Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn’s ‘After the Fire Is Gone’: Story Behind the Song

by Madison Miller
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Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty’s song, “After the Fire Is Gone,” only helped to further ignite each artist’s burning impact on the industry.

The song came out on April 3, 1971, and immediately soared to the top spots on the country charts.

This song is the first in which Lynn and Twitty joined forces. It was from their debut album, We Only Make Believe. Other hit songs the iconic duo sang together are “As Soon as I Hang Up the Phone,” “You’re the Reason Our Kids Are Ugly,” “Lead Me On,” and “Lousiana Woman, Mississippi Man.”

The song and the debut album would start a long-standing collaboration between Twitty and Lynn. In fact, the two would go on to record 11 albums together.

Looking at the Meaning of ‘After the Fire Is Gone’

The song, on the surface, is about two people who fall in love while still married to other people.

“Love is where you find it / When you find no love at home / And there’s nothin’ cold as ashes / After the fire is gone.”

For years, there were rumors circulating on whether Lynn and Conway Twitty were more than just duet partners. This song in particular left fans assuming there had to be something going on behind-the-song. However, Lynn has been quite vocal in saying this is far from true.

“Me and Conway were friends. We wasn’t lovers … There was a whole crew of people went overseas to perform. And me and Conway started singing in the dressing rooms. So we thought, well, when we get home, we’ll sing to [producer] Owen Bradley and see what he thinks,” Lynn told NPR in an interview.

Despite being one of the best pairings in country music, both artists have always denied anything more than friendship. That means the meaning of the song was strictly fiction and good storytelling.

Together Until the End

Their friendship really did make it to the end. Lynn was there when Conway Twitty died from an abdominal aortic aneurysm in 1993, according to The Boot.

He was 59 when he passed away and shocked fans, friends, and family with his sudden death.

According to Tennessean, Lynn actually saw Twitty as he was entering the hospital. Her husband was in the hospital at the time and Twitty was going to come visit both of them. She was waiting outside for his bus to get in. However, she did not know that he had collapsed earlier so when she went outside, she was surprised to see him being rolled into the hospital. Lynn stayed with his wife Dee Henry that night.

She had gotten to see him right before he passed away. Lynn was devastated by his passing and would later say, “I’d have to say that knowing Conway Twitty has been one of my great pleasures in life,” according to Country Rebel.


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