“Stay with Me” by Sam Smith

“Stay with Me” is a very vulnerable song from an emotional standpoint, which may be why it has resonated so well with the global public. And secondly it speaks to what we will classify a widespread practice in the modern world, that being one-night stands.

As the terminology implies, one-night stands are such that people tend to only engage in them for a single evening. And if you don’t know, said term is how pop media usually describes sexual hookups, more along the lines of a date as opposed to sex work, which only lasts for one night. But what if an individual involved in such a situation is truly suffering from loneliness?

Narrator’s Predicament

That is the predicament which the vocalist finds himself in after a one-night stand. He doesn’t particularly appear to have fallen in love with the person he had this encounter with, i.e. the addressee. But he still needs someone by his side, not to bonk per se but more in an emotional capacity, as in a person to talk to and to hold and to share things with. 

So accordingly he is humbly asking said addressee, who is about to bounce, to stay longer. And once again, the singer knows considering the nature of their arrangement that doing so is “not a good look”, being indicative of him not being mature enough to handle the situation or what have you. Yet and still, he is compelled to plead with this person to stay, even though they aren’t lovers in the truest sense of the word. 

Instead, we can perhaps put forth an idea like the narrator being in love in the moment, though due primarily to an emotional need as opposed to being enamored by the addressee literally.

Lyrics to "Stay with Me"

Sam Smith gives Details on “Stay with Me”

And to note, Sam Smith has stated that this story was inspired by an actual heartbreak he experienced. The way he tersely described that situation, at the time he received one his Grammy Awards for “Stay with Me”, made it sound like it was a longer-term relationship than just a one-night stand.  

But obviously, he is experienced in the latter also. And at the end of the day this isn’t a love song, even though it definitely possesses a romantic undertone.  Instead the primary sentiment that comes through is one of loneliness, even though it isn’t a lamentation either.  Rather it is a plea for a specific person to help mitigate this emotional deficiency – someone who is in the position to do so but not, all factors considered, obligated to.

Sam Smith discusses "Stay with Me"

When did Sam Smith release “Stay with Me”?

This track is from Sam Smith’s first album, “In the Lonely Hour” (2014). Being born in 1992, Smith would have been in his early 20s at the time. And the song officially came out on the same day as the album, via Capitol Records, on 26 May 2014. But prior to that it served as the third single from the project.

Sam Smith is a singer hailing directly from London, the capital of the UK. You may commonly come across him being referred to in the media as ‘their’. That’s because he identifies as genderqueer, a sexual orientation in which, in the name of political correctness, conventional gender pronouns are sometimes not applied.

Writing Credits for “Stay with Me”

Jimmy Napes, who was also born in London, acted as both a producer and writer of “Stay with Me”. In the former capacity he worked alongside Steve Fitzmaurice. And in the latter Jeff Lynne, Tom Petty, Tourist and Sam Smith are also credited as authors.

Tom Petty (1950-2017) was a singer whose heyday was during the late 20th century. He and Jeff Lynne are acknowledged on “Stay with Me” because it interpolates an old Petty tune entitled “I Won’t Back Down” (1989). Well actually that song is officially listed as an interpolation, but Sam Smith and co. claim that they never heard it beforehand. 

Even Petty has expressed a belief in Smith’s innocence and said that “these things can happen”, i.e. two songs unintentionally sounding alike. Either way, at the end of the day he and Jeff Lynne are still entitled to a solid 12.5% of the songwriting royalties generated from “Stay with Me” after an amicable, non-lawsuit agreement was made with Smith.

And the aforementioned Tourist is not a band but rather an individual who is also from London. So it was he, Sam Smith and Jimmy Napes who actually sat down to put this song together.

Achievements of “Stay with Me”

Sam Smith has gone on to become one of the best known vocalists in the UK, scoring a number of massive hits during the 2010s. But this song has actually been the most-successful of the lot.

For instance, it won the two most-important Grammy Awards, Song of the Year and Record of the Year, in 2015. However, that was not the original version of “Stay with Me”. Rather it was a remix of the song as rendered by an American producer known as Darkchild, of which there is a slight difference.

This track also earned the distinction of being named Song of the Year in 2015 at the BMI Awards. 

“Stay with Me” is one of the few songs in history that can boast of topping both the UK Singles Chart and Billboard Hot 100. It also scored quite a few number ones elsewhere, such as besting music charts in Canada, Israel and Scotland.

And in terms of its overall global performance, this song charted in well over 30 nations. It has also achieved multi-platinum status in a dozen countries, most notably going quarudple-platinum in the UK, ten times platinum in Australia and diamond in the United States.

More Facts about “Stay with Me”

The music video to this track was directed by another Brit, Jamie Thraves. It was nominated for a couple of MTV Awards and has garnered in excess of 1 billion views as of 2021.

Said clip features a gospel choir from London called Enchorus. However, they did not actually sing on the track itself. Rather it appears that Sam Smith is the only vocalist, having layered his vocals approximately 20 times over.

Popular singers who have covered this song include Ed Sheeran, Kelly Clarkson, Patti LaBelle, FKA Twigs, Charli XCX and Florence and the Machine. Even Hollywood A lister Vin Diesel dropped his own rendition during an interview in 2014, which Sam Smith really got a kick out of.

And during the aforementioned Grammy Awards, Sam Smith performed this hit alongside American R&B singer Mary J. Blige, which their team considered to be a remix of the original.

Stay with Me

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