Top 40 single reviews

Shania Twain

Honey, I’m Home

Album: Come On Over

Year: 1998

                    Shania Twain wishes she could start the day over in the modern              “Honey, I’m Home.”

                A plucky guitar opens the single, setting a spunky tone.   She kisses her husband goodbye, gives their dog Roscoe a pat on the head. Roscoe let his eyes grow wide and she kisses him on the head, too and walks into the garage. She puts the key into the ignition. The engine made a whirring noise but wouldn’t catch. Ten minutes later, her husband is driving her into work. On the way there, they hit every red light. He couldn’t unlock the door fast enough and she was out of the car. She ran into the building and punched in at 8:45 am. Fifteen minutes late. She walks to her desk and her boss makes a snarky comment: “Fashion emergency?” She dismisses it but then looks at her pantyhose and there’s some of her bare leg exposed. Her hair lost all of its curl. With all the commotion in the morning, she decides to buy lunch. She looks around for her purse to pay for it and realizes it’s at home. She puts her head on the desk and groans. Cramps would be preferable right now. (“The car won't start, it's falling apart/I was late for work and the boss got smart/My panty line shows, got a run in my hose/My hair went flat, man, I hate that (hate that)/Just when I thought it couldn't get worse/I realized I forgot my purse/With all this stress, I must confess/This could be worse than PMS.”)

              In the pre-chorus, she wants to quit her job so much. She has to deal with a grumpy boss and catty co-workers. She wants to be at home with her kid. (“This job ain't worth the pay/Can't wait til the end of the day/Honey, I'm on my way/Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey!”)

              In the chorus, she knows once she will once she gets home: tell her husband all about her horrible. Ask him for a foot massage  and a beer. He’ll say her make her meatloaf to make her feel better. She’ll take an aspirin, sit on the couch and catch up on her shows. She won’t answer the phone. She’ll only talk to her husband and play with her dog. (“Honey, I'm home and I had a hard day/Pour me a cold one and oh, by the way/Rub my feet, gimme something to eat/Fix me up my favorite treat/Honey, I'm back, my head's killing me/I need to relax and watch TV/Get off the phone, give the dog a bone/Hey! Hey! Honey, I'm home!”)

                The manicure she got yesterday is ruined. While she was opening the mail, her nail broke completely off. She couldn’t contain herself and swore, causing her co-workers to turn around. She wants to a better job. (“I broke a nail opening the mail/I cursed out loud ‘cause it hurt like hell/This job's a pain, it's so mundane/It sure don't stimulate my brain.”)

                   The pre-chorus and chorus are sung again.

                    In the bridge, as she and husband sit on the couch together, she asks him if he could give her a massage.  (“Oh, rub my neck will you.”)

                     The chorus is sung again.

                     At the end, she heaves a sigh of relief, glad to be away from everything. (“I'm home that feels much better.”)

                      Twain, headstrong and feisty, doesn’t want to put up with anything. She’s the breadwinner of the family and with her husband out of work, she has to stay at her menial job. Though, she believes she deserves better from her work life. For now, she has to do what she needs to.

                Twain subverts the tradional role of women, which given the genre, is a feat in of itself. She’s a working woman with a family. Her husband takes care of the house and the children. While she loves her family, she still has ambition and a desire for a career. She’s thumbing her nose at the genre, which expects women to know their place.

                    The gutsy “Honey, I’m Home” plays the game until the rules get too constricting and then all bets are off.

 

 


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