During the rise of commercial country in the late 90’s John Michael Montgomery made his name primarily as a romantic balladeer, whose vocal style remained solidly grounded in country tradition despite his sometimes adult contemporary leanings. For more than two decades now, his sweet ballad, “I Swear,” have been serenading the airwaves. Written by Gary Baker and Frank J. Myers, the song became a hit for two acts in 1994. The song expresses promises of a lover to his significant other, that he will always love her.
Interestingly, Atlantic Records thought the song had huge crossover potential, and considered Montgomery to record pop version, but they again considered the possibility that country radio stations might get upset. As a result, they picked the new vocal group All-4-One for the pop version. Montgomery’s version of the hit song “I Swear” reached number one on the Billboard Hot Country Singles charts the week of February 5.1994 where it stayed for four consecutive weeks!
Historically speaking, a promise and a handshake were as good as a legally binding agreement. Nothing was stronger than saying, “You have my word.” There was a sacred quality to one’s word that was not taken as lightly as it is today. Back then breaking a promise was no small transgression. Unfortunately, values seem to depreciate while time goes on. Today, talk is cheap and a promise is not necessarily a promise. However, we can still be an ambassador of integrity as we stay true with our words, especially our promises. As for others, just when they think they’re fooling the world, they’ll realize that they’re only fooling themselves. A promise is a promise after all.
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