41 Comments#AtoZChallenge 2017, #MusicalMemories, Memoir, Writing/Blogging
Musical Memories #AtoZChallenge 2017
Welcome everyone, to the #AtoZChallenge Blogging Extravaganza, where hundreds of bloggers publish 26 posts in 30 days, one for each letter of the alphabet, covering a myriad of topics! “Musical Memories” is my theme. Click HERE to see all posts and HERE to view the A to Z Blog. Please support our efforts by visiting, sharing and commenting. We have all worked long and hard on this project. Have fun and thanks for reading!
Day 12, April 14
The time: August 15, 16 & 17, 1969
The place: Germany and Canada


The summer of 1969 is famous for a couple of reasons:
The Moon Landing on July 20 and the Woodstock Music & Art Fair, August 15-18. For the former, my parents and I watched at my grandparents’ home in Bochum, Germany. (More details in the ‘B’ post.) On August 15, we boarded a military aircraft in Düsseldorf, headed to Canadian Forces Base Trenton, en route to our new home in the Toronto area.

Physically, I was on the plane, but my mind was at Max Yasgur’s dairy farm, in the Catskill Mountains area of New York state. The media had been full of stories about this upcoming festival and the astounding array of musical talent had me salivating at the very idea!

One of the performers was American singer-songwriter, Melanie Safka. The inspiration for her first hit song, “Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)”, apparently arose from the audience lighting candles during her set (although most of the “candles” were matches or lighters). It became a hit in Europe, Australia, Canada, and the United States in 1970. Even though it was recorded after Woodstock, that’s what I think of when I hear it. Hauntingly beautiful, it still gives me shivers, every time. My obsession with Woodstock continues, from music to books to movies. Wish I had been there!

Are you familiar with Woodstock?
Would you like to have gone there?

Looking forward to your comments!


Woodstock poster courtesy of

The Doglady’s Den #AtoZChallenge 2017 Youtube playlist:
(updated daily)


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Debbie D.
Canine Innkeeper in suburban Toronto, Canada, known as "The Doglady". Writer/website owner, photographer, animal lover, music fanatic, inveterate traveller. History, literature and cinema buff. Eternal "hippie/rockchick". Binational, German/Canadian and multilingual. Looking for the next adventure!
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41 thoughts on “LAY DOWN (CANDLES IN THE RAIN) | #AtoZCHALLENGE (L) #MusicalMemories

  1. I am not familiar wirh Woodstock, we have our own Glastonbury Music Festival, I used to reside not far from that location.
    Great post.

  2. How well I recall the “Moon Landing”. My second child was just nine months old.
    I loved the music immensley although I can’t ever remember hearing it.
    We have our own music festival “Glastonbury” I used to live not far from that location.
    Another excellent post.

    1. I am familiar with the Glastonbury festival, Yvonne. The best talent performs there! Wish I had had the chance to go there when we lived in Europe.

  3. I’ve always like Melanie’s ‘Brand New Key’. I watched an interview with Melanie a month or so back, and it made me so sad to hear that she was basically cheated out of all of the royalties for that song. I used to wish I could have gone to Woodstock, but then I think about the crowds, and remember that I have anxiety in situations like that. Weird considering I like going to concerts – I think concerts are more of a controlled crowd situation.

    1. I didn’t know that about Melanie’s royalties. How awful for her! 🙁 Concerts with reserved seating is my choice nowadays, too. Woodstock looked so chaotic, but when you’re 14, comfort wasn’t all that important. My biggest regret is never being able to see Jimi or Janis live.

  4. Woodstock was ten years before I was born, though I was fourteen the summer of Woodstock II, and I vicariously attended it by recording all the news about it in detail in my journal. Since I lived rather close to the venue, I got to observe and write about all the people and vehicles making their way there. The vehicles included hippie-style peace vans, and many of the walkers were barefoot. I still remember the awesome thunderstorm that took place during the event.

  5. I think Woodstock is the holy grail of musical events. I know they held a few anniversary concerts but it’s hard to recreate that kind of magic.

    1. That was a once-in-a-lifetime event. I’m sure the anniversary concerts paled by comparison, especially since Jimi and Janis are long gone.

  6. Woodstock sounds like something I would have wanted to but my parents didn’t allow it 😉
    I wasn’t born yet, so we didn’t have to cross that bridge. I loved “Hair”!
    Too bad I also missed the moon landing, it must have been such a fantastic moment.
    I get why that song gives you shivers.

    1. If you like ‘Hair’ then you get a sense of the hippie era. 🙂 My parents wouldn’t have allowed it either, but that point is moot since we were travelling that weekend. Thanks for dropping in, Tamara. Sorry for the late response. I’ve lost momentum. 😛

    1. That’s a lot better than ‘Brand New Key’, which I can’t stomach to this day. 😛 When Melanie was good, she was very, very, good. Love this one! Thanks, Chris.

  7. I actually do remember the moon landing. I was watching Bugs Bunny and my brother changed the channel to it. I screamed my head off( my dad nicknamed me the screaming hyena) and cried and told him to turn it back. My brother tried to tell me how important it is to see this but all I wanted was my Bugs Bunny back. I remember then getting on the moon and walking as it were. I would love to get the documentary on Woodstock because it’s so good. I first saw this back in the 70’s . I don’t think I would have wanted to go there…too much dirt and unclean sanitation. If you speak to my brother, he still wishes he could have gone. I know he went there at least once to the field and small town. For some reason I feel he went there a second time with his daughter but I have to ask him

    1. I guess you were too young to appreciate the importance of the moon landing, Birgit. That Woodstock documentary was great – I’d like to see it again. It sounds like your brother and I have a few things in common. A road trip down to Yasgur’s Farm sounds like a good adventure. It’s about a six-hour drive. Sorry for the late response! I’ve lost control of this challenge. 😛

  8. I’ve read a lot about Woodstock, as well as references to it in several novels. I can only imagine the ambiance and the lineup of awesome artists! They rocked the 60s! I hadn’t heard the song–quite haunting! I always think of the phrase “flower child” in relation to “Woodstock”

    Happy Easter, Debbie! Hugs!

    1. Sorry, I’m late, as usual. 😛 Yes, ‘flower children’ was another term used for hippies. It comes from the 1967 song ‘San Francisco’:
      ♫ If you’re going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair ♫
      I hope you had a lovely Easter, Vidya. Thanks for dropping in.

    1. I’m glad you like it, Angelika. 🙂 It’s one of my favourites. Thanks for dropping in. Sorry, I’m way behind and trying to catch up.

  9. I grew up in New York City (my father forbade me to go to Woodstock – I so wanted to, seeing the posters advertising it on the NYC Subways) and I guess it’s just as well. I live perhaps an hour and a half away from the site now, and I have never been there. I keep saying I will…maybe one day, I will. Enjoying Melanie now!

  10. When i click your blog i would be thinking today what genre of music it would be..Haven’t heard the music before but good choice

    Launching SIM Organics This April
    *Menaka Bharathi *

  11. Great song. It is pretty atmospheric. Woodstock is way before my time but I do enjoy a festival. Something special about being in the crowd for a great performance under the stars. Rain and mud are inevitable hazards in the UK though!

  12. Another great memory. Thanks for these. I’ll have to start finding my own when the month’s over.

    1. Yes, the melody hooks you right off. 🙂 I wouldn’t want to endure the discomforts now, but as a teenager, I was obsessed with the idea of going to Woodstock. So many of my favourite artists performed that weekend.

  13. No, I wouldn’t have gone to Woodstock since that is not a genre of music I was ever interested in. But I do have a friend who to this day bemoans the fact that she did not go.

    1. Everyone has their own taste in music. I went to the ballet and the opera growing up, so I’m not a total ‘hippie’. 😀 The comfort level there would have been pretty bad at Woodstock, what with the rain and the mud. Not that I would have cared at the time.

  14. Woodstock was right up there along with the moon landing as far as exciting events in the summer of 1969, eh, Debbie? I remember seeing things about it in magazines and on TV and thinking they were all very weird to be doing that but I was nine at the time and didn’t have your teenage zest for all those hippies and that music. That song sounded so sixtiesh with the feeling of those times with the hippies and the folk music with singers talking and singing. I do remember having a comic book about Woodstock. I wonder if it was one of those awful Love comics I used to read and it was set there. Can’t remember now.

    I remember Melanie! I had her song about Roller Skates on a K tel album. Remember those K tel albums, Debbie? I had a lot of them and hearing a song from one of them transports me back just like these songs do for you in your trip down memory lane.

    Another fun post into your memories and music, Debbie. Thank you!

    1. It sure was, Cathy! 😀 So many of my favourite artists were there. I would have been in ‘hog heaven’. At 14, who cares about rain, mud and discomfort? It would be different now, with arthritis and all. I didn’t know there were comic books about Woodstock. Must google that; thanks. I do remember the K-Tel albums. Not usually my kind of music, LOL As much as I love Melanie’s song ‘Lay Down’, the ‘Brand New Key’ one kind of sets my teeth on edge. It’s one of those ‘earworm’ songs that gets stuck in your head. 😛 Ha! I’ll post it now and see what happens. (Nope; still don’t like it.)

  15. I don have any memories about Woodstock however most happy to go back in time with Huey Lewis and the News. Now listening to Doobie Brothers. Thanks for the music. Lovin’ it.

  16. I remember the moon landing in 1969. I was in the 5th grade and we listened to the radio broadcast in class (no TV back then in India). I also saw the astronauts when they visited Mumbai and Nasa sent me a whole lot of Apollo 11 goodies. Such a thrill for a 5th grader.

  17. I remember hearing about Woodstock and many of my friends went to later similar events, but not me. I didn’t want to deal with the inconvenience and discomfort of being in that massive crowd.

    “Lay Down Candles” is a great song, but it used to creep me out. I imagined scary things when I listened to it, but still I loved listening to it. Still a great song to hear.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    1. I wouldn’t be willing to endure the discomfort now, but when I was 14, not an issue. 🙂 So many of my favourite artists were there! Apologies for the late reply. I’ve lost control of this year’s A to Z, unfortunately. Too many things going on offline. I know, poor excuse, but it’s the only one I have. That and a bad case of internet fatigue. 😛

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