One of my favorite albums of 2015 is Billy Harvey’s Dear Danger. Drenched in late 20th century nostalgia, it reminds me of the music and times of my coming of age – driving in cars through fields, drinking beer by the river, listening to rock radio, discovering girls, struggling with learning guitar, smoking pot and rebelling against everything and nothing at the same time.
Sunday, on Valentine’s day, I was cooking the kid’s dinner, my phone shuffling my Out Here in the Fields playlist – a playlist of middle American, midwest inspired tunes – and Billy Harvey’s “All for You” began to play. It’s a lovely little song, the lyrics ranging from broad and dramatic, to mundane and intimate. “I lost it all for you/My shadow kingdom took a fall for you” is the first line. Take a listen.
Near the end of the song, Harvey sings, “I mowed the lawn for you/Did the dishes, wrote this song for you.” My wife, hearing this, turns to me.
“Typical male bullshit,” she said.
“What?” I said. But I already knew what she was referring to. The first time I heard the song, I knew she wouldn’t like that line. You don’t stay married for eighteen years now without having some idea of what will please, or what will irk, your significant other.
“You don’t fucking mow the lawn or do the dishes for someone. You do them because they need to be done,” she said.
“He wrote a song for her, though,” I said. “Doesn’t that count?”
“No,” she said. “Because he was being a pussy about chores.”