Jody Miller – Home Of The Brave (1965, Vinyl) - Discogs

Home of the Brave–Jody Miller

Lyrics and music by Jody Miller (B. Mann-C. Weil also credited)

Released in 1965, reached #25 on the US Billboard chart  

Three years before people everywhere were singing along to Harper Valley PTA about a mini-skirt-wearing mama who stuck it to the town gossips, Jody Miller in a clear, strong voice challenged schools head on to be tolerant of kids who don’t fit the mold.  

The song: https://youtu.be/Dc5MAqcCJZ8  

Lyrics (from genius.com):

The school board says “he can’t come to school, no more”

Unless he wears his hair like he wore it before

The PTA and all the mothers, say he ought to look like the others

Home of the brave, land of the free

Why won’t you let him be what he wants to be

The kids all laugh at his hair and funny clothes

And more than once he’s gone home with a bloody nose

He’s not like them and they can’t ignore it.

So they all hate him for it

Home of the brave, land of the free

Why won’t you let him be what he wants to be

It really burns me up, when they put him down

He’s the only one whose saying something in this whole town

Instead of those the trouble they hand him, why don’t they try to understand him

Home of the brave, land of the free

Why won’t you let him be what he wants to be

He never hurt nobody

Why won’t you let him be what he wants to be

He just a little bit different

Why won’t you let him be what he wants to be

You got to understand him

Why won’t you let him be what he wants to be  

Classic country music listeners will know quite a few of Jody‘s other songs. She is also well known for the song ‘Queen of the House’, which she released as the answer to Roger Miller’s song ‘King of the Road’.  

Her website bio: http://www.jodymillermusic.com/bio/  

Again, I’m using categories to narrow down and choose my songs for the draft. This category was ‘social comment’. Other songs that each almost became my pick were: On the Turning Away by Pink Floyd; Peace Train, both the Cat Stevens and 10,000 Maniacs versions; Try a Little Kindness by Glen Campbell; There is Power in a Union by Billy Bragg; The Balance by The Moody Blues; Do They Know It’s Christmas by Band Aid; Piggies by George Harrison and the Beatles; Last Resort by The Eagles; ‘A Most Peculiar Man by Simon and Garfunkel; and Eighth Day by Hazel O’Connor. And that’s 10 songs listed, which means I could have done an entire draft of only social comment songs, and still had to make tough choices between them. Each of these songs WAS my pick at some point, but ultimately I decided to go with a lesser known recording and one of the most powerful voices. 


  1. You have me on this one…I never heard of her but I have heard her take on King of the Road with Queen of the House and some of her other songs…like the covers she did…I just didn’t know who did them.
    This song was bold in 1965 and way ahead of the curve! Good song and I love her statement.

    • Thanks, and wow, one you didn’t know! I’m glad to make people aware of this one. I agree she was ahead of the curve in 1965. Oddly, her version of ‘House of the Rising Sun’ was the first time I remember hearing that song. Then I heard the Animals, and that sure was different!

  2. Never heard of her, nor the song before, but it’s good! Great 60s sound and apt lyrics which still fit a lot of places to this day. Nice to see your nod to “The Last Resort” too… one of the Eagles best, and least-heard songs.

    • I agree, the lyrics must have been groundbreaking at that time, and a theme that just seems to recur. The video is a great snapshot of the look and feel of the time too, imo. The Last Resort is the one and only Eagles song I like, and I like it a whole lot. 🙂

  3. For a Country song back in ’65, that’s quite a swing at the down home dusty Stetson wearing audience!
    Agree also on ‘Last Resort,’ there’s not many Eagles tracks that haven’t been done to death; ‘Lying Eyes’ I can still listen to /tolerate but our constant Goldie/Oldie radio rotation dulls even that.

    • Thanks. Yeah, it did pretty well on the Billboard chart, but didn’t make the country chart at all; no surprise. I think I read that not all markets were willing to play it. No surprise about that either. I’m glad to help make it heard.

  4. Thanks for song Diana. Was not familiar with her or the song. She has a vert powerful voice and I like the idea of a song trying to break down the social conformity that is so prevalent in high school I imagine esp at that time

  5. Diana, this is my first time hearing it, but kudos to her and the song. So many kids go through this kind of mess, and schools don’t take bullying as seriously as they need to. I really like Jody’s voice, she has strength in it that brings the message home. Nice list of alternate picks as well. Good choice and background information.

  6. Oh, my! What an incredible voice. I’ve never heard of her or any of her music but, I’m hooked, now. I just listened to/watched Queen of the House. That’s great. And, I liked your, pick, too. She was totally off my radar. Thanks for the intro!

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