Lay Down (Candles in the Rain) – Challenge #186

Melanie was in England working on a film score in a studio that was right next door to where The Rolling Stones were when she decided to go do this Woodstock thing. Melanie hadn’t yet recorded her hit ‘Brand New Key’, but things were going well for her in Europe. She envisioned three days of peace, love, and music that would be like a picnic with kids, families, all ages, all kinds of people, all colors, a gathering of humanity interested in arts and crafts, and going shopping, so she told them to sign her up. She had no clue, but until Woodstock happened, nobody really knew what it was going to be like. She went with her mother to the hotel where the artists that would be playing at the festival were staying. Melanie had never met a famous person yet in this point of her life, except Rod Stewart who was in Small Faces at the time, but he really wasn’t famous yet. At the hotel, she saw Sly Stone and Janis Joplin and then she realized how big this event was going to be. That traffic was impossible and she was told that she would be flown to the concert in a helicopter and there was no room for her mom.
When the helicopter landed, Melanie was escorted to a little tent with a dirt floor where she developed a deep bronchial cough. Melanie’s idol Joan Baez was nearby and she heard Melanie coughing, so she sent over an assistant, “a little hippie girl,” with tea, lemon and honey. The Incredible String Band was supposed to go onstage before her, but they were concerned about being electrocuted, because of the weather, but Melanie was an acoustic act at this time, so she was moved up. Melanie was one of the few female performers and she said that when she was asked to go on stage and sing with her guitar at one of the most iconic events of all-time, that she had her first out-of-body experience. She started walking across that bridge to the stage, and she left her body, going to a side, higher view and this wasn’t because her mind was altered by drugs. She dissociated herself, leaving her body because of fear. Once she left her body, she was able to watch herself ascend that stage on that wooden plank and it was like she was hovering over her right shoulder and everything was silent. She saw herself sit down and she came back to her body when she started singing.

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Melanie wrote and recorded the song ‘Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)’ on her 1970 album Candles in the Rain.  This song was her breakthrough hit in the United States, and it climbed all the way up to #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 and it reached #3 on the Cash Box Top 100.  The record was ranked #23 on the Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1970.   This song sold more than a million copies and in 1972, Melanie was named Billboard’s top female vocalist.  Melanie Safka wrote this song about her experience at the Woodstock festival in August 1969, where she was basically an unknown 22-year-old folk singer at the event, but she became a celebrity there, in the half hour set that she did on stage that Friday night, August 15, from 11:00–11:30 pm where she played 6 songs.

She never performed in front of…

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10 thoughts on “Lay Down (Candles in the Rain) – Challenge #186

      1. Sure did. I note that her song People In The Front Row was sampled by Aussie hip hop group Hilltop Hoods in Nosebleed Section, great song and great use of sampling.

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