Adele’s “Hometown Glory” Lyrics Meaning

As easily gathered, the lyrics of “Hometown Glory” are meant to serve as a tribute to the vocalist’s “hometown”. Adele is in fact a native London, so for her, her hometown is actually in the metropolis. And that would logically be why the titular location is also referred to as a “city” in the second verse.

And there really isn’t anything complicated or overly-metaphorical about this piece. Adele is just appreciating, shall we say the minute aspects of living in her ‘hood. At the top of the list in terms of her appreciation though would be ‘the people she’s met’ therein. This is not only due to their different fashion sensibilities but more so their personalities. Indeed Londoners, as implied by the songstress, are a critical yet united people who are not keen on taking “sh-t” from anyone.

Based on the chorus, the implication is that the reason Adele has even gone about biggin’ up the ‘hood this way is because she may have been separated from it for some time but has now returned and is reminiscing. 

Story Behind “Hometown Glory”

But the above is not the actual the story behind this song. What really happened is that, upon reaching the tertiary education stage, Adele decided she wanted to go to the University of London. However, mom cheese felt that she should venture a little bit further into the unknown, like say the University of Liverpool, which may not be that far away relatively speaking. But going there would still give Adele more practical experience in surviving on her own than remaining within shouting distance of her family. 

So it was actually that beef, if you will, between the songstress and her mom which led to the former putting “Hometown Glory” together. And to note, at the end of the day Adele ended up attending the BRIT School, which is in fact located in a part of London.

Lyrics to Adele's "Hometown Glory"
Adele explains "Hometown Glory"

When was “Hometown Glory” released?

“Hometown Glory”, with a release date of 22 October 2007, is actually the earliest song in Adele’s discography. It is the lead single from her debut album, 19.

Did Adele write “Hometown Glory”?

Yes. “Hometown Glory” was written exclusively by the songstress. In fact she reportedly composed it at the tender age of 16 in just a 10 minute timespan. This therefore makes it the first song she had ever written.

Also, as implied by the title of the aforementioned album, she was just 19 when this track was eventually released.

Song’s Success

“Hometown Glory” proved to be a notable hit for Adele. It broke the top 20 of the UK Singles Chart. It also enjoyed chart success in a handful of other European nations. Furthermore, “Hometown Glory” enjoyed platinum certification in the UK. It also replicated the same feat in Canada. 

Also to note, even though the track didn’t chart stateside, it still went on to be nominated for a Grammy Award in 2010. The award ultimately went to Beyoncé’s 2008 track Halo. The Grammy in question was that for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.

But of course even though this song may not have been a super-mega hit, it is one of Adele’s most notable works. It actually helped set Adele on her way to becoming one of the most-successful musicians of the 21st century thus far.

Music Video

The standard music video to this track was directed by American cinematographer Rocky Schenck. And it was also shot in the US, at a California-based venue known as Sony Pictures Studios. In fact “Hometown Glory” was filmed on the same soundstage as some of the scenes from the legendary Hollywood flick, The Wizard of Oz (1939).

More Facts about “Hometown Glory”

The original release of this song was facilitated was a lesser known label called Pacemaker Records. FYI, the head of the aforenoted label was a personal friend of Adele’s. However, its more widespread issuance was handled by another label based in the UK called XL Records.

The latter half of the first verse features the vocalist interacting with a concerned citizen who notices that Adele may need some help. That part of the song was inspired by a night in which the songstress was noticeably inebriated on the streets of Central London. And the stranger who came to offer assistance was actually a lady from France.

In 2008, this song appeared on the final episode of the fourth season of Grey’s Anatomy. This is a popular television show that has a history of helping featured singles blow up. And accordingly said exposure helped introduce Adele, at this early stage in her career, to an American audience.

And even beyond Grey’s Anatomy, “Hometown Glory” has also been featured on quite a few other television shows (including reality singing competitions). It has also been sampled by a handful of rappers. Furthermore, it has been played during the Olympics and other such events.

The producer of this track is Jim Abbiss. Jim has also worked with other British acts such as the Arctic Monkeys.

Hometown Glory

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