American Romance

Longtime Cincinnati musician Michael Bany and I wrote this song in 1982, and we were runners-up in the Billboard Amateur Songwriter Contest. We won $500, which was quite a bit of money for both of us at the time. Michael, who played bass guitar with Wheels, the Goshorn Brothers and Bluebirds, among others, was taken from us tragically nearly 20 years ago. I miss him very much. Although we never were in the same band, both Michael and I were saloon singers. We watched romantic episodes run the gamut of trying to find someone to spend the night, to looking for a partner for life. The song still rings true today.

American Romance
Bany and Lisak

Looked like a star on the silver screen.
She had that soft, smooth skin.
Thought her eyes were saying, “Yes,” so I moved right in.
But I met some resistance, though I didn’t know why.
Felt a chill run up and down my back from somethin’ cold in her eye.
I asked, “Is there someone else that you’re waitin’ for?”
She said, “Yes, but it’s been two years since he walked out the door.
Now I don’t believe in love, except in movies and dreams.
So don’t ask for somethin’ I ain’t got, if you know what I mean.”

It’s an American romance. I could tell from the start.
A pretty woman smiles, a man gets shot through the heart.
American romance, kinda dirty and rough.
But I’d do anything for some of her love.

She said, “Baby, you can treat me right, maybe even take me home.
But if you come in here tomorrow night, I won’t be alone.
I gotta dozen more just like you, so don’t think I’m gonna fall
And if I want you I’ll say so, but I won’t need you at all.”