Butterfly Decal: ‘When in Rome’

22nd December 2022

Peter Townsend and Princess Margaret

Butterfly Decal have a Bandcamp page: https://butterflydecal.bandcamp.com/

The demo version is available on YouTube:

Viewers of ‘The Crown’ will know the story of Princess Margaret falling in love with war hero Peter Townsend, and how the establishment forbade the marriage.

Niall wrote this song based on a doomed love affair, two people from different worlds who can never be together.

As the band Butterfly Decal, Niall and I try to do something a little different, often using spoken word and sound effects as opposed to conventional singing.

The first demo has the narrative too low in the mix, so we will be re-recording the song. Additionally, we decided to add a female voice in some sections. Here are the lyrics:

When In Rome

Well, it was never likely to work, was it?

He was a famous musician, a guitarist of some renown,

American, he had settled over here to escape the petty prejudices of his own country.

As if we have none.

Still, better here at least; some acceptance.

He was loaded, money meaningless with so many noughts in his account,

Far richer than she, despite her royal blood.

A princess, only a short hop, skip and abdication from the throne.

She’d always been the flighty one,

A little rebellious,

Safe in the security of her family, her position, her fame, her history.

They met at a charity gala,

The classic ‘eyes across a crowded room’ deal.

They knew of each other, naturally,

And had each secretly fantasised and fetishised the other.

Unbeknownst; hidden; covert.

They had made a big play of outbidding each other in their bizarre mating ritual.

The charity being the clear winner in this elaborate and ostentatious courtship.

A secret rendezvous was arranged that night,

When their imaginations gave way to wonderful reality.

Love – real and deep love – followed.

The fires burned brightly until an indiscrete confession to an ambitious maid

Forced a decision.

Well, it was never likely to work, was it?

A scene from ‘La Dolce Vita’ (1960) by Federico Fellini. The film, which shows the decadence of the rich and famous in Rome, was a forerunner of the ‘Swinging Sixties.’

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