In 2016, Loretta Lynn and Willie Nelson teamed up for the first time in three decades with “Lay Me Down.”
The song comes off Lynn’s album, Full Circle, in which she made history. Full Circle became Lynn’s highest-charting album of all time when it debuted at the 19th spot on the Billboard albums chart. The album is composed of some updated versions of Lynn’s classic songs, along with brand new pieces written specifically for the album, including “Lay Me Down” – which is indeed unique in the fact that Lynn sang it with Willie Nelson as a duet.
The Very First Time The Two Country Icons Teamed Up Together
Although Loretta Lynn and Willie Nelson have been friends for years, “Lay Me Down” marked the first time the two country icons ever recorded a song together. Despite never working together before, Lynn revealed that they nailed the song on their first take and knew at that very moment that they were going to tour the world with this song.
“I am so proud to be able to sing a song with my friend, Willie. I love this song, ‘Lay Me Down,’ so much,” Lynn said. Lynn and Nelson have not appeared on stage together since the Farm Aid benefit concert in 1985. “It had been 30 years since we’d last seen each other. Willie and I got to meet and talk about old times when we shot the music video in Nashville. Willie is one of those people that, even if you haven’t seen them for 30 years, you feel like it was just yesterday. We have a natural respect and love for each other.”
Nelson echoed Lynn’s sentiments. He said, “I’m excited to have a new record and video out with Ms. Loretta Lynn, who is one of the few remaining traditional country artists, and one of my favorite people. She’s an original!”
Reflection On Life And Musing On Mortality
Written by Loretta Lynn’s son-in-law Mark Marchetti, “Lay Me Down” is a reflection on life and a musing on mortality. The narrators in the song declared they will only find peace “when they lay me down.”
“When they lay me down someday, my soul will rise, then fly away. This old world will turn around. I’ll be at peace when they lay me down. This life isn’t fair, it seems. It’s filled with tears and broken dreams. There are no tears where I am bound, and I’ll be at peace when they lay me down,” the song goes.
Loretta Lynn debuted “Lay Me Down” through a music video with Nelson. Directed by David McClister, the short clip was simple, yet powerful. It shows Lynn and Nelson singing “Lay Me Down” alone in the backstage halls and dressing rooms of Nashville’s Municipal Auditorium. Lynn was dressed in one of her iconic gowns, and Nelson has his trusty guitar, Trigger.
Finally, the two of them come together on stage to sing in an empty auditorium, smiling at one another as they sing, and ending their performance with a sweet embrace.
You can watch Loretta Lynn and Willie Nelson’s music video for their duet below.