As much as I love sassy, fun Miranda, a lot of my favourite songs that she has recorded over the years tend to be ballads. And ironically, given what a prolific and talented writer/collaborator she is, my choice for this series of articles is one she actually didn’t write, “The House That Built Me”, a Tom Douglas/Allen Shamblin composition which appeared on her (third) 2009 album “Revolution” . Apparently it was on hold for Blake Shelton, who she was dating at the time, but when Miranda heard it the memories of her childhood home it evoked were so strong that she cried for two hours and pleaded with the producers to let her have the hold instead. She knew if it had affected her like that then others would be moved in the same way. And what a great decision it turned out to be, it gave her not only her first country number 1 but led to her receiving multiple awards including Music Video Of The Year at the 2010 CMAs (alongside best album and female vocalist) with its writers winning Song of the Year at the same ceremony, and the 2011 Grammy for “Best Female Country Vocal Performance” .
It is still a staple on her set list a decade later and she has admitted that it continues to make her cry when she performs it. And of course, Tanya Tucker included her own stunning, slightly tweaked version on her recent album “While I’m Livin’” , having been persuaded to do so by co-producer Brandi Carlile… she had reservations as she thought Miranda had “taken it as far as it can go”. And who can blame her, listening to the original? The simple, achingly beautiful accompaniment is perfection as are Miranda’s emotional, plaintive vocals.
Article written by Lesley Hastings (twitter.com/lesleyhastings)