Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep

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Now I lay me down to sleep is a classic children's bedtime prayer from the 18th century.



Perhaps the earliest version was written by Joseph Addison in an essay appearing in The Spectator on March 8, 1711. It says:

When I lay me down to Sleep,
I recommend my self to his care;
when I awake, I give my self up to his Direction.

A later version printed in The New England Primer goes:

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep,
If I shall die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take. Amen.

Other versions

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep,
thy angels watch me through the night,
And keep me safe till morning's light.[1]

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the devil my soul to keep,
If I should die before I wake,
Bless me satan my soul to take.[1]

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
Angels watch me through the night,
And wake me with the morning light.

In popular culture

The prayer features in Metallica's famous song 'Enter Sandman', Megadeth's song 'Go to Hell', rapper Seagram's song 'Peace To You', TLC's song 'My Secert Enemy' said at the beginning of the song by Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, Snoop Dogg's 'Murder Was the Case', The Notorious B.I.G's song 'Ready to Die', Phish's song, "Dog Stole Things", Godsmack's "Livin' In Sin' On IV", Green Jelly's song "Trippin' On XTC", J. Cole's song "Rise & Shine" and also Kid Cudi's song 'The Prayer". "If I Die Before I Wake" is the title of the opening track on drummer/composer Franklin Kiermyer's 1994 album Solomon's Daughter featuring tenor saxophonist Pharoah Sanders.Variations of the prayer have also appeared in many other songs by various artists, including American artist Sophie B. Hawkins' As I Lay Me Down, the Finnish band HIM's song 'Buried Alive By Love', Aloe Blacc's song Take Me Back, Cheryl Cole's song Promise This, Tupac Shakur's posthumous song, When Thugs Cry, OPM's song Heaven Is A Halfpipe, Liz Phair's song 'Ride' and in He Is We's song 'Light A Way'. It is also featured in the Horror movie "The Haunting in Connecticut.", A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), in the survival horror videogame Silent Hill 2, the movie adaptation of this game franchise as well as featuring in the 11th Season of "7th Heaven". The 2010 supernatural horror film, My Soul to Take has the prayer featured throughout the movie.

In 2000 the WWF showed vignettes of a returning Undertaker by showing three girls in white clothing playing along and laughing while singing parts of the Itsy Bitsy Spider and later on announcing his return by chanting a variation of the song. It later on became part of The Undertaker's titantron and merged with his then entrance theme American Bad Ass by Kid Rock.

See also