Lay Lady Lay (3:16)

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“Lay Lady Lay” is a song written by Bob Dylan and originally released in 1969 on his Nashville Skyline album. The words of the song are sung by Dylan in a low, soft-sounding voice instead of his familiar high-pitched nasal-sounding voice. Dylan credited his “new” voice to quitting smoking before recording the song, but some unreleased bootleg tapes from the early ’60s reveal that this was an aspect of his vocal persona that he had actually possessed since at least that time.[1] Released as a single in July of 1969, it became one of Dylan’s biggest US Pop chart hits, peaking at number seven. The single did even better on the UK Singles Chart, reaching the number five spot. It is often performed live by Dylan, and was included on the Hard Rain and Before the Flood albums. It also appears on his quintuple-platinum Greatest Hits, Volume II album, as well as on compilations Biograph and The Essential Bob Dylan.

The song was originally written for the soundtrack of the movie Midnight Cowboy, but wasn’t submitted in time to make the final cut. [2]

Phil Everly of the Everly Brothers has been quoted that Dylan offered them the song to record in the following way. The Everlys were appearing at the Bottom Line in New York, and after the show, Dylan went backstage to visit with them. Phil asked if Bob had any new songs they might record, and he said yes, there was one they could have. He picked up a guitar and sang, but so quietly that the Everlys could not clearly make out all the words, and thought they heard “lay lady lay, lay across my big breasts, babe.” Thinking it was a song about lesbians, Don Everly said “thank you, it’s a great song, but I don’t think we could get away with that”, and declined to record it.


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Lay, lady, lay, lay across my big brass bed
Lay, lady, lay, lay across my big brass bed
Whatever colors you have in your mind
I'll show them to you and you'll see them shine

MetroLyrics Full lyrics at MetroLyrics


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  • wiseblood-

    One of the greatest songs of ALL TIMES!

    7 Jun 8:35pm Reply
  • jackzipper14

    Happy Birthday Bob

    24 May 7:14am Reply
  • musiktanzmaus

    ♫ ◕ ‿ ◕ ♪ Beautiful Song !!!

    20 May 12:27pm Reply
  • rikrijean


    27 Mar 12:33pm Reply
  • Babs_05

    @atearmstoholdya as far as I know, it's just called misheard lyrics. Lots of people do it. :)

    22 Feb 5:48am Reply
  • tresfoufou

    His clothes are dirty but his hands are clean and you’re the best thing that he’s ever seen...

    18 Jan 4:57am Reply
  • atearmstoholdya

    I don't know what it's called when you mangle the lyrics and hear something completely different. I went to school with a girl that STILL swears that the Led Zeppelin song is "Living Loving Maid/She's Just A MORMON" and there are many more, too. She always says that this song is "Lady Elaine" in "Lady Elaine, lay across my big brass bed." I think this is when Dylan sounded his best. I guess that if you see him in concert sometimes he sounds very clear...many times he sounds like he mumbles...incoherrantly.

    26 Nov 2014 Reply
  • bobtayl

    Would Midnight Cowboy have worked as well if they did use tis as the title song like they were going to

    19 Oct 2014 Reply
  • zmatster

    You can have your cake and eat it too

    17 Sep 2014 Reply
  • smeghead1851

    For you, DeeDee...

    16 Sep 2014 Reply
  • vinman76

    I was in the 7th gradee when song came out great then great now.

    6 Jun 2014 Reply
  • reddoberman

    high school 1969 this song worked every time

    3 Jun 2014 Reply
  • littlelouie1

    Great song writer but it doesn't sound like Dylan is singing this to me?

    8 May 2014 Reply
  • zimmykisses

    *'TMI' ALERT* Oh ME oh MY!!!! Whenever I'm feelin' intensely frisky I just love to strip down completely, stretch myself out on my bed in the darkness, slip on my mp3 player headphones, and listen to this song. Such incredible feelings: feels like Zimmykins could just about be right there beside me. Bobby baby is THEE number one major turn-on of ALL singer-songwriters, ever!!! He's one sexy beast. So sweet and kind, easy and warm, mellow, gentle, and natural. A classic country gentleman and a western dandy, my cowboy sweetheart. *And there's a live performance of "Lay Lady Lay" from 19-and-95 which always makes me moan and groan; in that particular performance, he sang it with such a tender, smooth, pleading delivery that his crooning voice breaks and cracks a little bit at the end of each line; and that never fails to drive me wild!!!!

    6 Apr 2014 Reply
  • colorfuldreams

    why wait any longer for the one you love when he's standing in front of you?

    22 Mar 2014 Reply
  • Moonin3

    so damn sexy

    28 Feb 2014 Reply
  • nick_honest


    2 Feb 2014 Reply


    2 Feb 2014 Reply
  • gaboobj

    My favourite ♥

    5 Jan 2014 Reply
  • TWHsr

    Super cool.

    5 Jan 2014 Reply
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