Today’s Two for Tuesday songs with similar themes come from the classic country music era and from Broadway.
It’s Only Make Believe by Conway Twitty
On My Own by Samantha Barks
It’s Only Make Believe was written by Conway Twitty and Jack Nance in 1958. This song was Conway Twitty’s first hit. He released it in July 1958 as the “B” side of I’ll Try (which was not a hit). The Jordanaires provided backup vocals.
It’s Only Make Believe showed up on Billboard charts in September and went all the way to No. 1 in November and stayed there for two weeks. The song was his only No. 1 pop single of his career. This original version never made it to country charts.
On My Own from the Broadway musical, Les Misérables, was written by Herbert Kretzmer (lyrics) with additional lyrics by Alain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel and original music written by Claude-Michel Schönberg. Samantha Barks’ version made it to the Billboard Hot 100 chart in January 2013.
On My Own is performed by the character Eponine. It is a ballad filled with longing, hopeful hopelessness, and soul wrenching agony that is equally distressing for the character and for the listener.
Both songs tell the stories of unrequited love. There is an undercurrent of desperation to tell the people they love how they feel, but they realize their feelings are one-sided and will never be returned.
Eponine sings I love him… I’ve only been pretending…without me, his world will go on turning…I love him, but only on my own…
Twitty’s character sings No one will ever know, how much I love you so…but it’s only make believe…
Until we meet again,