Mark Halper claims that he wrote a song in 1984 called "Don't Throw Our Love Away," and the song begins with the phrase "stay with me." Halpers claims in a lawsuit he just filed that his copyrighted lyrics are infringed by Sam Smith’s "Stay With Me."
Music-based copyright claims are tricky. Some are totally rejected by the jury, while some have resulted in significant awards. George Harrison was sued for copyright infringement for “My Sweet Lord,” claiming that the melody infringed the hit song “He’s So Fine” by the Chiffons. After dragging through the courts for several years, Harrison ended up paying out $587,000. It helps, of course, if the song claiming to be infringed is well known. Halper only has a demo he made in 1986.