Logos Listens: Lay My Head Down, Taylor Leonhardt

Welcome to the first post of our new series, LOGOS LISTENS, a series of chill music recommendations where we review and unpack the lyrics of our favorite music titles.

From Taylor Leonhardt’s album River House, the understated song “Lay My Head Down” struck me for the simplicity and honesty of its lyrics, along with its soothing chord movements. “Lay My Head Down” speaks to the overworked, anxious Yale student (me), who is constantly being badgered by internal voices questioning self-worth, meaning and ultimate purpose. The unusually direct and honest opening lines of the song that call out this voice of pride catches the listener somewhat off-guard, and opens us up to the realization that the “climb to progress”,  a truly tautological wordplay, is a road to nowhere.

The chorus seems to draw its inspiration from verses like Psalm 4:8, “In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.” and Psalm 127:2 “in vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat– for he grants sleep to those he loves.” Finally, of course, Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Its simplicity underscores the simplicity of our own approach to God, our lack of anything to prove, the need to come as we are.

Leonhardt reminds the Christian how easy it is to forget that we do not need to earn the love of God, and how easy it is to slip into restlessness, into pride, into self-sufficiency. The greatest work of the Christian life is to rest all we have in God’s hands.

Lyrics:

[Verse 1]
I hear it all the time, the familiar voice of my pride
Whatcha gonna make of yourself? Whatcha gonna show everyone else?
I need to find release from a life of efficiency
This climb to progress is a road to nowhere

[Chorus]
When it comes to you
I don’t have anything to prove
You make me rest
You make me lay my head down
You make me lay my head down

[Verse 2]
I’ve been guilty of trying to win your heart
As if your love wasn’t certain, as if I could earn it
But you’re coming close, telling me all I need to know
Where to find a drink and how to open my hands

[Chorus]
When it comes to you
I don’t have anything to prove
You make me rest
You make me lay my head down
You make me lay my head down
You make me lay my head down, oh-oh-ooh
You make me lay my head down

 

 

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