Sam Smith released a new video today, and—oh my God, is it a tearjerker. Then again, this is Sam Smith we’re talking about, so that’s par for the course. But still, “Lay Me Down” might make for his most powerful emotional appeal yet.
In the clip, which premiered today, the 22-year-old Grammy nominee stands alone at the altar of a dimly lit church, mourning the loss of a loved one before a sea of black-clad parishioners.
Light suddenly streams in through the windows as the scene transitions from a funeral to a wedding, where Sam is seen holding his groom’s hands as he recites his vows: “If I lay by your side, next to you…/ And make sure you’re alright, I’ll take care of you/ I don’t want to be here if I can’t be with you tonight.”
By the end, you realize that the deceased loved one Sam was mourning all along is his late husband. Cue weeping.
While the song acts a personal plea to be loved, Sam says that he and director Ryan Hope worked to make the video apply to a broader message of pro-marriage equality.
“This video shows my dreams that one day gay men and women and transgendered men and women all over the world, like all our straight families and friends, will be able to get married under any roof, in an city, in any town, in any village, in any country,” the “Stay With Me” singer wrote on Instagram Thursday morning.
While same-sex marriage legislation has not passed in Northern Ireland, it is legal in England, Wales and Scotland. Still, clergy members are not required by law to officiate, so same-sex couples who dream of a big ol’ church wedding like the one featured in Sam’s video might not be able to make that dream a reality.
For the time being, we can at least take solace in the fact that Sam Smith is no longer watching love play out from the sidelines like he did in “Stay With Me,” “Leave Your Lover,” and the hunk-filled “Like I Can.”
With “Lay With Me,” he’s gotten his romance—albeit bittersweet—at last.