In 1973, Conway Twitty released his album Who Will Pray For Me, which was filled with faith-based songs. Although all of the songs on the album are amazing, the eighth track, called “The Third Man,” truly stands out.
Once recorded by Loretta Lynn for her 1965 album, Hymns, “The Third Man” was written and composed by Frances Heighton, Don Helms, and Teddy Wilburn, and reflects on Jesus’ death on the cross.
The song’s narrator says he dreamed he took a walk and came upon three crosses on a hill. While two of men cried out for mercy, the third man, Jesus, simply looked at him. “Oh, the hurt in this man’s eyes, it just broke my heart in two!” sings the narrator. “It seemed I could hear him say, ‘Son, I’m doing this for you.’“
The song is an emotional one, between the narrator’s sadness and the love expressed by Jesus. After Jesus passes away, the narrator mourns, singing “Suddenly, I heard the thunder roll,/I saw the lightening pierce the sky./Then third man was still hanging there,/And I began to cry.”
In the end, the narrator wakes up from his dream, but Jesus’ words remain with him.
The musical picture Twitty paints through “The Third Man” is absolutely beautiful, and is a true emotional masterpiece. You can tell from the tone and shakiness of Twitty’s voice how much the song and its message meant to him, which makes it even more emotional to listen to.
Listen to Twitty sing “The Third Man” in the video below. You may want to keep a box of tissues close by, because this song is sure to move you to tears.
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