Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)

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"Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)"
Single by Melanie
from the album Candles in the Rain
B-side"Candles in the Rain" (spoken word)
ReleasedMarch 7, 1970
Format7" single
GenrePop, psychedelic pop
Songwriter(s)Melanie Safka
Producer(s)Peter Schekeryk
Melanie singles chronology
"What Have They Done to My Song, Ma"
"Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)"
"Ruby Tuesday"

"Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)" was the second single from Melanie Safka's 1970 album Candles in the Rain. The song proved to be her breakthrough hit in the United States, climbing to no. 6 on the Billboard's Hot 100 and no. 3 on the Cash Box Top 100. The record was ranked no. 23 on the Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1970.

Released in March 1970, the recording was a collaboration between Melanie and the Californian 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.[1]

"Lay Down" is also associated with certain events occurring during the Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam, held in 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 no. 1. In its native America "Lay Down" spent what was then a lengthy 17 weeks on both the Billboard and Cash Box charts.[2] In May and early June 1970 it remained at no. 1 for three weeks on WRKO-AM[3] in Boston, ultimately ranking tenth in the station's year-end Top 100. In addition it reached no. 1 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 no. 3.[4]

In most territories the album's spoken-word title track, "Candles in the Rain" (also part of the single's title), was included as the B-side.


Chart (1970) Peak
Australian Singles Chart[5] 3
Canadian Singles Chart[6] 1
Dutch Singles Chart[7] 1
French Singles Chart[8] 4
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[1] 6
U.S. Cash Box Charts[9] 3


Australian artist Max Sharam released the song as a single from her 1995 album A Million Year Girl. The single reached No. 36 on the ARIA Charts in November that year.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b ""Lay Down (Candles In The Rain)" - Melanie". Retrieved 17 January 2018.
  2. ^ "Cash Box Charts, August 8, 1970". Retrieved 17 January 2018.
  3. ^ "WRKO".
  4. ^ "Go-Set Australian charts - 5 December 1970". Retrieved 17 January 2018.
  5. ^ "Go-Set Australian charts - 29 August 1970". Retrieved 17 January 2018.
  6. ^ "RPM Top Singles: Issue 3829". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 22 July 2018.
  7. ^ "Lay Down". Retrieved 17 January 2018.
  8. ^ "". Retrieved 17 January 2018.
  9. ^ "Cash Box Chart, July 11, 1970". Retrieved 17 January 2018.
  10. ^ " – Max Sharam – Lay Down". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved August 16, 2019.

External links[edit]