Emotional wringer, meet us. We'll be going through you now, courtesy of one Sam Smith's new video for "Lay Me Down," off of In The Lonely Hour -- a lovely little piece of film that takes on the issue of gay marriage.
"This song holds a very dear place in my heart," Smith wrote on Facebook. "With this video myself and Ryan Hope the director have decided to make a statement and showcase something we passionately believe in. 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 any city, in any town, in any village, in any country. I hope you enjoy it. I love you all."
The video itself runs the gambit of emotions -- it starts off in a church at what appears to be a funeral, Smith standing in front of a sea of mourners. The lyrics "Can I lay by your side/ Next to you" take on a much more aching meaning with these visuals. Then, Smith moves toward the back of the church, and the scene changes from black-clad mourners to a crowd dressed in white, watching the singer marry a man in similar garb. It's a joyful scene -- and a defiant one.
"Obviously gay marriage isn't legal in churches, and we're doing a gay marriage today, in the church. We're the first ever to do it," Smith told Rolling Stone on the video's set. "It's obviously not a real marriage, but still. The priest just said to us, 'We're going against the rules by doing this today,' which I thought was a lovely element in the video."
Despite the joy inherent in the scene, the video ends with Smith sitting alone in the church, attired in everyday clothes -- alone. It's a stark reminder that gay marriage is still not legal in many states and countries -- and that his dream of being wholly accepted is still just that.
"We have so far to go with all of these things," Smith told RS. "So people need to stop resting and thinking, 'It's all good. We don't need to work anymore' and start protesting again."