The song was written in 1933 for an operetta "Roberta".
In 1935m Irene Dunne performed in the film "Roberta".
The song had been originally written for the musical "Show Boat"(1927) as a number for tap-dance, but never used it. One day, looking at the rapid-fire eighth-notes in Kern's unused songs, the lyrist Hardback asked Kern if they could be showed down to form the melody of a ballad. Then they did it afterwards.
They asked me how I knew my true love was true, I of course replied, something here inside cannot be denied.
They said someday you'll find all who love are blind, When your heart's on fire, you must realize, Smoke gets in your eyes.
So I chaffed and then I gaily laughed, To think that they could doubt my love, Yet today, my love has flown away, I am without my love.
Now laughing friends deride tears I cannot hide, So I smile and say when a lovely flame dies, Smoke gets in your eyes.