She Lays Down

Album: I Like It When You Sleep... (2016)

Songfacts®:

  • Matt Healy's mother suffered from postnatal depression after she gave birth to him. The 1975 frontman sings on this acoustic ballad about his mom's painful time.
  • Matt's mum is Denise Welch an English actress, who is best known for her roles as Natalie Barnes in the ITV soap Coronation Street and Steph Haydock in the BBC drama Waterloo Road. She was also a regular panellist on the ITV lunchtime chat show Loose Women from 1999 until October 2013.
  • Welch has spoken out about the depression she suffered after giving birth to her son. She recalled to the UK charity Pandas:

    "I had a long labor, no pain relief; I was trying to breastfeed and wasn't eating well. On the Wednesday I came home with Matthew and I thought I had Baby Blues. On the Thursday my parents came down and I didn't feel right. I had a panic attack, my heart was racing like I was waiting to crash into an articulated lorry but it's a near miss. I had around two hours sleep that night, and I woke up the next day and my lactation stopped overnight.

    My midwife was not helpful at all and told me that 'normally only happens when a bereavement has occurred'. I had to use bottles which the midwife disapproved of. I went for a walk with my mum and said 'I feel all weird like I am in a dream'. I went into a shop and heard about the Hillsborough disaster but when my mum then mentioned it I said that I had dreamt it the night before.

    Arriving back at my flat, I had two close friends there but I just wanted them gone. I couldn't eat and lost 2 ½ stone in a week. My mum knew I had to keep physical contact with the baby, I remember looking at bottles thinking it was like asking me to climb Everest. There was never any doubt from family that this wasn't an illness. My mum took me to the doctor, the doctor went on to tell me 'I have had five children, I didn't have time to get depressed.' My mum's response was to say she was taking me back to the North."
  • The grammatically correct title would be "She Lies Down" (unless she is producing an egg), but "lay" sounds more poignant, as it's associated with "laying on hands."
  • Matt Healy told Q magazine why his mother's post-pregnancy depression resonated with him so much. "When I was about 17 my mum still drank, and we were at the house, and we'd all had a drink, and we started talking about stuff, and she got really, really upset, and she said to me, 'D'you know that when you were one and half, for two months I would come into your room every night and lie down on the floor while you were asleep and try and love you?'

    Now the reason that that resonated with me so much was because me and my mum are so close And we're so openly close - we say, 'I love you' in every phone call, because we know that there's a chance it could go."

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