♫ While My Guitar Gently Weeps ♫

Tonight concludes ‘Beatles Week’ on Filosofa’s Word.  It started innocently enough … I played a Beatles’ song, and David suggested a Beatles’ week, and thus it began.  I missed one day, but otherwise have played some oldies but goodies.  I learned some things this week … I learned that George Harrison was a much under-appreciated member of the band, and a great songwriter in his own right.  I wish I had realized back in the day … but I was enamoured of Paul’s cute little grin and head tilt, and barely noticed George.

Did you know that at one point during their career, George walked out, said ‘I’m done’, and that John Lennon wanted to replace him with Eric Clapton?  Yes, my friends, Eric Clapton was almost a Beatle!  Harrison soon came back, however, and he and Clapton bonded.

By the time the Beatles were recording their 1968 self-titled album, also known as The White Album, things were tense among the four.  When they got to the song While My Guitar Gently Weeps, they started recording an early “draft” on July 25, 1968, with Harrison playing the guitars and McCartney following along on the harmonium.  But, it wasn’t until Harrison invited his best pal Clapton into the studio that they went back to the song. “Eric played that and I thought it was really good,” Harrison said, according to Rolling Stone. “Then we listened to it back and he said, ‘Ah, there’s a problem, though; it’s not Beatley enough.’ So we put it through the ADT to wobble it up a bit.”

But Harrison’s true purpose of inviting Clapton? To lessen the tension. “George knew everyone would behave themselves around Clapton — a classic George power move,” the Rolling Stone piece said. “The trick worked — in George’s words, ‘The other guys were as good as gold because he was there.’”

A few nights ago, our friend Keith mentioned that Eric Clapton had done a tribute to George Harrison, who died of cancer on 29 November 2001.  Of course, I had to check it out, and … well, I it moved me and I felt it was a fitting way to conclude Beatles’ Week 2020.  And so, my friends, I offer first, the Beatles version of the song, and last, Mr. Eric Clapton et al in a fitting tribute to a great and talented musician.

 

While My Guitar Genly Weeps

The Beatles

I look at you all, see the love there that’s sleeping
While my guitar gently weeps
I look at the floor and I see it needs sweeping
Still my guitar gently weeps

I don’t know why nobody told you
How to unfold your love
I don’t know how someone controlled you
They bought and sold you

I look at the world and I notice it’s turning
While my guitar gently weeps
With every mistake we must surely be learning
Still my guitar gently weeps

Well…

I don’t know how you were diverted
You were perverted too
I don’t know how you were inverted
No one alerted you

I look at you all, see the love there that’s sleeping
[LOVE version:] I look from the wings at the play you are staging.
While my guitar gently weeps
Look at you all
[LOVE version:] As I’m sitting here doing nothing but aging
Still my guitar gently weeps

Oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh, oh

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, oh, ooh

♫ Lay Down Sally ♫

Eric Clapton is an English rock and blues guitarist, singer, and songwriter, but tonight’s song is rather an anomaly, for it is considered country blues.  Now, I’m not a fan of country music, but there are exceptions, and this is one.

Lay Down Sally was written by Clapton, along with Marcella Detroit (as Marcy Levy), and George Terry.  Marcy Levy was one of Clapton’s backup singers, and in addition to co-writing the song, she also sang on it. She toured with Bob Seger before joining Clapton’s band in 1973. In 1988, Levy, using the name Marcella Detroit, joined former Bananarama singer Siobhan Fahey to form Shakespear’s Sister.

Lay Down Sally
Eric Clapton

There is nothing that is wrong
In wanting you to stay here with me
I know you’ve got somewhere to go
But won’t you make yourself at home and stay with me?
And don’t you ever leave

Lay down, Sally, and rest you in my arms
Don’t you think you want someone to talk to?
Lay down, Sally, no need to leave so soon
I’ve been trying all night long just to talk to you

The sun ain’t nearly on the rise
And we still got the moon and stars above
Underneath the velvet skies
Love is all that matters
Won’t you stay with me?
And don’t you ever leave

Lay down, Sally, and rest you in my arms
Don’t you think you want someone to talk to?
Lay down, Sally, no need to leave so soon
I’ve been trying all night long just to talk to you

I long to see the morning light
Coloring your face so dreamily
So don’t you go and say goodbye
You can lay your worries down and stay with me
And don’t you ever leave

Lay down, Sally, and rest you in my arms
Don’t you think you want someone to talk to?
Lay down, Sally, no need to leave so soon
I’ve been trying all night long just to talk to you

Lay down, Sally, and rest you in my arms
Don’t you think you want someone to talk to?
Lay down, Sally, no need to leave so soon
I’ve been trying all night long just to talk to you

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Eric Patrick Clapton / George E. Terry / Marcy Levy
Lay Down Sally lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc

♫ 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