Heart On Fire

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Songfacts®:

  • This uptempo, nostalgic track finds Eric Church recounting his happy memories of a teenage romance. He remembers his heart being "on fire" at the time.
  • Throughout the track, Church sprinkles the names of classic songs, including Elvis Presley's "All Shook Up," Don Henley's "New York Minute," and Guns N' Roses' "Paradise City."
  • The Chief recorded the song for his Heart & Soul triple album, which came out of the country star's marathon recording session in early 2020 in the North Carolina mountains. It found Church, producer Jay Joyce, and a group of songwriters and musicians writing and recording one song a day for 28 days in a former restaurant they turned into a recording studio for the occasion. Written solely by Church, this heartland anthem is credited with getting the singer's entire project started.

    "'Heart On Fire' was the first song we recorded when we got to North Carolina. I already had pretty much, I wrote this song by myself, but I already had this song on the rails and we were heading down the path of what this was going to be," said Church. "I thought we needed to kind of break the ice and get started on something, you know, we were doing something that was tough to do – writing the song the same day we were record it. This was the song that was kind of the icebreaker for the whole project, and I credit this song a lot for getting us to where we ended up getting to with the project."
  • Church split the songs between three separate records: Heart, &, and Soul, which subsequently was made available as a collective 24-track album. This slice of country heartland rock is one of three on the first record with the word "Heart" in its title.

    "'Heart On Fire' is the first song on the Heart album, and normally if we had four songs about heart, with the way we used to do this we would cut three of them out and we'd do one," explained Church. "It started to be cool that this time we could lean into that sameness and the themes where you can put the songs together and know we wrote these within this much time of each other."
  • A turned up radio but the static was heavy
    Couldn't make out any words but "take me to the levee"
    That look on your face was full of wild desire
    A-soakin' my soul in gas and settin' my heart on fire
    A heart on fire, a heart on fire, A heart on fire


    The "soaking my soul in gas" line was the starting point for Church when he wrote the song. He then came up with an anthemic chorus that describes a shared "wild desire" with his girlfriend. The postchorus of a repeated "heart on fire" provided a natural singalong moment for his longtime backing vocalist. "I envisioned Joanna Cotten jumping in on that part," he told Billboard. "I wrote it for her to be a big part of the song even before we recorded it."

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