Story Behind the Song: Paul Cauthen, ‘Lay Me Down’
Much of Paul Cauthen's 2019 album, Room 41, tells the story of the tumultuous, alcohol- and drug-addled period he was going through as he made it. However, "Lay Me Down" expresses a moment of grounding and taking stock, inspired by the singer's grandfather.
Read on to learn why including"Lay Me Down" on Room 41 was so important to Cauthen -- and why it took him so long to record the song -- as the singer recounts the story behind the song.
[It's not the first song I've written about my grandfather], and it probably won't be the last. He taught me how to sing. He taught me how to play. He taught me how to be a man. He taught me how to have morals, you know? He died when I was real young, and I had to grow up real fast, you know? He's just always with me. He was my dude.
That song is just totally [about] digging into what are my roots and where I came from. I try to put one of those songs on a record so that it always keeps me grounded within my upbringing.
That song has been around for probably about 10 years -- it's the oldest song on the album. I recorded it probably 10 different ways. It took a long time. I was massaging it all sorts of different ways.
[What finally clicked was] the strings section. Doing the strings, and just letting it be an elegant song -- letting it be a ballad.