About the song

Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn’s “It’s Only Make Believe”. Now that’s a classic duet that perfectly captures the bittersweet ache of a love that might not be quite real. Released in 1971 on their first collaborative album, We Only Make Believe, this song became a cornerstone of their phenomenal musical partnership.

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Twitty, the “Honky Tonk Angel” with his smooth baritone, wasn’t new to the song. He’d originally recorded it as a solo effort back in 1958, but it never quite took off on the country charts. However, the magic truly unfolded when Loretta Lynn, the “Coal Miner’s Daughter” known for her frank and powerful vocals, joined him for this reimagining. Their voices intertwined beautifully, creating a potent harmony that resonated deeply with country music audiences.

“It’s Only Make Believe” delves into the complexities of a pretend relationship. The male narrator, sung by Twitty, confesses his growing feelings for a woman, but a nagging doubt lingers. He wonders if their connection is just a playful act, a performance for others. “They see us everywhere, they think we really care / But myself I can’t deceive” he sings, expressing the internal conflict between longing and skepticism.

Loretta Lynn’s voice enters with a subtle vulnerability, portraying the woman’s perspective. She doesn’t explicitly confirm or deny his affection, but her hesitant replies hint at a flicker of something more. “Is that something you care? My hopes and my dreams come true” she sings, leaving the true nature of her feelings tantalizingly ambiguous.

The beauty of the song lies in this emotional push and pull. The lyrics, co-written by Twitty himself with Jack Nance, are simple yet evocative. They paint a picture of unspoken desires and unspoken anxieties that simmer beneath the surface of a seemingly carefree facade. The melody, a gentle country ballad with a touch of melancholy, perfectly complements the lyrics, creating a sense of longing and uncertainty.

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“It’s Only Make Believe” wasn’t just a hit song; it marked the beginning of a legendary country music partnership. Twitty and Lynn went on to record a string of successful duets, winning numerous awards and captivating audiences with their undeniable chemistry. This song, however, holds a special place in their legacy. It’s a testament to the power of storytelling in country music, capturing the delicate nuances of love, hope, and the fear of vulnerability in a way that continues to resonate with listeners today.

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Lyrics

“It’s Only Make Believe”
(originally by Conway Twitty)

People see us everywhere
They all think we really care
But myself I can’t deceive
I know it’s only make believe.

My one and only prayer
Is that some day you’ll care
My hopes my dreams come true
My one and only you.

No one will ever know
How much I love you so
My only prayer will be some day you’ll care for me
But it’s only make believe.

My hopes my dreams come true
My life I give for you
My heart or wedding ring
My all my everything.

My heart I can’t control
You lure my very soul
My only prayer will be some day you’ll care for me
But it’s only make believe.

My one and only prayer
Is that some day you’ll care
My hopes, my dreams come true
My one and only you.

No one will ever know
How much I love you so
My plans, my hopes, my schemes
You are my every dream
But it’s only make believe…

Read more:  Conway Twitty - It's Only Make Believe