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