"Lay Down"
Single by Strawbs
from the album Bursting at the Seams
ReleasedOctober 13, 1972 (1972-10-13)
GenreProgressive folk, progressive rock
Songwriter(s)Dave Cousins
Strawbs singles chronology
"Here It Comes"
"Lay Down"
"Part of the Union"
Official audio
"Lay Down" on YouTube

"Lay Down" is a single by the Strawbs which reached No. 12 in the UK Singles Chart in October 1972 - their first hit.[1] It was included on their 1973 album Bursting at the Seams.

The lyrics are loosely based on the 23rd Psalm in the Old Testament and the song was widely considered to be writer Dave Cousins's most commercial and radio-friendly offering to date. Indeed, some aficionados accused Cousins and the band of "selling out", especially as the band later appeared on Top of the Pops dressed in glittery "glam rock" outfits and wearing make-up (with drummer Richard Hudson unusually placed at the front of the stage).

The single was described, in the original A&M Records Press Release, as ".. the Strawbs first real attempt to crack open the singles market."[2] It featured strong rock guitar riffs from the band's new guitarist Dave Lambert. The album version features an additional guitar solo, making it about thirty seconds longer than the single.

The song was brought to the public's attention again in 2007 when it featured on the BBC television series "Life on Mars". It was, however, unaccountably absent from the DVD boxset soundtrack.


The B-side "Backside" is attributed to "Ciggy Barlust and the Whales from Venus", an obvious allusion to David Bowie's "Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars".

It was actually a Strawbs composition credited to all members of the band at that time.

Other recordings

The song was re-recorded (with different personnel) for the 2003 Strawbs album Blue Angel and also the 1979 Dave Cousins and Brian Willoughby album Old School Songs.


Release history

Region Date Label Format Catalog Comments
United Kingdom October 13, 1972 (1972-10-13) A&M 7" single AMS7035
Denmark 1973 (1973) Sonet 7" single T 7265
United States and Canada 1974 (1974) A&M 7" single AM 1451 B-side "The Winter and the Summer"
Netherlands A&M 7" single 12396 AT
Germany 1973 (1973) A&M 7" single 12396 AT
Spain 1973 (1973) A&M/Hispavox 7" single HS 897 B-side "Mañana (Tomorrow)"
New Zealand 1973 (1973) A&M 7" single AMK 4927 B-side "The Flower and the Young Man"
Japan 1973 (1973) A&M 7" single AM 186 B-side "The Winter and the Summer"
Israel 1972 (1972) A&M 7" single AMS 7035
Portugal 1972 (1972) A&M 7" single 006 94136


  1. ^ "Strawbs". officialcharts.com.
  2. ^ "STRAWBS ALBUMS". www.strawbsweb.co.uk.
  3. ^ Awde, Nick 2008, p225-226