Outsider Anthems: ‘Watering the Weeds’ by Jenny Tolman

by Clayton Edwards

There are countless things in this life that we cannot change. However, our outlook and actions are always in our control. Those two things are at the center of how we interact with the world. If your outlook is sour all the time and your actions don’t line up with the life you want to live, you’re not on the right road. Here at Outsider, we know that keeping a positive outlook and planting our feet on the right path are instrumental to crushing our goals. That’s why “Watering the Weeds” by Jenny Tolman is this week’s Outsider Anthem.

A Closer Look at “Watering the Weeds” by Jenny Tolman

Jenny Tolman included “Watering the Weeds” on her 2022 album Married in a Honky Tonk. She co-penned the song with her fiancé/producer Dave Brainard and Mando Saenz. Sonically, this song blends a little Southern rock and country with gospel. The soaring organ makes it feel like Jenny is delivering a sermon that we all need to hear. At the same time, the rhythm section and guitars will keep your toes tapping throughout the much-needed message.

The first time I heard “Watering the Weeds” I knew that Jenny Tolman had given us a great Outsider Anthem. The whole song is full of words of wisdom. However, it was the latter portion of the first verse and the chorus that really caught my ear.

You get kudzu on your mind, there ain’t no room for a rose. / And if you ain’t livin’ right you might as well be standin’ there with a hose / Waterin’ the weeds. / Waterin’ the weeds. / Life is a garden, love is a seed. / This world has a hungry heart with a soul to feed. / Don’t let your well run dry / Waterin’ the weeds.”

Take a Trip to Jennyville

Unlike many country artists, Jenny Tolman grew up in Nashville. Her father, Steve Tolman, was a member of The Indian River Boys, a group that appeared on Garth Brooks’ album No Fences. As a result, Tolman found herself surrounded by music and musicians from an early age. So, it seems that stepping into the country music world is her birthright.

Influenced by greats like Shel Silverstein, Bobby Bare, and Roger Miller, Jenny Tolman is as much a storyteller as she is a songwriter. We can hear proof of that in her 2019 debut record There Goes the Neighborhood in which she takes us all to the fictional town of Jennyville. More than that, we see the songwriter striking a balance between humor and heartfelt tracks. That balance carries over into her sophomore release and will most likely continue to be a large part of Jenny’s overall style.

Tolman explains this balance on her website. “I always say that if you can make people laugh, then you make them feel comfortable with you. Once they’re comfortable with you, it opens the door to let them in a little closer and hear the more meaningful messages that are hidden in the music.”

More importantly, the Nashville native has a mission. “I write songs to help others heal.”

Don’t Let Your Well Run Dry

Jenny Tolman brought a heaping helping of healing energy with “Watering the Weeds” and did it right on time. I’d be willing to wager that a good number of us have spent too much time watering the weeds over the last few years. However, this song is a reminder to focus on the positive things in life when you can. More importantly, it reminds us of what’s truly important in life – family, hard work, and a positive outlook. There are a couple of lines that really nail this down.

That big promotion’s / Got you goin’ / On a faster hamster wheel. / You ain’t got time for your kids, your wife, or how proud you must feel.”

Any dream ain’t worth a hill of beans if that sweat don’t kiss your brow. / No, you won’t find no better tomorrow if all you’re doing now / is Waterin’ the weeds.”

Tend that garden responsibly, fellow Outsiders.

More Outsider Anthems

If you want to see the full list of Outsider Anthems, you can check it out here. On the other hand, you can skip straight to the music with the official Outsider Anthems playlist below. Be sure to follow Outsider on Spotify for the best music from our favorite artists.