lie/lay alternation - not US

Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Wed Oct 5 03:09:40 UTC 2011

In the song "Chasing Cars" by Snow Patrol, the words lay and lie appear as intransitive verbs.

One stanza has both and is repeated four times (

If I lay here
If I just lay here
Would you lie with me
And just forget the world?

The enunciation is clear in each instance. Although it's possible that "lie" means "tell a lie," it looks like euphonic alternation to me.

The song was written by Gary Lightbody (, who was born in Northern Ireland and went to university in Scotland.

Benjamin Barrett
Seattle, WA

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list