Rising singer-songwriter Tenille Townes tributes the heartbreak behind one of her breakout songs in a new video, remembering lost loved ones with an updated version of “Jersey On the Wall (I’m Just Asking).”
Written as a plaintive conversation with God about why young people are allowed to die, the powerful track was inspired by Townes’ own childhood experience — and a jersey that hangs on the wall of her hometown high school. But its message has turned out to be more universal than personal, as countless fans have reached out to say they shared in Townes’ grief. Now the Canadian-born songstress has gathered jerseys from those fans to include in a moving salute, and by lining them up end to end, the scale of the pain her ballad expresses is clear. Each one represent another departed loved one, and Townes says it’s had a profound impact on her.
“Hearing from people about what this song means to them has been the most incredible thing to me,” she says. “It gives me a heavy heart to hear the names, jersey numbers and stories of so many loved ones out there taken too soon. It also gives me hope to hear them, and know that they live on through those stories, and that we are truly not alone in our deepest grief and in the questions we have for God.
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I will never forget standing on this field. It was emotional seeing this row of jerseys side by side, and feeling like there were angels all around them. Made my heart so heavy knowing that each of these jerseys are somebody’s sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, cousins, best friends and teammates. It also filled my heart with hope, knowing we are not alone in the most painful parts of our grief and in our hardest questions for God. It’s ok to have them. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to articulate how much your courage means to me, sharing your stories of loved ones lost too soon. Thank you for telling me about them. For remembering them in this song. I carry them with me every time I sing this song and I’m sending all of you so much love out there. xo
“I am always in awe of the courage it takes to hear from people in an Instagram message, or a phone text, about such a hard thing to talk about. We really wanted to do something to honour the stories that have been sent in since we released this song. Seeing the Jerseys all together in a row in this video is a visual I will carry with me and think about every time I sing this song. I had such a spiritual moment standing on the field, thinking about each of the names on those jerseys. It is my greatest honour to have all of these loved ones a part of this video and I’m sending so much love to everybody who sent in a story.”
Tenille Townes released the original version of “Jersey on the Wall (I’m Just Asking)” in 2019, and it was included as part of her major label album debut, The Lemonade Stand, earlier this year. She won the 2020 ACM Award for New Female Artist of the Year as well as Musical Event of the Year (“Fooled Around and Fell In Love”), and at the Canadian Country Music Awards, Townes earned even bigger accolades. She was named both the Female Artist of the Year and Songwriter of the Year, and “Jersey on the Wall (I’m Just Asking)” took home the trophy for Video of the Year.
After checking out the video above, be sure to visit our sweepstakes page where you enter for the chance to win a Tenille Townes prize pack, containing a signed copy of The Lemonade Stand, a “Come As You Are” face mask and a “Maybe I’m Different” T-Shirt.