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Bob Dylan — Lay Lady Lay
Album: Nashville Skyline
Avg rating:
7.9

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1533









Released: 1969
Length: 3:14
Plays (last 30 days): 1
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

Lay, lady, lay, lay across my big brass bed
Stay, lady, stay, stay with your man awhile
Until the break of day, let me see you make him smile
His clothes are dirty but his hands are clean
And you're the best thing that he's ever seen

Stay, lady, stay, stay with your man awhile
Why wait any longer for the world to begin
You can have your cake and eat it too
Why wait any longer for the one you love
When he's standing in front of you

Lay, lady, lay, lay across my big brass bed
Stay, lady, stay, stay while the night is still ahead
I long to see you in the morning light
I long to reach for you in the night
Stay, lady, stay, stay while the night is still ahead
Comments (146)add comment
 user4176 wrote:


It's called a self-cover, or covie for the generation smartphone.
 
Or the Casandra Wilson cover in the link is what was being referenced
nope
Gracious. A Bob Dylan song I don't hate!
 dwlangham wrote:
If he can sing like this, why doesn't he sing like this?
 

This comment is among the best ever here
'Lay Lady' can be a request and/or an offer.
"Lady lay" can be an order, a command.
"Lay Lady Lay" can be both or neither.
It may be everything but maybe it is just nothing.
Pure poetry.
How can anyone think this work is not brilliant?

(And what about the man?
Forget the man: keep the work.
Otherwise you lose both.)
His chosen voice inflection of this period has just a hint of Kermit the Frog that I can't quite get past.
Really enjoying the music tonight Bill.
Thanks.
This is always beautiful to hear
 RabbitEars wrote:
 
Thanks for the link, friend.  Very different and unusual interpretation.
stay with your man a whaylle...
 AhhtheMusic wrote:
 RabbitEars wrote:
 Hmmm, I believe Mr. Dylan wrote this song.  

 

It's called a self-cover, or covie for the generation smartphone.
 RabbitEars wrote:
 Hmmm, I believe Mr. Dylan wrote this song.  

an excellent cover
 Lazarus wrote:
 
Love these comments Lazarus.  Curious that they link to a Cowboy Junkies song.
My friend and I are drinking coffee and doubting that this is Bob Dylan.....we concur......this is not a cover This is Zimmy!
This entire album was ahead of its time, as a pioneering product of what we would come to define as a cross-over. Hey Bill, how about playing "Girl from the North Country" with Johnny Cash from this album?
I still remember way back in the 1980s when this came on the radio in the family car... we're all going down the road in an awkward silence while Bob Dylan croons about laying his girlfriend in his brass bed.  Great song, funny memories.
as charlotte gainsbourg (daughter of serge) once said in an interview: when she asked her father about what one has to learn about music - he played her thisversion of  lay lady lay and said "here this is all you need to know - it contains all the essence" ;-)
it's like coming way too late for a party
 lizardking wrote:

As long as you're OK w/ 1) teaching me how to skin a mule while 2) not being a gypsy and 3) having non-bowlegs or 4) not pigeon-toed either....and 5) I'm not the best dancer either!!  Put I'm sure I'd get down with that fun filled hotel room of yours.

And in all seriousness, you are WITHOUT a doubt one of my favs on here Laz, hell you ARE my favorite poster.  

Stay cool bro!!  PEACE and Long Live RP!!

 
Get a hotel room!  {#Smile}
 Lazarus wrote:

 
As long as you're OK w/ 1) teaching me how to skin a mule while 2) not being a gypsy and 3) having non-bowlegs or 4) not pigeon-toed either....and 5) I'm not the best dancer either!!  But I'm sure I'd get down with that fun filled hotel room of yours.

And in all seriousness, you are WITHOUT a doubt one of my favs on here Laz, hell you ARE my favorite poster.  

Stay cool bro!!  PEACE and Long Live RP!!

One of the few songs that Dylan has done, that I prefer his singing, then a good singing voice covering.  Great song
 lizardking wrote:

Rock-on, Laz...I really gotta try hanging in that crowded hotel room with y'all sometime.  Hope you're enjoying life right now. PEACE and Long Live RP!!
 
Everybody in my hotel room loves this song so much!!  You are welcome here anytime, lizardking...  we be dancing like bowlegged gypsy muleskinners...  love Radio Paradise!
 Lazarus wrote: 
Rock-on, Laz...I really gotta try hanging in that crowded hotel room with y'all sometime.  Hope you're enjoying life right now. PEACE and Long Live RP!!

Liking or disliking Dylan, I suppose, comes down to how you were introduced to him and what your expectations are from the music you listen to; if you want energy and something to dance to, he's not for you.  If you want deep and thoughtful song-writing with typically simple and effective (and in his later years, rather excellent guitar work IMO) music well he's your man. 

At the very least take yourself way back to 1965 (or watch the press conference in like 6 parts on Utube) and imagine just how freaking awesome he was; his message, his "I'm too cool to answer your silly newspaper/magazine questions, you just don't get what I'm about man" - sometimes I wish I had been alive then (of course, knowing everything I know now {#Cheesygrin} ) anyway - I should probably get to work and just enjoy the tunes for now.

 

Great set so far this AM BillG, as usual - thanks for getting me through another day at the plant.


❤️

 EdEastridge wrote:

When I was (much) younger, I swore this was Mac Davis… {#Eek}

  Those weights don't look very user-friendly...I always wanted to see Bobby Z. pump iron!


I agree with ThePoose. A fine song, however, one of the few that does not benefit from more cowbell.
Way overplayed in the early 70's.  Didn't like it then, still don't. PSD
I hated this song back when it came out, now in the occasional RP mix it's okay, kinda lame but okay now and then
 primm wrote:
this tune was originally tagged for the sound track midnight cowboy but never happened. a great tune none the less

 
No movies. This is MUSIC.
More cowbell...wait...enough cowbell!
 CowboyJJ wrote:
Wow, had no idea this was Dylan until now!

 
When I was (much) younger, I swore this was Mac Davis… {#Eek}

I got betta! 
Wow, had no idea this was Dylan until now!
Great song from a great album. One of my favs
Who is this strange Bob Dylan wanna-be? 
this tune was originally tagged for the sound track midnight cowboy but never happened. a great tune none the less
What the HELL is he saying?! Awful.
imo an exceptional song in all ways!  
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hyxqozlP-o
 hempmandan wrote:
Too bad there isn't a 9.5 rating...
 
 
Splitting hairs...really?
10! 
Too bad there isn't a 9.5 rating...
 
 dwlangham wrote:
If he can sing like this, why doesn't he sing like this?

 
I can't normally take the affectations from the man, but I bloody love this song.
 Ag3nt0rang3 wrote:
Would love to hear the Ministry cover of this, here. (I'm only half joking)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ms7hd4e_EFg

 
that is a really good version.
 moodfood wrote:

The story goes that Dylan had quit smoking during the Nashville recordings, hence the improved quality of his voice here.

 
Improved Quality?? Still sounds like he's singing through a mouthful of mashed potatoes to me. Which is actually kind of nice because it masks his searching for the correct notes. I just don't get Dylan.
 bb_matt wrote:
Love this song, but seems so odd that his voice sounds so different in this era?
Some sort of effects in the recording?

 

 
The story goes that Dylan had quit smoking during the Nashville recordings, hence the improved quality of his voice here.
And me too!!!


msymmes wrote:
Me too !!!!   {#Yell}
 

Peter_Bradshaw wrote:
{#Bananapiano}  Wonderful Stuff - Godlike 4me
 



 


Me too !!!!   {#Yell}
 

Peter_Bradshaw wrote:
{#Bananapiano}  Wonderful Stuff - Godlike 4me
 


 bb_matt wrote:
Love this song, but seems so odd that his voice sounds so different in this era?
Some sort of effects in the recording?

 

 

Agree. For he longest time I didn't even realize it was Dylan.
Love this song, but seems so odd that his voice sounds so different in this era?
Some sort of effects in the recording?

 
{#Bananapiano}  Wonderful Stuff - Godlike 4me
Would love to hear the Ministry cover of this, here. (I'm only half joking)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ms7hd4e_EFg
big stud Romeo Tuma wrote:

Everybody in my hotel room loves this magnificent song...

Bob Dylan has a new album out called Tempest...  if you would like to see some details about his new album, look here...
 

I be the holy ghost of big stud Romeo Tuma...  you can still look there...  love this song...
 
 leunam wrote:
Gracias, Bob  eres exteaordinario.... y Lay es mi favorita.

 
And mine as well!
If he can sing like this, why doesn't he sing like this?
Gracias, Bob  eres exteaordinario.... y Lay es mi favorita.
This song shows that the rest of his career was a waste of talent.

Harsh? Yeah, I know, but there's only so much of his normal singing voice that I can stand before I start listening to the lyrics and really begin to wonder wtf everyone else is thinking.

Stupid? Yes, I admit he has written some great songs with great lyrics.

But I forget all that when I hear anything from Nashville Skyline and wonder why this sound wasn't his first move.
 gfalkner wrote:
'Blonde on Blonde', followed by 'Lay Lady Lay'. brilliant!
 
Yesssss !
Gracias, Bill, me encanta esta canción
(Manuel desde Venezuela).
The chance of all rear turn signals blinking at the same time...is the similar occurrence when a Bob Dylan song doesn't SUCK. I actually kinda like this one. Go figure. 
Ah, back in the day when he would actually, you know, SING instead of mumbling incoherently.
What I want to know is how did he get his voice to sound good?

Everybody in my hotel room loves this magnificent song...

Bob Dylan has a new album out called Tempest...  if you would like to see some details about his new album, look here... 


My rating just raised the average from 7.9 to an 8.

Maybe the first time hearing this on RP...    In any event.  It is simple.   A TEN !!

 
 eroz wrote:

Hearing this song over the years, I thought it was done by a country singer. I just now realized it was Bob Dylan singing. Normally I dislike the sound of his voice...but I actually like the sound of it on ths song. Unbelievable.

 
To me this has always had an early 70s Country/Pop crossover feel to it. I would never have guessed it was Dylan. 
love and hate him at the same time...
'Blonde on Blonde', followed by 'Lay Lady Lay'. brilliant!
I want to hear Lyle Lovett cover this song ...
 Misterfixit wrote:
You're gonna cringe, but there is a Conway Twitty sound to this.  Always has been.
 
Conwa Twitty singing about a big brass bed. I think not.

Hearing this song over the years, I thought it was done by a country singer. I just now realized it was Bob Dylan singing. Normally I dislike the sound of his voice...but I actually like the sound of it on ths song. Unbelievable.


You're gonna cringe, but there is a Conway Twitty sound to this.  Always has been.
{#Daisy}
Funny thing about this song, I actually think Bob sounds terrible and the song is not that good but I love it anyway!{#Lol}8
 thais wrote:
Oh, well.
Lots of people hate this music.
Lots of people love this music.
Unanimity is stupidity.
This is why Dylan is a genious: nobody is able to be insensible before him...
 
Yes, except for that last sentence....which I will reinterpret as, "This is why Dylan is a genius: no-one can be unaffected by him", but only because insensible is difficult for many.....and yes I am being a pedant.
gorgeous, reminds me of a couple of wonderful women I had a relationship with in college. Hearing this brings those fond memories back. Wherever those two women are, I wish them well.
Sexy...{#Whipit}
 Gs_Girl wrote:
I always hated this song. It just doesn't sound like Bob, and I can't stand his voice here. Blech.
 

I have the opposite reaction to this song.  I think is one of the very few songs where he can actually carry a tune.  It's still not a favorite, but I think it's worth a 4.
"This album, especially this song, had major impact in 1969. Just a few years after Dylan shocked the folk world by going electric, even as Hendrix hit his commercial peak and Led Zep released their first disk, Dylan took another radical turn. This remains an epic song."

As commented above earlier in this thread this was an EPIC song.  Never before had a song referenced a lady in someone's bed, especially in north Florida where I was at the UF.  I almost ran off the road when I first heard it as this subject was s-o-o-o-o tabu; to allude to something like this on the air.  It instantly became an anthem of sorts (along with Country Joe's "Pinebox Blues") for us fledging broadcasters in our programmimg attempts to bring local music out of the 40s and into the 60s.  It still rates a solid 9 to me, if nothing else for the personal memories it evokes of a heady time when we thought our generation could really make a difference.   

Oh, well.
Lots of people hate this music.
Lots of people love this music.
Unanimity is stupidity.
This is why Dylan is a genious: nobody is able to be insensible before him...
 DaMoGan wrote:


This.

I didn't even realize it was Dylan for the longest time.
 
I had the same surprise. Actually preferring this voice to his usual scratchy one.
I do like this very much.   {#Clap}
 ScottN wrote:
A misstep for Dylan, imo. Puzzling to me that it is so popular.
 

This.

I didn't even realize it was Dylan for the longest time.

At least he's not screeching that stream-of-consciousness bullshit that apparently represents the rest of his work.
{#Clap}
I understood it was written for the film Midnight Cowboy but Dylan delivered the song late so they used Everybody's Talking by Nilsson instead.
A misstep for Dylan, imo. Puzzling to me that it is so popular.
Great song from an excellent album!
I know its blasphemous but I've never liked this Dylan tune. Not as bad as some of the Cash/Dylan session outtakes though.
I only spare this from a 1 rating because I refuse, on principle, to call anything "Sucko-barfo".
Love it. Check avatar....
I always hated this song. It just doesn't sound like Bob, and I can't stand his voice here. Blech.
At least I can understand his lyrics for once. My highest rated Dylan song.
Never liked this song. Sorry
Sobient wrote:
It doesn't sound like Bob dylan! Is this in his earlier years?
I believe he quit smoking for a while and this was the result. Edit: Oops, looks like this has already been previously discussed by others.
Great song! Dylan changing with the times. Shedding the folk cloak.
beelzebubba wrote:
My favorite Dylan song. So sweet. (of course, I'm a sucker for almost anything with pedal steel)
My least favorite Dylan song. So sappy. (though I do like the pedal steel)
I just returned from seeing Dylan with Willie Nelson outside of St, Louis MO and he played this tonight! But you know?, for almost 40 years I've heard this song 'one way'. Tonight I found Dylan a bit formulaic/ Yet, still, I walked away having experienced a legend! as a whole it was a good show, I am glad I went. So much so, that I wrote about it here. (pimp)
brandog wrote:
And yes, this is pre-heroin Dylan.
No such thing. Sacrilege!
Sounds like he's playing a beer can during the verses. And yes, this is pre-heroin Dylan.
Sobient wrote:
It doesn't sound like Bob dylan! Is this in his earlier years?
yeah. he sounds like he's doing a (poor) jim neighbors impersonation.
It doesn't sound like Bob dylan! Is this in his earlier years?
My favorite Dylan song. So sweet. (of course, I'm a sucker for almost anything with pedal steel)
mmmm....cowbell. one of the great many incarnations of zimmy. very cool album-especially for its time. give to me my country pie and I won't throw it up in anybody's face
:sunny.gif:
Ministry has a wacky, wicked-wonderful cover of this on their FilthPig album...perhaps the most low-key song in the Ministry library. worth checking out whether it's for a laugh or for serious.
tokyopoorboy wrote:
Dylan chose, as a young man, to try to sound like an old raspy-voiced blues singer, because those were the guys he revered. He never wanted to sound pretty. He never wanted his songs to sound pretty either. That's why I can never understand people who say they prefer the cover versions of Dylan. It's like lite beer compared to whisky, whisky that lays forever on the tongue. I've enjoyed some of those cover versions. But not because they were prettier or closer to what the songs could be. Few have matched or bettered Dylan's versions. Hendrix's Watchtower and The Neville Brothers Ballad of Hollis Brown are two great examples of songs that perhaps live up to Dylan's standard. These days, Dylan's voice really does sound like the old bluesman he'd always wanted to sound like. And he can still change your life in three minutes. Still remember exactly where I was when I heard him sing Blind Willie McTell the first time.
Wow, I truly enjoy your comments...Very intersting...
Dylan chose, as a young man, to try to sound like an old raspy-voiced blues singer, because those were the guys he revered. He never wanted to sound pretty. He never wanted his songs to sound pretty either. That's why I can never understand people who say they prefer the cover versions of Dylan. It's like lite beer compared to whisky, whisky that lays forever on the tongue. I've enjoyed some of those cover versions. But not because they were prettier or closer to what the songs could be. Few have matched or bettered Dylan's versions. Hendrix's Watchtower and The Neville Brothers Ballad of Hollis Brown are two great examples of songs that perhaps live up to Dylan's standard. These days, Dylan's voice really does sound like the old bluesman he'd always wanted to sound like. And he can still change your life in three minutes. Still remember exactly where I was when I heard him sing Blind Willie McTell the first time.
Whit wrote:
It's because he had quit smoking for this album. You never realize how bad smoking is for your voice until you quit. The change in my voice was dramatic. Enough about me. This song has always held me spellbound from the opening note to the end. One line reminds me of my husband: "His clothes are dirty but his hands are clean and you're the best thing that he's ever seen." Sounds like Dylan understood the heart of a working man. :heartkiss: :kiss: :notworthy:
To me that was one of the great lyrics in music. I worked constructon as a teenager and really felt the words belonged to me and my sweeheart (Ok...sweethearts.) Now I work at a desk and the romance has gone out of my labor. But enuf about me. This album, especially this song, had major impact in 1969. Just a few years after Dylan shocked the folk world by going electric, even as Hendrix hit his commercial peak and Led Zep released their first disk, Dylan took another radical turn. This remains an epic song. Typesbad wrote:
This song was largely to blame for me deciding that I and my then new bride had to have a brass bed for well...what newlyweds do...
Funny stories. Dylan had to be responsible for half the brass beds sold in America for more than a decade. Other than the polishing it demanded, I hope it helped you keep that newlywed for all the years you had it.......
Love Dylan,he's amazing,but not my favorite song of his.Still,it was nice to hear:)
999_99_999 wrote:
That's what most people don't understand about Bob Dylan. He has an amazing amount of vocal control and the "other voice" he uses was chosen as part of the effect.
Ditto.
xkolibuul wrote:
Oh yeah....
Yup:)
ArbiterOfGoodTaste wrote:
Yeah...
Oh yeah....
Yeah...
fncll wrote:
I absolutely don't believe this is Bob Dylan. There is nothing in the vocal that sounds like him, cigarette-effect or not. It has to be some kind of joke...
That's what most people don't understand about Bob Dylan. He has an amazing amount of vocal control and the "other voice" he uses was chosen as part of the effect.
Thanks for playing this song, it brings a lot of College Nostalgia...
This song was largely to blame for me deciding that I and my then new bride had to have a brass bed for well...what newlyweds do. (that ever-present bed on Love American Style bed pick up the balance of blame.) After each tiresome, smelly polishing, the bed would regain its luster but romance of it all faded indefinately. I eventually dumped that high maintenance item on Goodwill. I don't supose Mr. Zimmerman ever had to do any of his own polishing. Of course, I suppose there are worse songs out there to be unduly influenced by.