“I’d Love to Lay You Down”
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 gown With 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.
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