The first single from Town & Country's self-titled debut CD takes on the hot-button topic of marriage equality and support of gay-marriage rights. “Everybody Wants to Say I Do,” which vocalist Rob Shapiro and and songwriter/producer Brian Woodbury wrote together, addresses marriage – gay or straight – from a universal point of view, as in “I will love you for the rest of my life.”
Q: Everybody Wants to Say I Do" tackles the sensitive topic of marriage equality. How do you think mainstream country audiences will react to it?
Woodbury: That remains to be seen.
Shapiro: I'm going to say that they are going to love it. Everyone. What's not to love? It's a singalong! I bet Johnny Cash'd love it. It has good lyrics, it tells several true stories, it quotes the Wedding March on a big Gretsch, and it isn't presenting an argument - it's presenting a basic, human fact — people fall in love, wish to honor it, and this is America, which stands for freedom. If people get bogged down in the politics of it, it will go along familiar lines, but the song was written very carefully outside of politics, because, really, it isn't ultimately a political issue. It's a human issue, whether they're Democrats, independents, Republicans, Libertarians, Rastafarians, vegetarians, carnivores, hunters, doctors, shoppers, cousins, men, women, soldiers, etc. People fall in love. It crosses all boundaries.
Q: What inspired you to write it?
Woodbury: It was after California Proposition 8 passed, banning gay marriage, and gay marriage was very much in the news. And people were making all kinds of hay about this absurd issue. It was just infuriating, the bigotry and intolerance, and the immaturity of the debate. We had essentially finished recording all the songs for the CD, but I felt like this was something I wanted to weigh in on.
I had been toying with a chorus something along the lines of everyone wants to say I do." Meanwhile, Rob had been working on a separate song about the same issue, asking how does someone else's marriage and happiness in any way interfere with mine? When we realized we were both working on a similar idea, we got together and came up with a verse and bridge. The lyrics took a while, trying to get the storytelling clear, a good many revisions before we were satisfied. It was the first song we wrote together.
Shapiro: Brian's got the story basically down, so I'll add that I felt it was important to bring the issue to Earth, and to American Earth in particular. It's the American way. And this is our contribution — a singalong about family, love, and the people we know.