Tenille Townes Humanizes Homelessness With ‘Somebody’s Daughter’ [Listen]
The chorus of Tenille Townes' "Somebody's Daughter" brings devastating humanity to an interaction most of us choose to ignore. Her debut single is a life-changer.
When you give a name and a story to the woman holding a cardboard sign on a street corner, it's much more difficult to look up, down, around or at your phone to avoid her. Townes forces you to acknowledge that the person was once just like you, but somewhere along the way, your paths divided. Was it a bad decision? Did someone forget her? A small change at the end of the second chorus ratchets the discomfort.
"Oh, and I’ll wonder how she felt when no one caught her," Townes sings. "She's somebody's daughter."
(Quick pause while we all give money to the nearest homeless shelter.)
Luke Laird and Barry Dean helped the Canadian singer write this uptempo, melancholy bit of non-fiction. It's as bold of a debut single as you'll ever hear. With her introductory single Townes is challenging you to embrace something we're much more willing to push to the shadows. "Somebody's Daughter" will inspire guilt and hopefully action. Immediately she's an artist who's willing to say things most of us won't, which is an exciting road to travel.
Did You Know?: For years Townes has actively raised money for a temporary homeless shelter for teens called Sunrise House in Grande Prairie, Alb., Canada. In February she shared that over $1.5 million had been raised in nine years.
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Tenille Townes' "Somebody's Daughter" Lyrics:
I drive home the same way / Two left turns off the interstate / And she's always standing at the stoplight on 18th Street / She could be a Sara / She could be an Emily, an Olivia, maybe a Cassadee / With the shaky hands on the cardboard sign / And she's looking at me.
Bet she was somebody's best friend laughing / Back when she was somebody's sister / Counting change at the lemonade stand / Probably somebody's high school first kiss / Dancing in a gym where the kids all talk about someday plans / Now this light'll turn green and I'll hand her a couple dollars / And I'll wonder if she got lost or they forgot her / She's somebody's daughter / Somebody's daughter / Somebody's daughter.
Well, did she give up wondering where the cars all go / And can she even tell that I don't know what to say / So I just nod my head and wave / Well, no one's gonna ask what she wants to be / Or why we're both stuck here at the mercy of geography / Or whether it shines or rains.
Bet she was somebody's best friend laughing / Back when she was somebody's sister / Counting change at the lemonade stand / Probably somebody's high school first kiss / Dancing in a gym where the kids all talk about someday plans / Now this light'll turn green and I'll hand her a couple dollars / Oh, and I’ll wonder how she felt when no one caught her / She's somebody's daughter / Somebody's daughter / Somebody's daughter.
Oh, I don't know the reasons why / I'm the one who's driving by / And she's the one on the corner of 18th Street.