Exploring Bob Dylan’s ‘Lay Lady Lay’ Legacy

Exploring Bob Dylan’s ‘Lay Lady Lay’ Legacy | I Love Classic Rock Videos

A snippet of Bob Dylan for the Rolling Thunder Revue Tour - Ken Regan/bobdylan / Instagram

Bob Dylan has a talent that knows no limits. Time and time, he has proven that he’s much more than just a folk and ballad singer; he’s a truly versatile artist.

In reality, he has always prioritized his growth as an artist. Dylan has always been one to push his music forward, whether it was when he abandoned the acoustical folk for the rock and roll sounds, or when he adopted a more evangelical sound in the 1970s. His passion to remain a unique artist remains so, and it’s evident to see such inside his album Nashville Skyline.

Dylan took a major risk with this album. It appeared that he was abandoning his typical voice when he replaced the roughest parts of his old singing style with something more polished. “Lay Lady Lay” is a good example of how the vocalist lets loose with his best baritone to pull the album to life.

The song was meant to be featured in the cult film Midnight Cowboy. Dylan had been aimlessly composing the single, and despite the sweet mood, it was deemed ideal for producer John Schlesinger’s dark film. However, Dylan took too long to finish the tune, and Schlesinger opted for Harry Nilsson’s more grandiose “Everybody’s Talkin” as a replacement.

When it comes to Dylan’s catalog, “Lay Lady Lay” stands out as one of the few that has endured, as it is more than just the musician’s few attempts at writing a romantic song. Dylan tried out two new things in the making of this tune, rendering it a watershed event in his career no matter how you look at it.