Lay Me Down by Sam Smith
‘Lay Me Down’ introduced Sam Smith in music industry, before he obtained a worldwide success with ‘Stay With Me’. The song advances the controversial idea of gay marriage, reflecting the artist’s position related to sexual tolerance.
Initially, Sam Smith is displayed in front of a coffin. Time itself seems to have stopped, the priest is silent, the audience statically watches Sam Smith’s reaction, while the white candles appear to have melted. As the priest leaves the coffin, Sam Smith is able to see the happy moments spent with the man he loved, before his disappearance. In the same church, they got married, joyfully celebrating their love.
The end of the video is a returning to Sam Smith’s pain, he is alone in the church that witnessed both his joy and sadness. His head is down to the pavement, as a sign of acceptance of his partner’s death.
The video of ‘Lay Me Down’ is based on the antagonistic contrast between white and black, symbolizing happiness and sadness. When his partner lived, Sam Smith was happy and the audience was dressed in white, as common witness of a wedding. At his funerals, everybody is dressed in black, sadly looking to Sam Smith, who expresses his pain through the lyrics of the song.
‘Lay Me Down’ is the first single promoting the Sam Smith’s debut album, ‘In the Lonely Hour’ (2014), after the success of ‘Latch’, Disclosure’s hit featuring his vocals.
The soul ballad with R&B influence was released in February 2013, launched again in January 2015, being written by Sam Smith, Elvin Smith and Jimmy Napes, creating songs for Adele and Mary J. Blige.
The song reminds of the gospel ballad ‘Stay With Me’ through rhythm and the scenario of the video, both reflecting Sam Smith’s connection with contemporary religiosity. Jimmy Napes and Steve Fitzmaurice, also mastering songs for Depeche Mode, Seal or Kylie Minogue, produced ‘Lay Me Down’.
The video associated with ‘Lay Me Down’ was directed by Ryan Hope, mostly known for commercials for perfume brands, while his collaboration with musicians included the video created for ‘The Kooks’ (Around Town). The scenes of ‘Lay Me Down’, released in February 2015, were shot in Saint Margaret’s Church in Southern London, creating the realistic background for the funeral affecting Sam Smith. The Revd Dr. Alan Race appeared in the role of the priest blessing the union of the two men, as well as assisting to the funerals of Sam Smith’s partner.