♫ Tears In Heaven ♫

I am not a fan of Eric Clapton, but this one … this one is a song that has depth, has meaning, has staying power, that has that “bring you to tears” capability.

In August 1990, Clapton’s manager, two of his roadies and his friend and fellow musician Stevie Ray Vaughan were killed in a helicopter accident.  Seven months later, in March 1991, Clapton’s 4-year-old son Conor died after falling from the 53rd-floor window of a New York City apartment belonging to Conor’s mother, Italian television personality Lory del Santo.

In a 2005 interview with Mojo, Clapton said Conor’s death “threw me into … a wobble,” and in the immediate aftermath of the accident, he coped by throwing himself into his work — most notably by contributing a trio of new songs to the soundtrack of the 1991 movie Rush, including Tears in Heaven, the Grammy-winning hit ballad inspired by the immense grief of his loss.

Clapton wrote this with Will Jennings, who has written many famous songs from movies, including Up Where We Belong from An Officer And A Gentleman and My Heart Will Go On from Titanic. Jennings wrote the lyrics to many of Steve Winwood’s hits and has also written with B.B. King, Roy Orbison, The Crusaders, Peter Wolf and many others.  According to Jennings …

“Eric and I were engaged to write a song for a movie called Rush. We wrote a song called ‘Help Me Up’ for the end of the movie… then Eric saw another place in the movie for a song and he said to me, ‘I want to write a song about my boy.’ Eric had the first verse of the song written, which, to me, is all the song, but he wanted me to write the rest of the verse lines and the release (‘Time can bring you down, time can bend your knees…’), even though I told him that it was so personal he should write everything himself. He told me that he had admired the work I did with Steve Winwood and finally there was nothing else but do to as he requested, despite the sensitivity of the subject. This is a song so personal and so sad that it is unique in my experience of writing songs.”

Clapton wasn’t sure he wanted this song to be released at all, but the director of Rush, Lili Zanuck, convinced him to use it in the film. “Her argument was that it might in some way help somebody, and that got my vote,” Clapton said.

Tears In Heaven
Eric Clapton

Would you know my name
If I saw you in heaven?
Would it be the same
If I saw you in heaven?
I must be strong and carry on
‘Cause I know I don’t belong here in heaven

Would you hold my hand
If I saw you in heaven?
Would you help me stand
If I saw you in heaven?
I’ll find my way through night and day
‘Cause I know I just can’t stay here in heaven

Time can bring you down, time can bend your knees
Time can break your heart, have you begging please, begging please

Beyond the door there’s peace I’m sure
And I know there’ll be no more tears in heaven

Would you know my name
If I saw you in heaven?
Would it be the same
If I saw you in heaven?
I must be strong and carry on
‘Cause I know I don’t belong here in heaven

Songwriters: Eric Patrick Clapton / Will Jennings
Tears In Heaven lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner Chappell Music, Inc, Universal Music Publishing Group, Songtrust Ave, BMG Rights Management

♫ Here Comes The Sun ♫

One of the political cartoons I posted yesterday put this song into my head, and you guys know what happens when a song gets stuck in my head!  It’s been bouncing around in there all day, and, as I only know bits and pieces of the lyrics, I keep making my own as I go along!  Sometimes that can be rather interesting, actually.

climate-6

George Harrison wrote this in Eric Clapton’s garden using one of Clapton’s acoustic guitars. When the Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein died in 1967, the band had to handle more of their accounting and business affairs, which Harrison hated. He wrote this after attending a round of business meetings. This song was inspired by the long winters in England which Harrison thought went on forever.

In the documentary The Material World, Eric Clapton talked about writing this song with Harrison:

“It was one of those beautiful spring mornings. I think it was April, we were just walking around the garden with our guitars. I don’t do that, you know? This is what George brought to the situation. He was just a magical guy … we sat down at the bottom of the garden, looking gout, and the sun was shining; it was a beautiful morning, and he began to sing the opening lines and I just watched this thing come to life.”

John Lennon did not play on this. Around this time, he was making a habit of not playing on Harrison’s compositions as the two were not on the best of terms. The two eventually settled their differences as George contributed quite a bit to Lennon’s album Imagine two years later.  When Harrison died in 2001, many artists performed this at their concerts as a tribute. It was played at the induction ceremonies of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as part of the all-star jam.

Here Comes the Sun
The Beatles

Here comes the sun (doo doo doo)
Here comes the sun, and I say
It’s all right

Little darling, it’s been a long cold lonely winter
Little darling, it feels like years since it’s been here

Here comes the sun (doo doo doo)
Here comes the sun, and I say
It’s all right

Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces
Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been here

Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun, and I say
It’s all right

Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes

Little darling, I feel that ice is slowly melting
Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been clear
Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun, and I say
It’s all right

Here comes the sun (doo doo doo)
Here comes the sun
It’s all right
It’s all right

Songwriters: George Harrison
Here Comes the Sun lyrics © The Bicycle Music Company

♫ Wonderful Tonight ♫

I was planning to play a Four Tops song, It’s the Same Old Song, tonight, but for some reason this one popped into my head, made itself at home, and wouldn’t leave.  So, the Tops will just have to wait a night.  I am not a huge fan of Eric Clapton, but there are four or five I do like … Lay Down Sally being my favourite.

The story goes that Clapton wrote this while waiting for his wife, Pattie, to get ready to attend a Buddy Holly tribute that Paul McCartney put together.  Now, a bit of backstory … Pattie had previously been married to Beatle George Harrison.  Eric Clapton wrote his famous song, Layla, to express his love for Pattie while she was still married to Harrison.  Despite all that, Clapton and Harrison remained good friends, and Harrison even played at their wedding in 1979.  Their marriage lasted nine years, and they divorced in 1988.  But, back to the song …

According to SongFacts …

Pattie Boyd recalled to The Guardian December 13, 2008 that Clapton “was sitting round playing his guitar while I was trying on dresses upstairs. I was taking so long and I was panicking about my hair, my clothes, everything, and I came downstairs expecting him to really berate me but he said, ‘Listen to this!'”  In the time she had taken to get ready Clapton had written this song.

Wonderful Tonight
Eric Clapton

It’s late in the evening; she’s wondering what clothes to wear
She puts on her make-up and brushes her long blonde hair
And then she asks me, Do I look all right?
And I say, “Yes, you look wonderful tonight”

We go to a party and everyone turns to see
This beautiful lady that’s walking around with me
And then she asks me, Do you feel all right?
And I say, “Yes, I feel wonderful tonight”

I feel wonderful because I see
The love light in your eyes
And the wonder of it all
Is that you just don’t realize how much I love you

It’s time to go home now and I’ve got an aching head
So I give her the car keys and she helps me to bed
And then I tell her, as I turn out the light
I say, “My darling, you were wonderful tonight
Oh my darling, you were wonderful tonight

Songwriters: Eric Patrick Clapton
Wonderful Tonight lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc