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Life of a Song: Tanya Tucker Says 'Would You Lay With Me (In a Field of Stone)' is the 'Perfect Wedding Song'

Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

When Tanya Tucker rose to fame at the age of 13 with her hit song "Delta Dawn," she proved that she had a voice and wisdom beyond her years. But at least one song proved to be semi-controversial because Tucker recorded it when she was only 15 years old.

"Would You Lay With Me (In a Field of Stone)" was the title track to Tucker's third album, which featured "Let Me Be There," a cover of Kris Kristofferson's "Why Me Lord" and the Ed Bruce-penned "The Man That Turned My Mama On."

Though the song hit No. 1 in 1974, Tucker says she was sometimes told not to perform the tune because of what some considered to be suggestive lyrics. (If my needs were strong would you lay with me, should my lips grow dry would you wet them dear/ In the midnight hour, if my lips were dry, Tucker sings on the country classic.)

"I was playing the Fort Worth Livestock Show and Rodeo...I met with the guy who was booking us -- my dad and I -- in his office. He said 'this is a family show...I can't let you do [that song],'" Tucker told Wide Open Country ahead of the release of her 2020 live album Live From the Troubadour. "So I couldn't do the song."

Country singer Tanya Tucker, 15, is shown in May 1974. Tucker, who began singing at age 6, recorded her first hit, "Delta Dawn," at age 13. (AP Photo)

Who Wrote 'Would You Lay With Me (In a Field of Stone)'?

But Tucker explains that the song, written by outlaw country singer David Allan Coe, was written not about a salacious tryst, but about something much more wholesome: wedding vows.

"Years later, I got to know David Allan Coe pretty well," Tucker says. "He said he wrote that song about his brother's wedding vows. So when you listen to it in that way, the song is not a dirty song."

Tucker says she still considers the song to be one of her best.

"Those were some heavy words and it's the perfect wedding song," Tucker continued. "But we really needed the money so we didn't do that song [laughs]....It's one of my best songs."

Read More: Tanya Tucker on Johnny Cash, Earning Her Flowers and New Album 'Live From the Troubadour' [Interview]

The song, which was produced by Billy Sherrill, served as the opening tune for Tucker's While I'm Livin' Tour.

"I was curious about these tiny clubs that we were planning to start off the tour for [While I'm Livin']. I thought, 'man, I have no idea how to start this show," Tucker says. "I've done it forever, but it started out with "Trouble." And [Frank Lidell] said, 'No, you've got to start with 'Would You Lay With Me.' I thought 'Oh my God, are you serious? I don't know if it will work.' Frank is Lee Ann Womack's husband and he's one of the great producers...I said, 'Okay, it's going to be you. You'll have to pay [laughs]. I was just kidding him...but it worked -- doing all the old songs first and then going in to the new. There's 50 years of music there, you know?"

Over 20 years after Tucker recorded "Would You Lay With Me (In a Field of Stone)" her hero Johnny Cash cut the song for his album American III: Solitary Man.

 

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'Would You Lay With Me (In a Field of Stone)' Lyrics:

Would you lay with me in a field of stone
If my needs were strong would you lay with me
Should my lips grow dry would you wet them dear

In the midnight hour if my lips were dry
Would you go away to another land
Walk a thousand miles through the burning sand
Wipe the blood away from my dying hand
If I gave my self to you

Will you bathe me with me in the stream of life
When the moon is full, will you bathe with me
Will you still love me when I'm down and out
In my time of trial, will you stand by me

Would you go away to another land
Walk a thousand miles through the burning sand
Wipe the blood away from my dying hand
If I gave my self to you
Would you lay with me in a field of stone
If my needs were strong would you lay with me

 

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Life of a Song: Tanya Tucker Says 'Would You Lay With Me (In a Field of Stone)' is the 'Perfect Wedding Song'