Eric Clapton – Lay Down Sally

This was made during a period where Eric was doing some country-inspired songs. I love the intro and the guitar in the song.

The song was written by Eric Clapton, Marcy Levy, and George Terry. This was released as a single with Cocaine as the B side.

Marcy Levy, one of Clapton’s backup singers, wrote this with him and sang on it. Also getting a songwriting credit on this track is George Terry, who also played guitar on the track. Terry was a member of Clapton’s band.

Lay Down Sally is one of Clapton’s biggest American hits. He wrote it in the style of one of his favorite songwriters, the Oklahoma musician J.J. Cale…Clapton said the song was as close as an Englishman could get to being J.J. Cale.

The song peaked at #3 in the Billboard 100, #3 in Canada, and #39 in the UK in 1978. The song was on the album Slowhand.

From Songfacts

In this song, Clapton tries to convince a girl to hang out with him in bed instead of leaving. The song is not typical of Clapton’s work, which is often based on the blues.

“Lay Down Sally” is grammatically incorrect, as it would mean taking Sally and actually placing her horizontally. When asking Sally to join him in bed, Clapton’s correct grammar would be “Lie Down Sally.” He’s in good company: Bob Dylan also ignored this rule of grammar in “Lay Lady Lay.” 

Eric Clapton once had his hand slammed in a car door by a member of the band The Blues Project. As told in Al Kooper’s Backstage Passes and Backstabbing Bastards, during the landmark 1967 concert “Murray the K’s Easter Rock Extravaganza,” Clapton, Steve Katz, and Kooper headed out to a local music store between sets and were a little late getting back. Hurrying out of the cab, “Steve was right behind me and as he left the cab he accidentally slammed the door right on Clapton’s hand! Eric began to scream in pain, and Steve turned around, ran back, and opened the door. Miraculously, Eric hadn’t broken any bones or even punctured his skin for that matter. Steve felt like a jerk, however. Can you imagine that kind of guilt?”

This is the first track on the album. Depending on who you ask, “Slowhand” was either a nickname given to Clapton by the group’s manager when he was with The Yardbirds (because of his laid-back guitar style), or derived from what would happen when Clapton would break a string on stage: the audience would do a “slow hand clap” while he fixed it.

Lay Down Sally

There is nothing that is wrong
In wanting you to stay here with me
I know you’ve got somewhere to go
But won’t you make yourself at home and stay with me?
And don’t you ever leave

Lay down, Sally, and rest you in my arms
Don’t you think you want someone to talk to?
Lay down, Sally, no need to leave so soon
I’ve been trying all night long just to talk to you

The sun ain’t nearly on the rise
And we still got the moon and stars above
Underneath the velvet skies
Love is all that matters
Won’t you stay with me?
And don’t you ever leave

Lay down, Sally, and rest you in my arms
Don’t you think you want someone to talk to?
Lay down, Sally, no need to leave so soon
I’ve been trying all night long just to talk to you

I long to see the morning light
Coloring your face so dreamily
So don’t you go and say goodbye
You can lay your worries down and stay with me
And don’t you ever leave

Lay down, Sally, and rest you in my arms
Don’t you think you want someone to talk to?
Lay down, Sally, no need to leave so soon
I’ve been trying all night long just to talk to you

Lay down, Sally, and rest you in my arms
Don’t you think you want someone to talk to?
Lay down, Sally, no need to leave so soon
I’ve been trying all night long just to talk to you

Author: badfinger20 (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

32 thoughts on “Eric Clapton – Lay Down Sally”

  1. I read that when Eric needed to change a guitar string, it was always done with the same care and deliberation that he learned from watching his step-grandfather, Jack Clapp laying a line of bricks. He seemed so oblivious of the audience that were kept waiting in suspended animation, that some of them would break into an impatient slow handclap. After this happened several times, the Yardbirds manager Giorgio Gomelsky dubbed him ‘Slow-hand Clapton’.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. One of the best songs from his “Let’s get Albert Lee in the band and go hang out with Don Williams” period. I sometimes wish he would’ve come back to this side of himself again…in the way that Neil Young likes to drop a country album every now and then. This period yielded some good songs.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. He seemed loose and relaxed through this period. Can you imagine what we would have done if we would have just seen him down there? The surprise and shock.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Agreed. We would’ve flat lost our minds. In hindsight, I’m glad we didn’t get a chance to approach him. I hear he’s not too friendly with fans and well-wishers on the street. It would’ve turned ugly, with us turning on him and telling him he’s not fit to carry Jeff Beck’s guitar case….or something like that.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah, Don and his wife went to my mom’s church for a few years. She always had nice things to say about them. I always loved Don’s persona: “I’m gonna sit here on this stool, and I’m gonna sing these songs my way.” Not an artist that was gonna be changed into something he wasn’t by some A&R hack at the label.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I met him a few times downtown and mowing the grass at the park and the high school. I mean…who does that? It was great of him to pitch in with the community.
        I never heard a bad thing against him…

        Liked by 1 person

    1. This version of cocaine (I giggle when I type that) is the studio one…it was good though it took the live version to hit.
      He would hang out with Don Williams at that time…I like this period and yes…I like Backless.

      Like

    1. It is..nice guitar fills.
      Off topic Deke…
      I saw a post the other day that featured
      The Honest Heart Collective from Thunder Bay I believe…do you know much about them? I like what I heard

      Liked by 1 person

      1. LOL…whenever jangly guitars are present…I’m there…no matter where. It’s better than what comes out of Nashville for the most part.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh dude…Never feel like you have to check every one. The reason I started every day was to get noticed…it’s hard building a following and it’s just a habit now…but I still love it.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. No man all good as I love the personal connection and one’s perspective on songs or albums. One of pals calls this Community and he’s right.
        I’d rather read blogs as opposed to what’s going on now anyways. lol

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Yea man I get most of my info from blogs…it IS a community… a really cool one that we share interests…. I do appreciate you reading mine.
        I gave up on the news

        Liked by 2 people

    1. He was also hanging with Don Williams who was an influence. Funny…I was just talking to an old friend in the comments. We met Don Williams plenty of times…very nice guy…we would have lost our minds if Eric would have popped up in our small little town.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I just found out about it today and I found the lyrics and it said posted eight hours ago from the new song. I just took it that it meant today. I’m going to see about another song

        Like

  3. You know I’m a big Clapton fan but I always pretty much hated this track! Insipid MOR…listening to this after some cream or D&D makes you hang your head and wonder where it all went wrong…lol

    Liked by 1 person

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