Standing Outside the Fire

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"Standing Outside the Fire"
Standing Outside The Fire (Garth Brooks single - cover art).jpg
Single by Garth Brooks
from the album In Pieces
B-side "Cold Shoulder"
Released December 13, 1993
Format CD Single, 7" 45 RPM
Recorded 1993
Genre Country
Length 3:52
Label Liberty 17802
Writer(s) Jenny Yates, Garth Brooks
Producer(s) Allen Reynolds
Garth Brooks singles chronology
"American Honky-Tonk Bar Association"
"Standing Outside the Fire"
"One Night a Day"
UK Cover
Spain Cover

"Standing Outside the Fire" is a song co-written and recorded by American country music artist Garth Brooks. It was released in December 1993 as the third single from his album In Pieces. The song also appears on The Hits, The Limited Series, Double Live, and The Ultimate Hits. It reached number 3 on the Billboard Country Charts in 1994. It was also a success internationally and reached the top thirty of the UK singles chart, a rare feat for a country singer at the time. The song was written by Brooks and Jenny Yates.


  • Key: A Major.
  • Length - 3:52

"Standing Outside the Fire" is known by many to be a song of inspiration. One notable line in the chorus reads "Life is not tried, it is merely survived if you're standing outside the fire."

Background and Production[edit]

Garth provided the following background information on the song in the CD booklet liner notes from The Hits:

"I was in Los Angeles in 1992, hanging out with a good friend, Jenny Yates. In a conversation I was describing something that I thought was really close, but for me it just stood outside the fire. There was that brilliant moment of silence when we just looked at each other and smiled, Within an hour and half, this song was written. This is another song of inspiration, and Jenny is that way when it comes to inspiration. I don't know if I have ever met a bigger dreamer than Jenny - to the one who saw the vision and made it happen - may hat's off to Jenny Yates."[1]

Mark Casstevens played acoustic guitar, Chris Leuzinger played electric guitar, Milton Sledge played drums, Mike Chapman played bass guitar, Rob Hajacos played fiddle, Bobby Wood played piano, Sam Bacco and Ferrell Morris provided percussion, Sam Bush played mandolin, and Trisha Yearwood provided harmony vocals.

Music Video[edit]

Brooks claims, on his All Access DVD, that most letters he receives regarding "Standing Outside the Fire" are from participants (or relatives of) in Special Olympics. In the video, a high school student with Down syndrome named Brandon decides to not participate in the institution's Special Olympics but signs up for the regular event. There is much strife between Brandon's father and mother concerning whether or not he should be allowed to do this. The father is strongly opposed, claiming that "he will embarrass himself." However, the mother believes the father disapproves because he himself will be embarrassed. Brandon is seen working very hard for the meet. On the day of the State Track and Field Meet, Brandon trips during a race and is injured. The coach tries to help him out, but his father runs on the track and encourages his son to finish the race regardless, rather than quit. The father says to the coach, "Get away from him! He is not finished!" After his father's encouragement, Brandon picks himself up and sprints across the finish line, where he is emotionally embraced by both of his parents.

Track listing[edit]

UK CD Single Capitol CDCL 712 - 1994

  1. "Standing Outside the Fire"
  2. "Unanswered Prayers"
  3. "In Lonesome Dove"
  4. "Ain't Goin' Down ('Til the Sun Comes Up)"

UK 2 disc CD Single Capitol CDCLS 712 - 1994

Disc One

  1. "Standing Outside the Fire"
  2. "The Night Will Only Know"
  3. "Dixie Chicken"

Disc Two

  1. "Standing Outside the Fire"
  2. "Unanswered Prayers"
  3. "In Lonesome Dove"
  4. "Ain't Going Down ('Til the Sun Comes Up)"

The Netherlands CD Single Capitol 72438136129 - 1994

  1. "Standing Outside the Fire"
  2. "The Night Will Only Know"
  3. "Dixie Chicken"
  4. "In Lonesome Dove"

Australian CD Single Capitol - 1993

  1. "Standing Outside the Fire"
  2. "Friends in Low Places"
  3. "Every Now and Then"
  4. "Interview"

UK 7" Vinyl single Capitol CL 712 - 1993

  1. "Standing Outside the Fire"
  2. "The Night Will Only Know"

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1993–1994) Peak
Australian Singles Chart[2] 45
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[3] 3
Europe (Eurochart Hot 100)[4] 57
Irish Singles Chart[5] 12
Scottish Singles Chart[6] 27
UK Singles Chart[7] 28
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[8] 3

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1994) Position
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[9] 31
US Country Songs (Billboard)[10] 63

References and external links[edit]