Jenny

Album: Nothing More (2014)

Songfacts®:

  • In this song, Nothing More lead singer Jonny Hawkins addresses his sister, Jenna, who was bipolar and deep in the throes of addiction. In a Songfacts interview with Hawkins, he told the story: "I have two sisters, Jenna and Jessie, and the middle sister became the problem child as she went into her adolescent years. She got into bad circles of friends who were really toxic and just bad people. She went down a dark path.

    My mom was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of cancer, and was taken from us, but in that final year of my mom's life, Jenna was just going off the rails and getting worse and worse. My mother was hanging on for dear life, having surgery after surgery just to get any extra inch she could to be a part of Jenna's life, because she was kind of the sheep that had gone astray."
  • Titling the song "Jenna" was not an attempt to mask her identity; "Jenny" is the name of Jonny Hawkins' aunt, whom Jenna was named after. "When we named the song 'Jenny,' it really was a warning to my sister Jenna," he told Songfacts. "Like, 'Are you going to become Jenny?' - who has been in a home for 30-plus years, completely checked out from society and everything. She is a full-blown schizophrenic with no sense of clear identity and very hard to communicate with."
  • There's a heart-rending section of this song where Hawkins sings:

    Maybe you should just fall
    Leave the world and lose it all


    This was what he felt toward his sister when she began destroying those around her. "It was really just a challenge to my sister Jenna, because it had gotten so bad that she was literally harming my mom and my dad emotionally, physically, and financially, because of how deep down the dark road she was going," he said. "It was sad to say, but I had gotten to a point where I would rather her either kill herself or decide to get better and just take steps in the right direction... sink or swim."
  • When this song was released as a single, the band teamed with a number of organizations devoted to the treatment of bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses, including Bring Change 2 Mind, the International Bipolar Foundation, and Young Minds. Nothing More set up a Tumblr site and launched the #IKnowJenny campaign, encouraging others to share their stories.
  • Jonny Hawkins directed the video, which is rather intense in depicting Jenna's stuggles, including a suicide attempt. Hawkins wanted to give the viewer the perspective of Jenna and those who surround her.

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