Everybody has a pet peeve, and mine is lie/lay errors. It is the one grammatical error that completely makes me rock and keen. (I have a nauseous/nauseated issue, but I've accepted in my heart that it's a losing fight and nauseous has shifted meaning. And I'm on the wrong side of peruse usage. Alas.*)
I am incapable of taking seriously any wonderful sentiments or brilliant thoughts surrounding a lie/lay error.
And apparently it's taught like shit, because it's really not hard.
Lay requires an object. Lie does not.
The past tense of lie is lay. The past tense of lay is laid.
Which is why you can lay your lover, but you cannot lie them.
And which is also why "I lay me down" is correct, but without the 'me' you must say, "I lie down."
"I laid me down," is proper in past tense; "I lay down," without the object.
If that doesn't help? Just remember that Clapton and Dylan both fuck it up.**
*NB: really, I'm a descriptivist, not a prescriptivist, and I know that a correct usage is anything a native speaker of the language does. But nonstandard use of lay just... flames. Flames on the side of my face.
**It's for the assonance. I know.