Temporary Home

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"Temporary Home"
Single by Carrie Underwood
from the album Play On
Released October 20, 2009 (2009-10-20)
Format CD single
Music download
Genre Country, Christian
Length 4:28 (album version)
4:19 (radio version)
Label Arista Nashville
Writer(s) Luke Laird
Zac Maloy
Carrie Underwood
Producer(s) Mark Bright
Certification Platinum (RIAA)[1]
Carrie Underwood singles chronology
"Cowboy Casanova"
"Temporary Home"
"Undo It"

"Temporary Home" is a song written by Zac Maloy, Luke Laird and co-written and recorded by American country artist Carrie Underwood. It is the second official single from her third studio album, Play On, and was released to country radio the week of December 14, 2009. Before being released as a single, the song was made available to iTunes on October 20, 2009. A promotional music video for the song was released in November 2009,[2] and an official music video followed in February 2010. In December of 2010 the song was ranked at number 25 on Billboard's Top Country Songs of 2010.[3]


Carrie Underwood was inspired by the book "The Purpose Driven Life" by Pastor Rick Warren, who wrote that this world is a "temporary home" and that when we leave here, it is not the end of existence.[4] Carrie said, "I thought of a little boy in a foster situation, and he knows where he's going, and the place where he is isn't where he should be, but he'll get there someday." She met with songwriters Luke Laird and Zac Maloy to write the song, provide the idea and the title, and had the melody.[4]

On November 16, 2009, Underwood performed the song on The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien.[5] She also performed this song on Home for the Holidays, a CBS special that Faith Hill hosted on December 23, 2009. Before her performance at Foxwoods Casino, Connecticut, Underwood's tour bus crashed and the driver was killed. During her performance, Underwood got emotional and said "This song means so much to me..." and gave a tearful performance.[6]


26 second sample from Carrie Underwood's "Temporary Home".

Problems playing this file? See media help.

Reviews of the song have been mainly positive. Billboard gave a positive review saying that "Hope reverberates through the scenarios as each character senses that life on Earth is but a temporary trial....Vocally, she has never sounded more heartfelt and compelling. "Temporary Home" is a powerful song that's stirring but not preachy, and Underwood's performance is sure to resonate strongly with listeners."[7][8]

Country Universe gave the track an A- grade saying "It’s not the narrative that powers this song, but the depth and strength of her personal conviction. From the inclusion of neglected members of society to the intricate shades of fully-invested emotion to the telling last line –“this is our temporary home”–, the song provides a glimpse at the person behind the artist."[9]

Roughstock has also been positive in their review saying, "In "Temporary Home," three characters all take on some interpretation of the title phrase: a literal sense for the foster child bounced from home to home, a struggling young mother in a halfway house, and a spiritual sense for the man on his deathbed. What could've easily been a mountain of glurge instead becomes simple and effective."[10]

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label
United States October 20, 2009 Music download Arista Nashville
Canada Sony Music
United States December 14, 2009 Airplay Arista Nashville
Canada Sony Music

Music video[edit]

Originally, a live performance from CMT's Invitation Only, was released as a music video to promote the single. A concept music video for the song was filmed in Nashville, Tennessee, and premiered on CMT on February 4, 2010.[11]

The video was directed by Deaton Flanigen. In the song's music video Underwood is shown riding around town in a taxi cab. During her journey she watches a young boy with his new foster mother, and a mother trying desperately to get a job. Finally, she reaches her destination, a hospital room with an elderly man, presumably her grandfather, lying on his deathbed. Between the third verse and third chorus on the video, Underwood goes in and talks to her dying grandfather (portrayed by Brian Dennehy) in the video and hugs him. Throughout the video, Underwood is also shown performing the song while standing among trees in the winter, with snowfall coming down behind her. Underwood said of the video,

"It's kind of like one person on their way somewhere, which is a theme of this song. You're headed someplace, and then they kind of share these special moments with the characters. But through that, I felt like everybody's on their own journey, and we all cross paths. So I felt like it was close enough to the story, but just far enough away to where it kind of provided a different angle."[12]

Awards and nominations[edit]

53rd Grammy Awards[edit]

Year Recipient Award Result
2010 "Temporary Home" Best Female Country Vocal Performance Nominated

16th Inspirational Country Music Awards[edit]

Year Recipient Award Result
2010 "Temporary Home" Inspirational Music Video of the Year Won
2010 "Temporary Home" Inspirational Mainstream Country Song of the Year Nominated

2010 CMT Music Awards[edit]

Year Recipient Award Result
2010 "Temporary Home" (from CMT Invitation Only) CMT Performance of the Year Won

2010 CMA Triple-Play Awards[edit]

Year Recipient Award Result
2010 "Temporary Home" Triple-Play Songwriter (along with "Cowboy Casanova" and "Undo It") Won

2011 BMI Awards[edit]

Year Recipient Award Result
2011 "Temporary Home" Songwriter of the Year Won

Chart performance[edit]

"Temporary Home" debuted at number 92 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and at number 66 on the Canadian Hot 100. It also debuted at number 48 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart on the week ending December 12, 2009, and has so far become her twelfth top 10 single. On the chart week of April 10, 2010, the song became her ninth number one single and peaked at number 34 on the U.S. Christian Songs chart.

Chart (2009-2010) Peak
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[13] 65
US Billboard Hot 100[14] 41
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[15] 1
US Christian Songs (Billboard)[16] 34

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (2010) Position
US Country Songs (Billboard)[17] 25
Preceded by
"A Little More Country Than That"
by Easton Corbin
Billboard Hot Country Songs
number-one single

April 10, 2010
Succeeded by
"Highway 20 Ride"
by Zac Brown Band

Sales and certifications[edit]

As a promotional single (before the release of Play On):

United States: 31,000

  • These sales only count for the purchases of the song that were bought during the album's promotion period before it was released as an official single.[18]

As a confirmed single (after the release of Play On):

United States: 948,000[19]

The song has been officially confirmed as Platinum.[20]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
United States (RIAA)[21] Platinum 1,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ ^ RIAA
  2. ^ "Underwood's Temporary Home video out". Country Standard time. Retrieved 2010-05-02. 
  3. ^ http://www.billboard.com/charts/year-end/2010/hot-country-songs?begin=21&order=position
  4. ^ a b Fred Bronson (March 5, 2013). "Top 100 'American Idol' Hits of All Time". Billboard. Retrieved March 6, 2013. 
  5. ^ "The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien". The Official Carrie Underwood Site. Retrieved 2010-05-02. 
  6. ^ http://www.newson6.com/Global/story.asp?S=12182984
  7. ^ http://www.billboard.com/articles/review/1069885/carrie-underwood-temporary-home
  8. ^ "Billboard singles reviews: Carrie Underwood, Young Money". Reuters. January 8, 2010. 
  9. ^ Seetharam, Tara (December 28, 2009). "Review: Carrie Underwood, "Temporary Home"". Country Universe. Retrieved 2010-05-02. 
  10. ^ Peacock, Bobby (February 16, 2010). "Carrie Underwood - "Temporary Home"". Roughstock. Retrieved 2010-05-02. 
  11. ^ "CMT Videos: Music Binge - 2.4.10 : Temporary Home". CMT.com. Retrieved 2010-10-14. 
  12. ^ "Temporary Home by Carrie Underwood Songfacts". Songfacts.com. Retrieved 2010-10-14. 
  13. ^ "Carrie Underwood Album & Song Chart History" Canadian Hot 100 for Carrie Underwood. Retrieved 2010-08-26.
  14. ^ "Carrie Underwood Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot 100 for Carrie Underwood. Retrieved 2010-08-26.
  15. ^ "Carrie Underwood Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot Country Songs for Carrie Underwood. Retrieved 2010-08-26.
  16. ^ "Carrie Underwood - Temporary Home Billboard chart history". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved August 26, 2010. 
  17. ^ "Best of 2010: Country Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 2010. Retrieved December 13, 2010. 
  18. ^ Mansfield, Brian (November 4, 2009). "Your weekly sales fix: Kelly Clarkson, Adam Lambert, Kris Allen tracks". Idol Chatter - Candid commentary on American Idol Performances. Retrieved 2010-05-02. 
  19. ^ "Phillip Phillips' 'American Idol' return means big sales boost". USA Today. March 20, 2013. 
  20. ^ http://www.riaa.com/goldandplatinumdata.php?table=SEARCH_RESULTS&artist=Carrie%20Underwood&format=SINGLE&go=Search&perPage=50
  21. ^ "American single certifications – Carrie Underwood – Temporary Home". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved January 10, 2014.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH

External links[edit]