Song of the Day #3,453: ‘Promises’ – Lyle Lovett

I had forgotten that Lyle Lovett’s song ‘Promises,’ in addition to appearing on The Road to Ensenada, showed up on the soundtrack of Tim Robbins’ film Dead Man Walking.

The film came out about six months before the album, but I’m not sure if the song was written for the movie. The lyrics are certainly appropriate for a film about the redemption of a death row inmate but the feelings described could apply as easily to a relationship as a crime.

Elsewhere on The Road to Ensenada, Lovett name-drops Robbins and then-partner Susan Sarandon when describing friends gathering for a party: “Tim he was tall, and Susan was smart.” On that song (‘The Girl in the Corner,’ Lovett is presumably singing about the movie The Player, on the set of which he met his future wife, Julia Roberts.

Promises given
And promises broken
Words stain my lips
Just like blood on my hands

And words are like poison
That sinks down inside you
And some things you do
You just don’t understand

I offer no reason
I ask for no pity
I make no excuse
For the way that I am

And words are like poison
That sinks down inside you
And some things you do
You just don’t understand

If God is my witness
Then God is my savior
But if you are my judge
Then I’m already damned

And words are like poison
That sinks down inside you
And some things you do
You just don’t understand

And would if my fingers
To cut off and give you
Could gain my redemption
I’d cut off my hands

But words are like poison
That bends you and blinds you
And some things you do
You just don’t understand

So this is my story
And I hope that it finds you
For your sweet attention
I cannot demand

And words are like poison
That lives down inside you
And some things you do
You just don’t understand

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One thought on “Song of the Day #3,453: ‘Promises’ – Lyle Lovett

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    I hadn’t recalled the song from the movie, though I only saw it once the year it came out. We’ve been talking about watching The Player as a family, particularly since Maddie was in LA and on production sets.

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