Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)
|"Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)"|
In some countries—including the United States and Australia—the album and single art were identical.
|Single by Melanie|
|from the album Candles in the Rain|
|B-side||"Candles in the Rain" (spoken word)|
|Released||March 7, 1970|
|Melanie singles chronology|
"Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)" was the second single from Melanie's 1970 album Candles in the Rain. The song proved to be her breakthrough hit in the United States, climbing to number six on Billboard's Hot 100 and number three on the Cash Box Top 100.
Released in March 1970, the recording was a spirited collaboration between folk singer/songwriter Melanie (Safka) and California gospel act the Edwin Hawkins Singers, who had reached the national Top Ten the previous year with "Oh Happy Day". Melanie wrote the song after performing at Woodstock in August 1969; the song's lyrics describe what she felt as she looked out at the sea of people attending the music event.
“Lay Down” is also associated with certain events occurring during the Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam, held in the autumn of 1969.
The single reached the Top Ten in several countries including the Netherlands, where in late March 1970 it replaced the Beatles' “Let It Be" at number one. In its native America “Lay Down” spent what was then a lengthy 17 weeks on both the Billboard and Cash Box charts. In May and early June 1970 it remained at number one for three weeks on WRKO-AM in Boston, ultimately ranking tenth among the station's year-end Top 100. It also reached number one in both Minneapolis/St. Paul (WDGY) and Albany (WPTR (AM)) in July, when it also peaked nationally. In Australia “Lay Down” spent 23 weeks on the Go-Set national charts, reaching number three.
In most territories the album's spoken-word title track "Candles in the Rain" – also part of the single's title — featured as the B-side.
|Australian Singles Chart||3|
|Canadian Singles Chart||5|
|Dutch Singles Chart||1|
|French Singles Chart||4|
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||6|
|U.S. Cash Box Charts||3|
- British rock band Mott The Hoople covered it for their 1971 album Wildlife.
- Skiffle-influenced Pennsylvanian indie rock group The Strapping Fieldhands recorded a no-fi version of the song on their 1994 EP "In The Pineys". The EP, released on Siltbreeze Records, also closes with a shambolic reprise of the song.
- Australian artist Max Sharam released it as a single from her 1995 album A Million Year Girl. The single reached #36 on the ARIA Charts in November that year.
- Meredith Brooks, with Queen Latifah, released it as a single from her 1999 Deconstruction album.
- Beth Sorrentino covered the song on her 2011 album Hiding Out.