Single (Unofficial Artwork) - Thomas Rhett & Morgan Wallen - Mamaw's House
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‘Mamaw's House’ by Thomas Rhett & Morgan Wallen - Lyrics & Meaning

September 28, 2023 11:01 pm GMT
Last Edited December 19, 2023 7:05 pm GMT

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Thomas Rhett & Morgan Wallen - ‘Mamaw's House’

Label: Big Machine Label Group

Release Date: 29th September 2023

Album: 20 Number Ones

Producers: Dann Huff & Jesse Frasure

Songwriters: Thomas Rhett, Morgan Wallen, Matt Dragstrem & Chase McGill

The Background:

It's safe to say this one has been a long time coming for Thomas Rhett fans.

The bearded crooner first teased this introspective, wistful ballad in 2020 when he shared a short snippet of the track - which was co-written with country megastar, Morgan Wallen - across his socials. Many hoped it would feature on his 2021 project, Country Again (Side A).

Sadly, this wasn't meant to be, and ‘Mamaw's House’ was cast aside to Rhett's quickly-expanding heap of hidden gems and unreleased fan-favourites for the next three years.

Fast forward to early September 2023, with the impending release of Rhett's 20 Number Ones CD and Vinyl box-set, the majority of his loyal fanbase has been rather pre-occupied.

However, to our surprise, at the beginning of his 20 Number Ones release week, Rhett shared a collage of nostalgic, sepia-tinged photos of his grandmother's house and the loving childhood memories he made there with his family.

He pointedly accompanied the Instagram carousel with a lyric from ‘Mamaw's House’, “If every town had a mamaw’s house…”, as well as subtly tagging Wallen in the penultimate photo.

Soon after, in tandem with Wallen's 2024 One Night At A Time tour announcement, the ‘Last Night’ hitmaker confirmed Rhett's tantalising hints and revealed ‘Mamaw's House’ had been added - seemingly last minute - to his 20 Number Ones project as a bonus track.

The Sound:

The sonics of ‘Mamaw's House’ feel perfectly aligned with the imagery, colours and descriptions Rhett and Wallen serenade the listener with.

The track opens with the bright, lustrous twang of an acoustic guitar accompanied by a longing steel guitar, giving ‘Mamaw's House’ a beautifully stripped-back, retro ambience.

Wallen takes the first verse and chorus, with the ‘Thought You Should Know’ chart-topper once again showcasing the versatility of his signature drawl, as he dials down the vigour and edge he so often infuses into his vocals.

Rhett enters the fray for the second verse, with his voice carrying a notably more honeyed, easygoing atmosphere compared to Wallen's.

When the two combine, they give ‘Mamaw's House’ a sense of welcome comfort and warmth, which mirrors the amiability and genial setting they sing so fondly about.

The Meaning:

“Sorry, my mamaw called me
Hello?”

The introduction offers listeners a snapshot into the way the song came about, with Wallen interrupting a Zoom writing session with Rhett to take a call from his mamaw.

Rhett shared that they'd been working on a song that neither of them felt particularly excited by, and that the call from Wallen's grandmother ended up being the catalyst for ‘Mamaw's House’.

“It was always hotter than the grease she used to fry that chicken
Smelled like Marlboro reds and all the butter from her biscuits
And that Lincoln in the driveway circa 1982
Was on the shiny side of rusty, and on the pale side of blue
'Cause a man complainin' weren't allowed in mamaw's house”

The song opens with a warm, evocative description of Rhett and Wallen's grandmothers’ houses, with the two artists introducing a slew of amusingly relatable images.

Many can undoubtedly relate to their nana's house being pervaded by the alluring aroma of her butter biscuits, and the familiar sight of an old, beat-up car in the driveway.

“If every nightstand had a Bible, every front porch had a swing
If every backyard had a garden, every front door had a screen
Well maybe this crazy world would straighten up and slow on down
If every town had a mamaw's house”

Rhett and Wallen transform the image of their mamaw's house into a symbol for a simpler, more loving way of life. Through their powerful description in the song's hook, they portray the house as a sanctuary, with the home almost feeling like a portal to another time.

It's a similar message to the one that underpins Rhett's widely celebrated Country Again (Side A) album, which found him reflecting on his hectic, touring-fuelled lifestyle and intentionally opting for a slower pace of life that allows for more family time.

As a result, it would be surprising if ‘Mamaw's House’ does not make it onto Country Again (Side B), which is expected to be released either late 2023 or early 2024.

“She'd ask if I was hungry, every thirty seconds
And say things like ‘Hellfire’, ‘Tarnation’ and ‘I reckons’
It's where I spent my summers, she put me to work
Shellin’ peas and shuckin’ corn, 'til my fingers hurt
No tellin' who I'd have been without mamaw's house”

Rhett takes the lead for the second verse, with the Georgia native accentuating the charmingly old-timey feel of the song by recalling the dated phrases his grandmother would use.

It's a masterclass in the specificity that always underpins Thomas Rhett's songwriting, with ‘Mamaw's House’ being laced with accessible and endearing details about his grandmother that resonates with numerous listeners. Most crucially of all, Rhett selflessly credits his mamaw for turning him into the man he is today.

“Yeah and if they did when I punch the clock tonight I know right where I'd be
I'd walk in and get a big ol' hug
And a bigger glass of tea”

Rhett and Wallen adopt the personas of two 9-to-5 workmen, and keenly look forward to the moment they can finish for the day and head over to the refuge of their mamaw's house.

The moving ode to their respective grandmothers repeatedly introduces the idea that the grandmotherly affection, warmth and lessons the artists describe throughout ‘Mamaw's House’ are integral elements of our wellbeing, development and all-round happiness.

Hence why Rhett and Wallen fantasise about a town where everybody has a ‘Mamaw's House’ to go to.

“Yeah maybe this crazy world would straighten up and slow on down
If every town had a mamaw's house”

What have Thomas Rhett and Morgan Wallen said about ‘Mamaw's House’?

In 2021, Thomas Rhett performed ‘Mamaw's House’ in Bristow, Virginia. He introduced the track by sharing, “About midway through 2020, me and Morgan Wallen wrote a song together. I just kind of want to set the scene for you real quick, because obviously this was 2020 and we were writing the song over the dang internet, which was crazy”.

Rhett went on to outline, “We were writing a song that neither of us liked at all, and I finally had to come to the point of like, ‘Hey dude, neither of us like this, let’s just either quit or write something else...and right about that time, his grandmama called him on the phone and he goes, ‘Hello’, and she goes, ‘What're you doing, Morgan? This is your mamaw calling, what're you doing?’ And Morgan was like, ‘Oh, I’m just writing a song’”.

The ‘Half Of Me’ singer-songwriter concluded, “I was like, ‘Oh where’s your mamaw from?’ and he said, ‘East Tennessee’, and I've got a mamaw in East Tennessee, and this whole song kind of came together super natural. So we wrote this song about our grandmamas - and if y’all got grandmamas, this one's for you”.

In an interview with Country Now, Wallen shared that ‘Mamaw's House’ was the only song he penned over Zoom during quarantine.

“I wrote a song with a couple of my buddies and Thomas Rhett was on there, too. That’s the only song I wrote during this quarantine, and I think it’s gonna end up being on his album," he explained. "I think I’m gonna sing it with him. So that was a successful Zoom write, at least!”

For the full lyrics to Thomas Rhett & Morgan Wallen's ‘Mamaw's House’, see below:

“Sorry, my mamaw called me
Hello?

It was always hotter than the grease she used to fry that chicken
Smelled like Marlboro reds and all the butter from her biscuits
And that Lincoln in the driveway circa 1982
Was on the shiny side of rusty, and on the pale side of blue
'Cause a man complainin' weren't allowed in mamaw's house

If every nightstand had a Bible, every front porch had a swing
If every backyard had a garden, every front door had a screen
Well maybe this crazy world would straighten up and slow on down
If every town had a mamaw's house

She'd ask if I was hungry, every thirty seconds
And say things like ‘Hellfire’, ‘Tarnation’ and ‘I reckons’
It's where I spent my summers, she put me to work
Shellin’ peas and shuckin’ corn, 'til my fingers hurt
No tellin' who I'd have been without, mamaw's house

If every nightstand had a Bible, every front porch had a swing
If every backyard had a garden, every front door had a screen
Yeah maybe this crazy world would straighten up and slow on down
If every town had a mamaw's house

Yeah and if they did when I punch the clock tonight I know right where I'd be
I'd walk in and get a big ol' hug
And a bigger glass of tea

If every nightstand had a Bible, every front porch had a swing
If every backyard had a garden, every front door had a screen
Yeah maybe this crazy world would straighten up and slow on down
If every town had a mamaw's house

Yeah maybe this crazy world would straighten up and slow on down
If every town had a mamaw's house”

For more on Thomas Rhett, see below:

Written by Maxim Mower
Author - Thomas Rhett
Thomas Rhett
Artist
Author - Morgan Wallen
Morgan Wallen
Artist