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Cowboy Junkies — Lay it Down
Album: Lay It Down
Avg rating:
7.4

Your rating:
Total ratings: 3219









Released: 1996
Length: 4:17
Plays (last 30 days): 2
He left his dead in the cottonwood trees
the ground grown too hard with the years.
Falling down was not what it used to be
the ground grown too hard with the years.

He told his children those little white lies
the truth would only paralyze them.
He told himself those little white lies
the truth would only paralyze him.

Lay it down,
lay it down.

He sold most of what he cherished,
the rest he let them steal.
Shot his dog out in the open field,
the rest he let them steal.

He broke all of his promises,
under a sea green sky.
They never thought to ask him why,
under a sea green sky.

Lay it down,
lay it down.

Please bury me in the cottonwood trees
the ground grown too cold for me.
Going to sleep tonight in a warm feather bed
the ground grown too cold for me.

Lay it down,
lay it down.
Comments (335)add comment
 keenevision wrote:

"He told his children those little white lies
the truth would only paralyze them.
He told himself those little white lies
the truth would only paralyze him."

Such a great truth here.....


Ah yes. All is explained. 

I ask again why all this cowboy junkies hate
'Goodbye Geoffrey Drake' then this toe-tapper - Bill's 'set to slash your wrists by'. 

I like 'em both, but they ain't exactly feel-good...
c.
Can you say highly influenced by the velvet underground
 Cricketer wrote:

The 11 minute live version of this song on the Open Road album is simply stunning  Cowboy Junkies - Lay It Down (live)




Good tip, I like that version even better
 tinypriest wrote:



Yes, and that's where they still belong, a local Toronto "indie" band that plays the local clubs ad infinitum because they're too ordinary to compete elsewhere. Just the asinine lyrics of this song is enough. These are art school lyrics about imaginary dramas that never have an ending; the great short stories that the author figured are more "popular" if he leaves out the endings. Sorry, I know you like this tripe. But I can't fathom this band's appeal, the forced etherealness, and zombie-like talentless singing. But that's just me.


There's an old expression that really can apply here. Stop me if you've heard it...

"If you can't say something nice, shut the f*ck up."
"He told his children those little white lies
the truth would only paralyze them.
He told himself those little white lies
the truth would only paralyze him."

Such a great truth here.....
 eileenomurphy wrote:
Do you know why real cowboys roll the the brims of their cowboy hats, up on the sides? ...So 3 of them can fit in the cab of a pickup truck!  





old_shep wrote:This song would have fit right into 1969. The good part of 1969.


What if 69 turned up to be 96? I don't mind. I. Don't. Mind.
Do you know why real cowboys roll the the brims of their cowboy hats, up on the sides? ...So 3 of them can fit in the cab of a pickup truck!  
Bill please play more cowboy junkies.
 tinypriest wrote:



Yes, and that's where they still belong, a local Toronto "indie" band that plays the local clubs ad infinitum because they're too ordinary to compete elsewhere. Just the asinine lyrics of this song is enough. These are art school lyrics about imaginary dramas that never have an ending; the great short stories that the author figured are more "popular" if he leaves out the endings. Sorry, I know you like this tripe. But I can't fathom this band's appeal, the forced etherealness, and zombie-like talentless singing. But that's just me.

Tiny who cares i think they are a wonderful band
 Cricketer wrote:

The 11 minute live version of this song on the Open Road album is simply stunning  Cowboy Junkies - Lay It Down (live)




Yes, found it, that is a good tip!!
 pvcnote wrote:

Again?!?!? Ten times a day!!!!!!!!!


Hyberbole much?
 rbrise wrote:


I pity you tiny



I don't . The pompous twit known as tiny went to a lot of effort to sound oh-so-very-smart about why we shouldn't like CJ.

Also too, would it sound better if it was "business school lyrics about real dramas with an ending" ?

Tiny's comment was as stupid as it was negative.
a little bit Psychodelic - Wonderfull!
 tinypriest wrote:
But that's just me.

And yet you spew it repeatedly over every CJ song comment page, as if it meant something more.
C'mon, Margo, SCREAM a little...
Do you know the word "uptempo"?
 rbrise wrote:


I pity you tiny



I pity you biggly!
 tinypriest wrote:



Yes, and that's where they still belong, a local Toronto "indie" band that plays the local clubs ad infinitum because they're too ordinary to compete elsewhere. Just the asinine lyrics of this song is enough. These are art school lyrics about imaginary dramas that never have an ending; the great short stories that the author figured are more "popular" if he leaves out the endings. Sorry, I know you like this tripe. But I can't fathom this band's appeal, the forced etherealness, and zombie-like talentless singing. But that's just me.


I pity you tiny
 Soopertimes wrote:

Anybody else used to see them at the Silver Dollar in Toronto in the 90's?




Yes, and that's where they still belong, a local Toronto "indie" band that plays the local clubs ad infinitum because they're too ordinary to compete elsewhere. Just the asinine lyrics of this song is enough. These are art school lyrics about imaginary dramas that never have an ending; the great short stories that the author figured are more "popular" if he leaves out the endings. Sorry, I know you like this tripe. But I can't fathom this band's appeal, the forced etherealness, and zombie-like talentless singing. But that's just me.
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE
One of my favorite Cowboy Junkies songs! I got to see them in concert twice and they were amazing!
Love this band.
 ace-marc wrote:
 dwhayslett wrote:

Of course, if you took your own advice, we'd get to have both Cowboy Junkies and no more ugly posts like this.  Not that I'd advocate such a thing, but apparently some would.

Yet another antagonistic comment to another listener.
Clearly you were bullied as a child.
Get help.

 
I guess I can add "context" and "reading comprehension" to the things that you're not big on, along with the mentioned-elsewhere "self awareness".
Anybody else used to see them at the Silver Dollar in Toronto in the 90's?
 dwhayslett wrote:

Of course, if you took your own advice, we'd get to have both Cowboy Junkies and no more ugly posts like this.  Not that I'd advocate such a thing, but apparently some would.

Yet another antagonistic comment to another listener.
Clearly you were bullied as a child.
Get help.

 Clyde_Bedow wrote:
I kind of dig the feel of this. Lyric is a bit of a head scratcher for me, but I kind of like that. Interpret as I wish I reckon. 

But I still wonder, why was the sky "sea green" after all?
 
Aurora Borealis perhaps?
 tinypriest wrote:
Can never hit "PSE" (play something else) fast enough when this D-grade high school band comes on.
 I  happen to love them great band

Can never hit "PSE" (play something else) fast enough when this D-grade high school band comes on.
 javelipix wrote:
Zzzzzzzzzzzz
 

Yeah.  I'm Canadian and I suppose I should be cheering for my homies, but one time I actually fell asleep at a Cowboy Junkies concert.
I could swear that in the chorus of the guitar riff there is also a song/map from Borderlands 2.

(Links with direct jump marks)

Borderlands 2 (UST) - Caustic Caverns Ambient
compare to
Cowboy Junkies - Lay It Down
 danthebeachman wrote:
So under rated!!….Canadian Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!!….says it all!!
 
Seeing them at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago on 4/13/19.  Super intimate venue - should be Great - can't wait!
Great little ensemble. 
The 11 minute live version of this song on the Open Road album is simply stunning  Cowboy Junkies - Lay It Down (live)
So under rated!!….Canadian Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!!….says it all!!
 tallboy1968 wrote:
Would absolutely love to hear a segue from this tune into "Hatfield" from Widespread Panic.  "Made rain for LA..." just lands so nicely out of this beautiful Cowboy Junkies tune...

 
yes
The interim guitar has an early Fleetwood Mac feel to it - pre Buckingham/Nicks.  Possibly Jeremy Spencer/Danny Kirwan era!  
I kind of dig the feel of this. Lyric is a bit of a head scratcher for me, but I kind of like that. Interpret as I wish I reckon. 

But I still wonder, why was the sky "sea green" after all?
 Stephen_Phillips wrote:
Just looked at the date of the album - 1996. Yikes 20 years old.  CJ's are relatively new to me thanks to Radio Paradise and I had no idea they had been around so long.  I like the minimalist vibe of the track and well done to Bill an Rebecca for cherry picking the best tracks from artists over the years so that we can hear the best of them.

 
What he said!...
 TerryS wrote:
I was just at a 3 day Folk/Roots/Blues Festival and you'd have been in fine company with that style of sashaying......in bare feet.
 
I bet that Festival was sooo groovy, TerryS...  everybody in my hotel loves this groovy song...  time flies when we're having fun...
Would absolutely love to hear a segue from this tune into "Hatfield" from Widespread Panic.  "Made rain for LA..." just lands so nicely out of this beautiful Cowboy Junkies tune...
 ciarataylor wrote:
No more.  NO more.  Just go and die out there on the ice floe.

 
Of course, if you took your own advice, we'd get to have both Cowboy Junkies and no more ugly posts like this.  Not that I'd advocate such a thing, but apparently some would.
I've met quite a few cowboy junkies. None of them like Cowboy Junkies.
 so true . . .

ciarataylor wrote:
No more.  NO more.  Just go and die out there on the ice floe.

 


This is such a great tune... schmoozy.... Love it!
 
circa 1996- Upstairs neighbor

BAM BAM BAM- "Turn that DOWN!!!"{#Wave} 
Zzzzzzzzzzzz
No more.  NO more.  Just go and die out there on the ice floe.
Just looked at the date of the album - 1996. Yikes 20 years old.  CJ's are relatively new to me thanks to Radio Paradise and I had no idea they had been around so long.  I like the minimalist vibe of the track and well done to Bill an Rebecca for cherry picking the best tracks from artists over the years so that we can hear the best of them.
Please, play something with Josh Klinghoffer since today is his birthday please! Like Dot Hacker - Eye Opener. Please!!! 
 AndyJ wrote:


Funny how the world throws up a mirror and reflects your inner thoughts. Didn't think anyone else was here with me.  Been circling this grove for a long time. Hesitant to enter the shade and get away from the mid-day heat... Too much like surrendering,  I can understand running out of fight. Some battles are long and the price of victory is greater than the cost of war.   Not every fight must last to the last one standing. Some days, picking the fights seems the better course.   Winning battles can drain and cost the war.  What is the goal-?



 
10...I crown you king of one-liners.
makes ..me  ....s s s..sleeeep - yyyy  (snnnooooorrrkkk huuuummmmmummmmanum... snnnooooorrrkkk huuuummmmmummmmanum... )
soporific dross 
Most excellent
I see that earlier posts mention the Airplane. I hear elements of Jefferson Airplane's Fat Angel in this song.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCo4u5_koKs

He will bring happiness in a pipe
He'll ride away on his silver bike
And apart from that he'll be so kind
In consenting to blow your mind
 

 Carl wrote:

Done! 

 
burn me a copy {#Wink}
 Skydog wrote:
if Radio Paradise were to put out a best of Cowboy Junkies cd
with selections picked by Bill & Crew
then i'd be the first to buy it
 
Done! I've gotten most of the CJ songs I liked most over the years listening to RP. All I need to do is put them in a playlist (Artist = Cowboy Junkies, Rating ≥ 4 stars) and burn a CD. Bill & Crew have already picked them and then had them vetted by us listeners. The ones that are still played are presumably the best ones per Bill & Crew.
if Radio Paradise were to put out a best of Cowboy Junkies cd
with selections picked by Bill & Crew
then i'd be the first to buy it 
 akdavey wrote:
... but come-on! 

 
One of the most effective arguments ever, regardless of the context.
CJ proves you don't have to play a lot of notes to sound like a lot.
 AndyJ wrote:


Funny how the world throws up a mirror and reflects your inner thoughts. Didn't think anyone else was here with me.  Been circling this grove for a long time. Hesitant to enter the shade and get away from the mid-day heat... Too much like surrendering,  I can understand running out of fight. Some battles are long and the price of victory is greater than the cost of war.   Not every fight must last to the last one standing. Some days, picking the fights seems the better course.   Winning battles can drain and cost the war.  What is the goal-?

 
Whoa! Like this.
Shades of Delaney & Bonnie, Jefferson Airplane & It's A Beautiful Day. Wow! And I agree, Margo has a beautiful voice.
Sexiest voice ever backed by the coolest retro 60's band. I hear a lot of 60's California sound.
 
Dosequis wrote:
She is the ANTI-JOPLIN.

 
She is a wonderful singer!
 Dosequis wrote:
She is the ANTI-JOPLIN.

 
She is a wonderful singer!
She is the ANTI-JOPLIN.


Funny how the world throws up a mirror and reflects your inner thoughts. Didn't think anyone else was here with me.  Been circling this grove for a long time. Hesitant to enter the shade and get away from the mid-day heat... Too much like surrendering,  I can understand running out of fight. Some battles are long and the price of victory is greater than the cost of war.   Not every fight must last to the last one standing. Some days, picking the fights seems the better course.   Winning battles can drain and cost the war.  What is the goal-?


 calle01 wrote:
Stop Playing this crap! They were never good and will never get any better!

 
You're pathetic...
Yeah it's a pretty morbid song to keep repeating so often. the guy shoots his dog and I'd rather not hear about it, right? So ... Dig deeper into their work perhaps? I'd like to know more about their work than this poor dog and his man ...
I heard you twice the first time.
her voice makes me want to go to sleep.

i could never get into this band.
Everybody in my mushrooming multitude of homeless camps be dancing buck ass naked all across the corporate farmlands like bowlegged gypsy muleskinners and B.F. Skinner...  we love this splendiferous song...  love sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll...

Thank you!

Okay, whatever - played to death, but maybe I'm liking it more. Just wish other tracks were played too - at least as much as this one.
{#Chillpill}
This following Bouree by Jethro Tull.  Trying to find the set thread here.  Obviusly it's the bass line.

Come on Bill, follow this up with Spanish Moon by Little Feat and The Real Me by the Who and we'd be all set!

BTW,listened to this whole album last weekend.  It is just good listening from start to finish. 
The Doors, Jefferson Airplane, even a bits of Its A Beutiful Day, and Delaney & Bonnie! Very good.
 PopKombo wrote:

yes, the hypnotic bass line is reminiscent of the doors or perhaps jefferson airplane

 
This song seems more inspired by The Velvet Underground to me, especially that fed-back guitar solo, but who knows?  A lot of tunes have that kind of groove going on, especially ones from the mid-to-late 1960s.
Aaaaand again.
Sweet Jane? Anything else?
It's good, but come-on! 
One of The Cowboy Junkies best songs. At their live shows, they really give this song a workout.
There it is again! Come on now, so many more ....
The Caution Horse
Pale Sun Crescent Moon
 
They have more songs and albums. Why is RP only ever playing this one?
PopKombo wrote:

yes, the hypnotic bass line is reminiscent of the doors or perhaps jefferson airplane

 

I would say very Pink Floydish. Their album Echoes.
 old_shep wrote:
This song would have fit right into 1969.  The good part of 1969.

 
yes, the hypnotic bass line is reminiscent of the doors or perhaps jefferson airplane
I love everything about this song, but help me out here-This is about a family annihilator, right?
My favorite CJ song!
Everybody in my mushrooming multitude of churches be dancing buck ass naked all across the holy moly world like bowlegged gypsy muleskinners and B.F. Skinner...  we love this splendiferous song...  love sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll...

reminds us of a Dead Horse...
 ThePoose wrote:
Everybody in my coffin be sleeping

 
I guess that's better than being awake in a coffin - especially if there is six feet of soil over top.
This song would have fit right into 1969.  The good part of 1969.
Yeah!  Good Canucklehead music.
 Lazarus wrote:

We be dancing like slow-motion bowlegged gypsy muleskinners...  love this song...

 

 
I was just at a 3 day Folk/Roots/Blues Festival and you'd have been in fine company with that style of sashaying......in bare feet.
I recently rented Open Road, kind of a companion piece to the album Open. It's an enjoyable DVD for someone who is a fan or wants to learn something about Cowboy Junkies.

We be dancing like slow-motion bowlegged gypsy muleskinners...  love this song...

 
 pvcnote wrote:
Again?!?!? Ten times a day!!!!!!!!!

 
5x in the past 30 days = 1 play every 6 days, on average.  No?  Hardly every day!
 ThePoose wrote:
Everybody in my coffin be sleeping

 
Couldn't disagree more, but that's a pretty funny post! Thanks. 
 ThePoose wrote:
Everybody in my coffin be sleeping
 
Chuckle, chuckle. 
Guess where we are?? Cowboy junkies about to come on stage in Victoria BC. Good omen. 
Everybody in my coffin be sleeping

Shazam!  Love it!  Amen!
 
Get more than a hint of Led Zeppelin in the guitar work at key points - specifically Kashmir - but then, it's using a lot of that crazy 60's eastern influenced stylism.
Again?!?!? Ten times a day!!!!!!!!!
I must confess to not reading ALL of the comments, but does anyone else keep hearing "Mummers Dance" while listening to this?
They did a 10-minute live version of this a couple years ago at the Utah Arts Festival. It was magical. I love their bare bones, sparse style where vocals, percussion and minimal melody guitar slide along on a powerful bass groove that idles along like a sleek diesel locomotive.
 motobecane wrote:

That might be a church worth attending.   Worship music, not god.
 

Ah, worship solipsism, if anything...  listen to music that is good for the ears...

love this song...  hope you are having a great day right this minute...
 

Me tinks me favourite CJ.
 Lazarus wrote:

Everybody in my church be slow-dancing...  love it...
 
 
That might be a church worth attending.   Worship music, not god.

Everybody in my church be slow-dancing...  love it...
 
 joelbb wrote:

Yes, it just gets stronger and stronger as it unrolls.
 

and then it gets subtle?
 Stingray wrote:

SPECIAL!!!

 

PS

Velvet Junkies Underground!

 
You mean the Velvet C&W Underground
 atthetone wrote:
A SUTTLE POWERHOUSE OF A TUNE
 
Yes, it just gets stronger and stronger as it unrolls.
A SUTTLE POWERHOUSE OF A TUNE

SPECIAL!!!

 

PS

Velvet Junkies Underground!


Romeo, I'm afraid to ask.  {#Lol}
Great track from one of their best albums without a doubt - IMHO.
smoothy intimate
lemme guess......your version of a "10"   n'est-ce pas...... ??
 kylieh wrote:
Funny, these guys always put me to sleep.  All their stuff sounds the same.

 
 

Truer words Mi Amigo, truer words.
Funny, these guys always put me to sleep.  All their stuff sounds the same.

 
 romeotuma wrote:


This is a great song from a seminal album...  love it...

 

 
ah, seminal would be The Trinity Sessions. But great, yes.

I loVe you Margot! 

Great band....
This is the end... Beautiful friend, the end.