3 Songs by Eric Clapton that Will Make Any Rock Fan Tear Up

British-born guitarist Eric Clapton is known for his rampaging rock songs and love of the blues. But not everything the all-timer has put to record is cut from the cloth of songs like “Cocaine” or “White Room.” Indeed, not every song from Clapton wails like a lightning bolt cutting through sheet metal. 

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Some songs from the man known as “Slowhand” boast real nuance and heartbreaking emotion. Indeed, some Clapton tracks leave you stopped in yours as you contemplate the depth and feeling his music can summon up. Here below, we wanted to dive into three such songs that will make any rock fan tear up. 

“Tears in Heaven”

This is a song that tugs at your soul, for its backstory is tragic. Written by Clapton and Will Jennings, the tune was composed in the wake of the death of Clapton’s son Conor, who was just 4 years old when he died after falling from the 53rd-story window of their New York City apartment building. But from great sorrow often comes great art. And “Tears in Heaven,” which was released in 1992 on Clapton’s album Unplugged, is a prime example.

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

“Wonderful Tonight”

Released on Clapton’s 1977 album Slowhand, this song was about the object of Clapton’s affection, Pattie Boyd. She was the subject of one of the most famous love triangles in rock history. Boyd was once married to George Harrison, though Clapton lusted after her for years. In 1977, she and Harrison split, and Boyd married Clapton two years later. Boyd and Clapton stayed married for a decade and split in 1989. Clapton wrote “Wonderful Tonight” in 1976 as he waited for Boyd to get ready for an evening out. The song, which boasts such tender affection, is one that will make a home in your heart.

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


“Wonderful Tonight” wasn’t the only song Boyd inspired. Written by Clapton and Jim Gordon, the rocker “Layla” is a heart-wrenching, beseeching song that sounds like a soul getting ripped from one’s chest. Released on the 1970 Derek and the Dominos album Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, the song is inspired by a Persian love story but it’s rooted in Clapton’s want for Boyd. He loved her from afar in secret before making his feelings clear. And those mournful feelings are felt when Clapton sings: 

What’d you do when you get lonely
And no one is waiting by your side?
You’ve been running and hiding much to long
You know it’s just your foolish pride
Layla, you’ve got me on my knees
Layla, I’m begging, darling, please
Darling, won’t you ease my worried mind?

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