Miranda Lambert Tells The Story Behind 'The House That Built Me'


Miranda Lambert and her parents always swear they’re not going to cry when they talk about the country firebrand’s latest single, “The House That Built Me.”
It goes the same every time, though. Within minutes, all three are in tears. And how could they not be, when the song reflects a difficult eight-year period in their lives that included homelessness and despair? When they talk about the song — or even just hear it — so many emotions rush back.

Lambert didn’t write her country top 10 hit, “The House That Built Me,” but she might as well have. Written by Tom Douglas and Allen Shamblin, it’s a pitch-perfect retelling of her childhood, and the Lamberts were shocked when they found out she didn’t pen the song. After they wiped away the tears, of course.

“It’s like the persons that wrote that song were channeling into our lives at that horrible but great time in our lives,” Rick Lambert, 58, said. “It was so many mixed emotions during that time because we actually lost everything we owned. We actually lost a house that we built with our own hands.”

When the Lamberts revisit that time in their lives, their emotions vary. Shame and pride. Fear and joy. There are just as many laughs as there are tears.

The 26-year-old singer first heard “The House That Built Me” when it was sent to boyfriend Blake Shelton. It was immediately powerful to Lambert. Shelton insisted she take the song.

“It was beautiful,” Lambert said. “I mean, I just started bawling from the second I heard it. He was like, ‘If you have a reaction to this song like that, then you need to cut it.'”

Her parents, who retired from the private investigator business a few years ago and live on land that borders that old house, simply refused to believe Lambert didn’t write the song. The imagery matched their lives in every way.

The family did bury their dog of 14 years in the yard of that rundown house — just like it says in the song. And the little room at the top of the stairs is, in fact, where Miranda did her homework and learned how to play guitar. “And this guy didn’t know us,” Rick said of Douglas, who credits Shamblin with the idea for the song.

Like the narrator in “The House That Built Me,” she believes those struggles turned her into the tenacious, fiery, hardworking woman who is shaking up country music today. The Grammy nominee won three Academy of Country Music Awards in April, including album of the year for the critically acclaimed “Revolution,” and she recently had her first No. 1 single with “White Liar.”

It looks like “The House That Built Me” may be her second as it continues to climb the charts. That would be quite the happy ending for the Lamberts.

“It’s such a sad story, but it’s really such a happy story because it really just built our family back and it made us stronger than ever,” Miranda said. “And it made me.”

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*Article Written By Chris Talbott

4 replies on “Miranda Lambert Tells The Story Behind 'The House That Built Me'”

  1. Thatis such a sad story but it does seem like Miranda Lambert could have wrote it. She sang it so perfectly.I wish i had that type of talent and oppritunity.Best darn song ever.

  2. Oh My God.
    This song is so good, is based off Lambert's life, and yet, SHE DIDN'T WRITE IT! Freaky cowincidence .

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