Category Archives: When In Rome

Radio XX, side A, track 6: “The Promise” by When In Rome, #83 on The Top 88 of ’88

When In Rome - The PromiseOh, When In Rome, there was a time in my life where I was going to be a big-time screenwriter.  Oh, that’s right, When In Rome, I was going to go to Hollywood and write all kinds of movies about love and longing and also zombies.  When I was in college, I wrote two full-length screenplays, both shockingly un-produced to this day.  Well, we did shoot a few scenes of the first one, “Night Of The Living Beer”, but we’d have never had the budget for the big explosion at the end of the second act.  But there was another one, When In Rome, that I thought for sure was going to be a hit.  I even entered it into Project Greenlight, though I surprisingly never made it past the first round.  It was a romantic comedy called “Driving To Angela”, based on a trip I took to Angela, Montana after I broke up with a girl I was in love with who also happened to be named Angela.

I haven’t read the script in a long time, When In Rome, but I imagine it’s probably not very good.  But hear me out.  Our protagonist, who sounds an awful lot like me, decides to drive to Angela, Montana after his girlfriend of the same name dumps him.  Along the way, he picks up a stray dog and his car breaks down in a small town that sounds eerily familiar to my own hometown, and while he’s there waiting for his car to be repaired, he falls in love with another girl named Angela.  Romantic hijinks ensue, but of course the new Angela has a boyfriend and there’s that big misunderstanding that always happens in romantic comedies and our hero heads off toward Angela again.

And when he gets there, he discovers that Angela, Montana is nothing more than a post office (which is true), and so he goes in and talks to the wise old postman (played by F. Murray Abraham) who gives him a stamp, an envelope, and a sheet of paper and tells him to write a letter to the Angela he really loves.  And so he does, and he mails it, and when he walks out the door of the post office, guess what song starts playing on the soundtrack?  And as he looks up, he sees the Angela he was meant to be with, the one from that small town, and she’s followed him here, and they run to each other and they embrace and they kiss and the music swells, and the music that’s swelling is this song, When In Rome.

Unfortunately, I never did do anything with that screenplay, When In Rome, and to my horror, this was the song that played at the end of “Napoleon Dynamite” as Napoleon and Deb found love by the tether-ball pole.  Don’t get me wrong, When In Rome, I love “Napoleon Dynamite”, but how could I ever top that?  Oh, well.  I’ll always have this song.  And my delusions of grandeur.

“The Promise”

If you need a friend

Don’t look to a stranger

You know in the end

I’ll always be there

And when you’re in doubt

And when you’re in danger

Take a look all around

And I’ll be there

I’m sorry, but I’m just thinkin’ of the right words to say (I promise you)
I know they don’t sound the way I planned them to be (I promise you)
But if you wait around a while, I’ll make you fall for me, I promise you
I promise you I will

When your day is through

And so is your temper

You know what ta do

I’m gonna always be there

Sometimes if I shout

It’s not what’s intended

These words just come out

With no gripe to bear

I’m sorry, but I’m just thinkin’ of the right words to say (I promise you)
I know they don’t sound the way I planned them to be (I promise you)
But if you wait around a while, I’ll make you fall for me, I promise you
I promise you

I’m sorry, but I’m just thinkin’ of the right words to say (I promise you)
I know they don’t sound the way I planned them to be (I promise you)
And if I had to walk the world and make you fall for me, I promise you
I promise you I will

<awesome When In Rome jam>

Gotta tell ya

Need ta tell ya

Gotta tell ya

I’ve gotta tell yaaaaa

I’m sorry, but I’m just thinkin’ of the right words to say (I promise you)
I know they don’t sound the way I planned them to be (I promise you)
But if you wait around a while, I’ll make you fall for me, I promise you
I promise you

I’m sorry, but I’m just thinkin’ of the right words to say (I promise you)
I know they don’t sound the way I planned them to be (I promise you)
And if I had to walk the world and make you fall for me, I promise you
I promise you I will

I will

I will

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