter's shoes. This song will particularly resonate with folks who have a child about to leave home, and it will make you reminisce about growing up and moving on yourself all those years ago.

2. "Never Grow Up" by Taylor Swift

For years, kids look forward to coming of age, but then when adulthood suddenly arrives, it often doesn't seem quite as fantastic as they fancied it would be. The truth is that adulting can be as much about bills, loneliness, and going to work as it is about fun, friends, and freedom. (Sorry about that. I was bummed to find out, too.)

In this tenderhearted 2010 pop ballad, a young Taylor Swift has just been dropped off by her parents in her new apartment where she is spending her first night alone. As she tucks herself in and turns her nightlight on, it feels colder and emptier than she envisioned. Her mind presses rewind on the childhood memories. She recalls being safe at home with her family with all her needs provided for and few "big girl" concerns. Now she wishes that she had never grown up. If only she could have stayed little.

3. "Don't Forget to Remember Me" by Carrie Underwood

A mother and her18-year-old daughter hold back tears in this warm 2006 country song as the girl waits to pull her loaded up Chevy out of the family driveway into the wide world that awaits. Her mom gives her last minute reminders about stopping for gas before hitting the highway. The young woman's mother implores her to remember her and tells her that there are both a Bible and a $50 bill tucked away just in case.

In the daughter's downtown apartment she misses home as bills remind her of emerging independence. The girl calls home every Sunday and reassures her mom that she's doing fine even when she's not. As she sends love back to other family members, she wishes they could be together, but somehow she knows she's where she's supposed to be. Later, as she says her prayers she asks God to remember her making her new home away from home as an independent young woman.

4. "More Than My Hometown" by Morgan Wallen

There are two types of people who grow up in a small town like I did: those who will never leave and those who leave and never look back. God help it when these two types fall in love. (I've been there and there's no compromise involved.)

This heart wrenching 2021 country crossover ditty features a young man who loves the hell out of a young woman, and he tells her so in a variety of ways. Unfortunately, these two have different needs and priorities in life. As a result, they aren't meant to be a forever kind of love.

The narrator's sweetheart loads up her car to follow her dreams to California when her big opportunity comes knocking, however her boyfriend chooses to stay in the tiny town where they grew up. Who is wrong here, if anyone? The narrator is painfully honest in acknowledging, " I can't love you more than my hometown." He loves his hometown and the country way of life more than his girlfriend and any future they could build together.

5. "Should I Stay or Should I Go" by The Clash

Sometimes it's not one hundred percent clear whether one should stay in their current living situation or strike out on their own, whether it's an arrangement that involves crashing at home with parents, couch surfing with friends, or living with a romantic partner. In this iconic 1982 punk tune with a Spanish language echo, the narrator describes his indecision. He is torn regarding whether to remain in his current home and living relationship or whether to leave. Each has its advantages and disadvantages

6. "Back Home" by Andy Grammer

Although the grass in other pastures may seem to be technicolor green, it only takes a bit of travel to appreciate the value of your own hometown. In this uplifting indie pop song from 2014, the narrator toasts the common desire to chase success and make the big bucks in the big city. However, he learns that friends back home are where life is really at.

Don't forget where you came from. Regardless of where you roam, home will be the most comfortable, welcoming place you'll find. Make your way back there and don't become a stranger!

7. "Life Is a Highway" by Tom Cochrane

It's a wild, adventurous ride on life's highway, and people like you who are moving out and getting an apartment of their own can face down anything thrown in their path. Seize the day!

This 1991 rock release activates the survivor's spirit. You know that there will be both hardships and opportunities to come, but you have waited for this. Although you cannot always control the events that happen, you can control your response.

"Don't blink because life goes faster than you think."

Life sure whizzes by in a flash so why not slow yourself down and take it all in? This is especially important during pivotal life transition moments like leaving home.

That's the basic message of this heartwarming 2007 country song. It describes advice dispensed by a 102-year-old man as he reflects on how quickly the decades pass. In a world that spins too quickly, make it your priority to slow down and live in the moment, appreciating those around you while they are here. Don't be so busy making your mark on the world that you forget those who care most about your success.

9. "Send Me on My Way" by Rusted Root

In one sense leaving home and moving mark an end, however in another these are a bright new beginning. Embrace all of the new memories and possibilities that lie ahead with the help of this buoyant 1994 folk rock tune. The song is commonly used at graduations, proms, and weddings. Additionally, the peppy track is featured in several movies (e.g., Matilda, Ice Age), multiple television series, and an Enterprise Rent-A-Car commercial. Pure revelry, the song depicts an optimistic parting in which the life traveler is eager to embrace the new people and places that lie ahead.

10. "Cups" by Anna Kendrick

The gal in this 2012 folk pop song will be leaving town soon and emphasizes how much her sweetheart will miss her when she departs. Because he's disinclined to join her in her journey, the narrator reminds her honey that he'll be sorry to see her go and will soon miss everything about her—her walk, her talk, her hair, her very presence.

The truth is that after you first move, you'll leave a huge hole in the lives around you. People who are closest to you will sense your departure the most. But then they usually learn to adjust to their new normal just as you begin to adjust to your new surroundings.

Actress Anna Kendrick released this 2012 folk pop song as a part of the film, Pitch Perfect. Her rendition was based on a 1931 folk tune. Because it was her only song to reach the Top 40 list of the Billboard Hot 100, "Cups" made her a one-hit-wonder.

11. "You'll Think of Me" by Keith Urban

The dejected man in this 2002 country ballad lies awake at 4 a.m. in the home he previously shared with his ex. She has moved out, having left him for someone else. Her excuses about needing freedom and space mean nothing to him. She can clear out any belongings she has left.

Still feeling heavyhearted and bitter, the narrator reminds his former partner that although they no longer live together, he will become part of her emotional baggage of memories:

Take your records, take your freedom
Take your memories, I don't need 'em
Take your space and take your reasons
But you'll think of me.

Perhaps he'll haunt her mind years from now as the one who got away.

12. "Baby Girl" by Sugarland

As young adults leave home to pursue dreams of their own, they endeavor not only to forge their path in the big wide world but to make Mama and Daddy proud too. The protagonist in this autobiographically inspired country crossover ditty from 2004 details her quest for stardom from the early years to achieving music success.

Initially, the struggling singer barely scraped by and needed to lean on her parents for financial support. However, as she became more accomplished in the music industry, the narrator shared the excitement of her fame and achievements with her family who had stood by her all those years. Although she had moved away from home, her heart was never far away from those who raised her, as they were her biggest fans.

13. “Dear Daughter” by Halestorm

How I wish that every daughter could hear these magic words of affirmation, support, and empowerment from parents who love her. This tender 2015 hard rock ballad captures words of wisdom that any young woman moving away from home for the first time could use.

The narrator of the song expresses confidence that her loved one will succeed even though the world is imperfect and occasionally disappointing. In addition, the daughter is cautioned to ignore mean, jealous people and beware of suitors who may seek to change or control her. Most of all, she is lovingly reminded that although she is independent, she is never alone.

"You can move houses, but you can't move the crazy that lives there." - Unknown

"You can move houses, but you can't move the crazy that lives there." - Unknown

14. "It's Time to Go" by Taylor Swift

Moving isn't always a joyous occasion but can feel like the only choice when a relationship has soured or run its course. In this downcast 2020 ballad, Taylor Swift details several scenarios incorporating deep disappointment and betrayal wherein the only option is to go.

Sometimes giving up is the strong thing
Sometimes to run is the brave thing
Sometimes walking out is the one thing
That will find you the right thing.

15. "You Can Always Come Home" by Alan Jackson

This warmhearted and vibrant country song from 2015 is like a big hug, issuing endearing words of parental support and encouragement as an adult child flies away on their own into the world. The narrator urges their offspring to spread their wings in search of their dreams, take risks, and live a little.

Regardless of whether they achieve success or fall short, the narrator assures the young adult of the family's unwavering, unconditional love:

You can always come home
Wherever life's road leads, you can get back
To a love that's strong and free
And never be alone
In your heart there's still a place
No matter how right or wrong you've gone
You can always come home.

16. "Breakaway" by Kelly Clarkson

While many folks consider small town life to be bliss on tap, others find the slow pace and nosiness to be stifling. The disconnected girl in this 2004 pop ditty hopes to escape the restrictiveness of such an existence.

Feeling unheard and undervalued in her small town, her solution is to move far away to a location where there are skyscrapers, palm trees, and the ocean. The narrator resolves to fondly remember her loved ones as well.

I'll spread my wings and I'll learn how to fly
I'll do what it takes 'til I touch the sky
And I'll make a wish, take a chance, make a change
And breakaway.

Grammy Award winner Kelly Clarkson grew up in Burleson, Texas, a small town from which she yearned to break away. The Fort Worth suburb saw a steady population increase since the American Idol star grew up there. In 1990, Burleson boasted a mere 16,113 residents. It now has close to 50,000.

17. "Give Me One Reason" by Tracy Chapman

In this 1999 blues folk rock song, a love spent woman calls her parter to tell him that she's outta there after arguing with him about the status about their relationship. She feels unappreciated, as if she is investing more "precious energy" into their romance than her mate. The narrator has left because she's young enough to give her lover the physical love he needs but too mature to want to chase after him any more. He needs to man up and either tell the woman to stay or allow her to drive away into the distance.

18. "One Way Ticket (Because I Can)" by LeAnn Rimes

Experiencing the personal destruction of divorce, the narrator in this 1996 country song embraces her newfound freedom as she steps out into the great unknown and starts over. Undoubtedly, that will involve different living arrangements, but she's more than capable of handling any changes that come her way.

The free spirited, confident narrator describes with aplomb how she is strong enough to let go of her failed marriage. She looks forward to talking to people she doesn't know and is both hopeful and eager to experience love again without fear of heartbreak.

Singer LeAnn Rimes knows a thing or two about divorce. When sparks flew in 2009 on the set of a Lifetime film, Northern Lights, the result was adultery and two divorces. Rimes was married to chef Dean Sheremet and her co-star Eddie Cibrian was married to former model Brandi Glanville. Both couples divorced their respective parters in 2010, and Rimes and Cibrian have been married since 2011.

19. “Hey Look Ma, I Made It” by Panic! At The Disco

Every young person wants to report back to Ma and Pa that they're doing well on their own, can feed and clothe themelves without help, and are well respected in their field. Better yet, if they're rolling in the cash (through legal means), that's a true bonus. This jaunty 2018 pop song relates Brandon Urie's ups and downs in the music industry. It's fun, upbeat, and the narrator even sounds a little surprised at his own good fortune.

20. "It's Time" by Imagine Dragons

Graduation, job changes, and shifts in marital and family status . . . as each of these important life chapters are written, you may find yourself pushed to move yet again. As you change residential communities and swap living quarters, you may notice a resultant change in your level of independence.

The narrator in this 2012 alt-rock song finds himself at an important crossroads of personal and professional change in his life. Although the young man honors his past, he seeks a new direction for himself and wants to be true to himself, discovering a new path. Thus, the fella packs his bags in preparation for his quest of self-discovery. He extends the following assurance to those who fear what this will do to him:

Now don't you understand
That I'm never changing who I am.

The song was part of the trailer for the popular 2012 movie, The Perks Of Being a Wallflower. "It's Time" helped catapult Imagine Dragons to global success.

"Leaving home in a sense involves a kind of second birth in which we give birth to ourselves." - Dr. Robert N. Bellah, American sociologist

"Leaving home in a sense involves a kind of second birth in which we give birth to ourselves." - Dr. Robert N. Bellah, American sociologist

Even More Songs About Leaving Home and Moving

SongArtist(s)Year Released

21. Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)

Billy Joel

1977

22. I Hope You Dance

Lee Ann Womack (Featuring Sons of the Desert)

2000

23. Unwritten

Natasha Bedingfield

2004

24. How Can I Help You Say Goodbye?

Patty Loveless

1993

25. Learn to Fly

Foo Fighters

1999

26. Already Gone

Kelly Clarkson

2009

27. You're Gonna Miss This

Trace Adkins

2007

28. You're Gonna Be

Reba McEntire

2005

29. Movin' On Up

Ja'Net DuBois

1978

30. Then They Do

Trace Adkins

2003

31. Come Sail Away

Styx

1977

32. Go Your Own Way

Fleetwood Mac

1977

33. (I've Had) The Time Of My Life

Jennifer Warnes and Bill Medley

1987

34. We Gotta Get Out of This Place

The Animals

1965

35. I Will Remember You

Sarah McLachlan

1993

36. Bills, Bills, Bills

Destiny's Child

1999

37. Closing Time

Semisonic

1998

38. The House That Built Me

Miranda Lambert

2009

39. Landslide

Fleetwood Mac

1975

40. My Wish

Rascal Flatts

2006

41. Irreplaceable

Beyonce

2006

42. She's Leaving Home

Beatles

1967

43. Young Turks

Rod Stewart

1981

44. Ready, Set, Don't Go

Billy Ray Cyrus

2007

45. Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin

Michael Jackson

1982

46. Fly Away

Lenny Kravitz

1998

47. I'll Always Remember You

Hannah Montana

2010

48. Starting Over

Chris Stapleton

2020

49. Hold On to the Memories

Corey Tynan

2019

50. Don't Forget Where You Belong

One Direction

2013

51. It Won't Be Like This for Long

Darius Rucker

2008

52. Changes

David Bowie

1972

53. Leaving Home Ain't Easy

Queen

1978

54. Wild World

Cat Stevens

1970

55. Don't Stop

Fleetwood Mac

1977

56. Where Are You Going?

Dave Matthews Band

2002

57. Goodbye Town

Lady A

2013

58. The Night Before (Life Goes On)

Carrie Underwood

2005

59. I'm Moving On

Rascal Flatts

2002

60. You Can’t Lose Me

Faith Hill

1995

61. Born to Fly

Sara Evans

2000

62. I'm Gonna Be Somebody

Travis Tritt

1990

63. Turning Home

David Nail

2009

64. Where Corn Don't Grow

Travis Tritt

1996

65. Don't You Forget About Me

Simple Minds

1985

66. Letting Go

Suzy Bogguss

1991

67. Leaving on a Jet Plane

Peter, Paul and Mary

1969

68. Would I Lie to You?

Eurythmics

1985

69. Just When I Needed You Most

Randy VanWarmer

1979

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