Lay Her Down

Lay Her Down

johnstaples's picture
Artist Favorite



Liner Notes: 

Full disclosure...I started this one before 50/90 started. Please don't hate me! Smile

That is my dear friend Gary Knowland on harmony vocals.

I love this one a lot and will be re-recording it with full production at some future date.


Lay Her Down

I went home
to lay her down
inside the cold
Kentucky ground

and the rain
began to fall
soaked my clothes
drowned my soul

I heard a voice
inside my head
and I swear that
this is what it said

lay her down
lay her down
bow your head boy
don't make a sound
you will know
just what to do
when the spirit speaks
to you
just lay her down

ash to ash
and dust to dust
seemed to me
my heart would burst

I stood alone
beside her grave
through my tears
I felt her grace

I heard her voice
inside my soul
I felt her love
I was consoled

lay her down
lay her down

never met a stranger
cared for everyone it's true
always said to love each other
we will always love you

lay her down
lay her down
bow your head boy
don't make a sound
you will know
just what to do
when the spirit speaks
to you
just lay her down

© 2019 John Staples

Please keep your comments respectful, honest, and constructive. Please focus on the song and not the demo.


littlespiral's picture

happy 50/90! great to see you again this year. i'll totally forgive you for starting this earlier if you forgive me for using 50/90 to clear my backlog of demos i need to make. Smile

love the banjo, the somber lyrics and the right mix of sad and hopeful moods. can't wait to hear the full production on it, but to me, this is already a great recording.

coolparadiso's picture

Great raw - will come up beaut with some production. Excellent first up song! Always knew you were the talent. One for the saved list - very nice indeed. When i hear songs like this i know why i love 50/90 and Fawm.

metalfoot's picture

YES. Classic bluegrass feel and sound. Straight out of the hills. Great tune structure and great feel to the song all around.

Stephen Wordsmith's picture

The tang of the guitar grabbed me from the first moment. Love the savoury, slightly-yowling harmonies on the vocals. Wasn't expecting that melody on the chorus, but it works very low.

Slow, quiet, resonant. An excellent debut!

crisp1's picture

This is awesome, John! Great sound, great lyrics, great vocals. Your roots are showing and they look (sound) fantastic!

kahlo2013's picture

Wonderfully classic and sorrowful Americana folksy bluegrass. Great imagery and emotion in the story and really catchy melody and music. This is a such a wonderful write and your delivery is sport on. I can visualize and empathize with the guy. Strong and beautiful, John!!!

auldy's picture

oh howdy kneeslapping new grass revival. reminded me of Avett Brothers.

Frances Smith's picture

Lovely evocative traditional folk/country feel. Works really well.

cts's picture

Very old-timey, indeed! I immediately thought of the Soggy Bottom Boys as this was listening along and that's a good thing in my book. This has a nice, easy feel to it.

zxcvbnm's picture

A great start, in the genre of one of my favourites "Will the Circle be Unbroken" Well done!

writeandwrong's picture

Heavy, emotional, raw, deep. old-school, old-soul, tearful, and full of sorrow. John, this took my breath away and brought tears. I'd do anything to have my mother back, but her spirit still lives all around me. Fantastic start to this year's challenge. The song has just a fantastic lyrical and musical flow - your tunes always do. Strong write and performance!! Kudos!

OdilonGreen's picture

Down-home but soaring, with a raw immediacy that's emotional and compelling. The lyrics are direct and moving. Terrific first track (even if you did cheat a bit Wink )!

wobbie wobbit's picture

love that violin sound! the vocals sound great especially with the higher BVs - great start, have a wonderful summer of songs

aesthetic72's picture

I don't think any FAWM event would be complete without an out-of-the-park first track from you, John. Love this so much! Fantastic production. I love the instrumentation, the harmonies, the fiddle solo, the write. It's Child-ballad-like in many ways. Very OG "Americana." Such a memorable song. Sticks with you. You should definitely go all out on this one!

darcistrutt's picture

Back porch country - love it! I’m a believer that the love we share between each other is eternal. Feeling that comfort at the grave side was an image that resonated. Love the mix of fiddle and guitars in there. Beautiful!

jcollins's picture

Sad and really touching. This is a great old country song, John. Excellent vocals and acoustics as well. Nice and this song could easily be on the radio. Well done!

ballyhoot's picture

This is wonderful and beautiful and sad and stirring. Love everything about it. The lyrics, the lead vocals, the harmony, the rhythm, the bluegrass guitar, the fiddle musical breaks.... it’s all just so good. Thank you for sharing!

tseaver's picture

That's a deep well yer drawin' from in this one. Nice write! I'd be surprised if a "bigger" production helped any.

Kingwood Kowboy's picture

Sometimes that's all one can do. The real hurt comes later. Beautiful song of sorrow.

Technicolor Gramophone's picture

I love the way the bass and banjo are totally in-step ... really grabs ya! Nice vocal melody as well, and I love the fiddle break. Reminded me a bit of a song I'm in love with: "Whitehouse Road" by Tyler Childers. Enjoyed!

Acousticmaddie's picture

yeah babe this rocks. Lovely groove. Absolutely gorgeous and catchy lyrics

Amanda West's picture

Absolutely beautiful John - I wish I had your talent Smile The instrumentation and vocals perfectly fit the traditional style country/bluegrass lyric. I'd love a whole album of this Smile

phylo's picture

This is good country music. I'm a new fan!

Jerry Pettit's picture

Finally got around to listening to this, John. You are a master of folk/country, my friend! Great, great all around work on this--lyrics, playing, arrangement, vocals. Wow!

tcelliott's picture

Another damn good song. This one makes me feel "Kentucky" for some reason. I'm guessing it reminds me of some bluegrass I listened to growing up. The lyric is good, the melody is good, the fiddle is a perfect fit and those harmony vocals are tasty. Yeah, that album I keep bugging you about has another track to go on it. Keep up the great work.

Billy Sea's picture

John, great hearing you again. Just not FAWM or 5090 without listening to your songs. This is awesome,traditional wornderfulness. Love the story you tell here. So pleasing to listen to and it is already something that feels like an old favorite. Great job, I loved listening to this.

Kingwood Kowboy's picture

John, a good 18th century song about death & dying, with a 1960s write. Good one.