Tenille Townes Promotes Empathy in “Somebody’s Daughter”

Joins Bobby Bones’ Comedy Tour Nov. 16 in Michigan

Tenille Townes’ debut single “Somebody’s Daughter” embodies elements of the astute storytelling that Bobbie Gentry mastered in her classic “Ode to Billie Joe.”

Both deal with the idea that no one has the ability to fully understand what others go through in life. “Ode to Billie Joe” took place at a family dinner where the daughter finds out for the first time that her boyfriend died, but the family continues the conversation without knowing of the daughter’s private pain.

Townes’ “Somebody’s Daughter” doesn’t take place at a dinner, but it makes the empathy the song’s focus by having its main character wonder about the wellbeing and history of a young girl holding a piece of cardboard on the street.

The first verse was inspired by a real moment Townes shared in with her mom in the car while she was visiting Nashville from their native Canada.

“We were going furniture shopping and took this exit off the interstate and saw this young girl standing there holding onto a cardboard sign,” Townes tells CMT.com. “We had a moment in the car as we were stopped at the red light beside her just wondering what her story might have been and whom she belonged to and just thinking about the fact that everybody’s got a story. That conversation and that young girl’s face stuck with me, and I knew I had to write about it.”

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