We’ve all been there: You pull up to the stoplight, you see the gaunt, sad-looking person holding up a cardboard sign with “Anything helps. God Bless.” scrawled across it in black Sharpie. You do anything to avoid meeting their eyes. You stare at the stoplight, willing it to turn green already. You fiddle with the radio and adjust the air conditioning vents, trying to look busy even though you’re not. You check your phone, knowing full well you haven’t gotten a text. Then the light changes, you speed off and your uncomfortable time with that shell of a person has come to an end. Until tomorrow, when you see them again standing on the same corner.
Tenille Townes has been there, too. But the magic of songwriters is their ability to take a situation and shine light on it from a different angle. They make you think about situations in a way you haven’t before, bringing about reflection and compassion. Townes’s new single, “Somebody’s Daughter,” does just that.
Written with Luke Laird and Barry Dean, “Somebody’s Daughter” relays Townes’ message in a way that isn’t preachy or judgmental – the lyrics thoughtfully reflect on a typical childhood experience, set against a gentle but powerful melody. While most of us see the people on the side of the road and immediately feel guilty and uncomfortable, Townes realizes that at one point in this person’s life were just like us.
Key Lyrics: “Bet she was somebody’s best friend, laughin’/ Oh back when she was somebody’s sister, countin’ change at the lemonade stand / Probably somebody’s high school, first kiss / Dancin’ in a gym where the kids all talk about someday plans…”
Townes then thoughtfully ponders how she ended up in her current situation (“Oh I’ll wonder if she got lost or they forgot her”) and describes handing her a couple of dollars before driving away. Townes’s true artistry is manifested in bringing back the humanity and heart into an otherwise awkward circumstance. It’s a rare thing to find a song that’s so powerful and raw, and about something important – and that’s what Tenille Townes is all about.
Townes is currently on “The Bandwagon Tour” with Miranda Lambert and Little Big Town. She will also be traveling to the UK for the CMA Songwriters Series in October 2018.
For more about Tenille Townes, check out her website, and listen to the Living Room Worktapes EP below.