Every No. 1 Country Single of the Eighties: Conway Twitty, “I’d Love to Lay You Down”

“I’d Love to Lay You Down”

Conway Twitty

Written by Johnny MacRae

Radio & Records

#1 (1 week)

March 28, 1980


#1 (1 week)

March 29, 1980

Conway Twitty entered the eighties as a bona fide country superstar.  He’d topped the pop charts once in the fifties, but his first visit to No. 1 on the country charts in 1968 launched a run that would produce more chart toppers than any country single to date, including his last three singles of the seventies and his first single of the eighties.

I look forward to writing about those classic seventies hits down the road, and he kicks this decade off with one of his very best records.  “I’d Love to Lay You Down” is brilliantly subversive.  The title suggests we’re in for another sleazy romp in the hay.  Twitty leans into those expectations, using his baritone voice in the same seductive way that powered his earlier classic, “You’ve Never Been This Far Before.”

Then with the chorus, it turns.  He’s not trying to seduce some random woman for one night of fun.  He’s actually keeping the flame alive in his long running marriage.  This is a man who truly loves his partner, and what he really wants to do is to “tell you how much it means just having you around.”  This is a guy who can get frisky just looking at his wife in her house dress:

There’s so many ways your sweet love made this house into a home.You’ve got a way of doin’ little things that turn me on.Like standin’ in the kitchen in your faded cotton gownWith your hair all up in curlers, I’d still love to lay ya down.

“I’d Love to Lay You Down” counters the message that women grow less attractive as they age, and in a genre well known for songs about husbands and their wandering eyes, Twitty is throwing down the gauntlet on behalf of married women everywhere – and setting the bar high for their husbands, too.

There’s even an implicit reference to ED, and he’s preemptively reassuring her that if it happens, it won’t be because she’s no longer beautiful to him:

When a whole lot of Decembers are showin’ in your face.Your auburn hair has faded and silver takes it’s place.You’ll be just as lovely and I’ll still be around.And if I can, I know that I’d still love to lay you down.

“I’d Love to Lay You Down” is the perfect bookend to Billie Jo Spears’ “Blanket On the Ground,” which famously said that “just because we are married don’t mean we can’t slip around.”   It’s one of the very best records of his distinguished catalog, and a much needed palate cleanser after the last few records from wannabe seducers.

Conway’s next two singles fell a bit short of the top spot, but we’ll see him again in 1981 with a solo cover of an Andy Gibb & Olivia Newton-John record.

“I’d Love to Lay You Down” gets an A.

Every No. 1 Single of the Eighties

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  1. This has got to be one of the first Conway Twitty songs that I ever heard and one that feels like I’ve known my entire life. An easy A and one of Conway’s 80’s hits that don’t sound terribly dated.

  2. So much seducing in the 80s! It certainly feels like a lot of artists should’ve left the seducing to Conway Twitty, who could actually do it well without being too sleazy.

  3. Another master-class in the importance of charisma and character when selling a song.

    Twitty’s growling vocals gave lascivious voice to sentiments many men married men presumably felt but where unable to find the words for. What is seductive and inviting to female ears is simultaneously received with gratitude by men because Twitty has said for them what they couldn’t manage on their own.

    Twitty admitted to going through 2,500-3,000 songs songs everyone he went in to record another album. He described his his live show as “almost like making love.” Twitty valued the sensual.

    Booby Wood, the keyboardist who played on almost all Garth Brooks recordings, was in the studio for this one with Conway.

    I am a massive Conway Twitty fan.

  4. My name is Linda and I love “LINDA ON MY MIND”thsts when young women wore short skirts and boots up to their knees and a older man that had desk in office where i worked. Him and his wife were on way to their vacation – thst ding came on snd he turned it up she listened a little bit she reached over and turned way down “WHO IS LINDA?”
    He had to explain she must have accepted it.

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