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  • Writer's pictureLuke Shaffer

The City That Changed My Life

VOLUME THREE


Sometime in like 2007... I am waiting tables at an Italian restaurant in Perrysburg, Ohio called Biaggis.


Scene: *I drop off someones Rigatoni Bolognese*

Customer: Grazie!

Me: *a pause...*

Customer: Do you know how to say you're welcome in Italian?

Me: I.... don't. No. Sorry.

Customer: It's Prego. Now you know for next time!

Me: Ok! Thanks!


So, I remember this interaction so well because it set me on a course. A tiny, insignificant moment that literally changed everything.


That same day, on my break, I was curious so; I walked across the street to the Books A Million store and bought myself a book, "Teach Yourself Beginner's Italian" by Vittoria Bowles. I started teaching myself Italian. I didn't expect it to take me anywhere. I didn't expect anything from it. BUT I fell in love with the language. So much so I signed up for classes at BGSU the next semester. So much so that I signed up to study abroad in Italy the following summer. I took out a loan to do it. It took me a long time to pay off.


My time in Italy changed the course of my life. My time in Rome specifically.


I believe I moved to NYC after college because of my time in Rome. I believe I met my wife because of it. I believe it planted a wanderlust in my soul. I can't describe it. I just know that's where it started.


I have tried a bunch of times to write a song about Rome but they never felt right. They felt lacking in a way. Not that I feel I've finally "done it" or cracked the code mind you but I can see Rome for what it is to me now. 15 years later after a portion of my life has happened and I trace where I am from where I began. Rome is a friend to me. Rome will always hold a special place in my history and soul. I hope you can listen to the song and now maybe see where it came from inside my heart. Or not. Songs mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people.




LYRICS


Feet are tired cobble stone

The city floats into the window

Sun is high stucco lit up

Blue skies settle me as my mind goes


Off through the allies

Packed tight with bodies

Shuffling to an eternal song


Bright eyes look

Up in wonder

As a new memory is born


It's funny how all things change

And still forever stay the same


It's ancient to a fault and it's bursting with an honest pride

It fills up my heart, it's the city that changed my life

I'd visit anytime but I'll never go alone

I'll always have a friend in Rome

Always have a friend

Always have a friend


Young and naive no chaperone

Like I was living in a movie

Spent a summer like it was my last

And it sort of changed everything


What was I missing

Why wasn't I living

My soul seemed to long for more


I didn't know

How far I could go

Or what I could ask for


I was lost but I was so alive

And I've never really said goodbye


It's ancient to a fault and it's bursting with an honest pride

It fills up my heart, it's the city that changed my life

I'd visit anytime but I'll never go alone

I'll always have a friend in Rome

Always have a friend

Always have a friend


When you walk under la luna

Through the heart of Roma

It's like love on an endless night

The city draws you in

With a magic you can't deny

And stays until the day

That you die


It's ancient to a fault and it's bursting with an honest pride

It fills up my heart, it's the city that changed my life

I'd visit anytime but I don't think I'd go alone

Yea I'll always have a friend in Rome


 

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