John Michael Montgomery ought to uncork some champagne this Valentine’s Day in honor of his romantic pledge “I Swear.” This winter marks the 20th anniversary of the enduring song’s four-week stay at the top of the country chart.
Montgomery recorded the hit — written by Gary Baker and Frank J. Myers — way back in 1993, the same year that brought us Jurassic Park and Beanie Babies. It went on to win the CMA single of the year in 1994 and propelled Montgomery to a CMA Horizon Award. The corresponding album, Kickin’ It Up, went on to sell more than 4 million copies.
With its uncompromising promise to love someone forever, the midtempo ballad first rose to No. 1 on the Billboard country charts before being rerecorded by R&B-flavored pop group All-4-One and reaching the top of charts all around the world.
Today, its tender sentiment and lack of machismo seem refreshingly frank. At the time, however, “I Swear” was a frequent target of the familiar country vs. pop conversation. Some said it was too pop back then, but now most fans would categorize it as 100 percent classic country.
With Montgomery playing a sensitive cowboy, the video features a spectacular Western setting complete with early ‘90s country identifiers like high-waisted blue jeans and patterned button-down shirts. But just like the love Montgomery vows to cherish, it has stood the test of time.
Make a toast to lasting love this Valentine’s Day with John Michael Montgomery’s “I Swear.”