The song is the working man's complaint, and "with its melody reminiscent of the 'Sloop John B,' describes the alienation felt by many rural southerners in the mid North," wrote country music historian Bill Malone. "Here, [Bare's] earnest and planative interpretation lends great believability to this mournful song." Bare's version begins in the key of E, until after the repeat of the refrain, he makes a transition to the key of B for the second verse and Refrain. He makes a transition back to the key of E as the song fades out. Bare's version also features a spoken recitation following half of the second verse, before singing the refrain before the song's fade.
The song's peak in popularity during the summer of 1963 came during a time when Tillis was still experiencing most of his success as a songwriter. He had previously written hits for Webb Pierce, Brenda Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and others, but this was one of his earliest major hits as a songwriter outside of those artists.
Grammer's "I Wanna Go Home" reached #18 on the BillboardHot Country Singles chart in early 1963. That summer, Bare's re-titled version peaked at #6 on the Billboard country chart (it spent total of 18 weeks on this chart) and No. 16 on the Billboard Hot 100.