Kelsea Ballerini and Kenny Chesney’s ‘Half of My Hometown’ Is Nothing Short of Honest [Listen]
Kelsea Ballerini's coming home song is as easy of a collaboration as you'll ever find in country music. "Half of My Hometown" with Kenny Chesney finds the Knoxville natives longing for the streets and hills that raised them.
This fourth single from Kelsea is a vocal contrast to the album's two hits. The playfulness of "Hole in the Bottle" is appropriately missing, and while the new release is rooted in nostalgia like "Homecoming Queen?" was, it's a bit more personal. Writers Ross Copperman, Nicolle Galyon, Shane McAnally, Jimmy Robbins and Ballerini sketch a common circle for the two verses, bridge and three choruses, allowing the last refrain to change the meaning of the entire song. A melancholy melody — and the singer's muted interpretation — foreshadows a fresh perspective to come, reminiscent of the final chorus of Tim McGraw's "Meanwhile Back at Mama's."
In short: We know she's coming home well before the end of the song.
"Half of My Hometown" will hit hard with most country fans who find themselves either stuck in, or missing, the place where they grew up. You'll long for just a little bit more Chesney throughout, however. A few standout harmonies like he allowed during "You and Tequila" with Grace Potter would make it all feel much more like the great vocal event it is.
Did You Know?: Ballerini texted Chesney after midnight one night to ask him to be a part of "Half of My Hometown." Watch her tell the story below.
Kelsea Ballerini (Feat. Kenny Chesney)'s "Half of My Hometown" Lyrics:
Half of my high school got too drunk / Half of my high school fell in love with the girl next door / And their daddy's Ford / Half of my Main Street's mini skirts / Half of my Main Street's dressed for church / It could use some rain / And a fresh coat of paint.
Half of my hometown's still hangin' around / Still talkin' about that one touchdown / They're still wearin' red and black / Go Bobcats, while the other half / Of my hometown, they all got out / Some went north, some went south / Still lookin' for a feelin' half of us ain't found / So stay or leave / Part of me will always be / Half of my hometown.
Half of our prom queens cut their hair / Half of them think that it ain't fair / The quarterback moved away and never came back / Oh, half of my family is happy I left / The other half worries I’ll just forget / Where I came from / The same place where they came from.
Backroads raise us / Highways take us / Memories make us wanna go back.
To our hometown, settle down / Talk about that one touchdown / Raise some kids in red and black / Go Bobcats, while the other half / Of my hometown was in the crowd / They knew the words, they sang them loud / And all I wanna do is make them proud / 'Cause half of me will always be / From Knoxville, Tennessee / My hometown / 'Cause I'm half of my hometown.
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