LAYLA by Eric Clapton

December 18, 2022

“Layla” is one of the most affectionate love songs ever written and recorded. Did you know that Eric Clapton wrote it for Pattie Harrison, wife of Beatle George Harrison? Still, the song became a timeless record that defined the direction of rock guitar in 1970.

Song Facts:

  • “Layla” became a memorable hit because of a remarkably long piano coda by Jim Gordon.
  • Gordon’s then Girlfriend, Rita Coolidge, received credit for “Layla’s” piano part.
  • Patti Boyd divorced George Harrison in 1977 and married Eric Clapton in 1979. Harrison was still on good terms with the couple and played at their wedding. However, Clapton and Boyd divorced in 1989. 
  • Eric Clapton released different versions of “Layla,” including an acoustic version for MTV Unplugged.
  • Gordon and Clapton recorded contrasting “Layla” versions. Two versions have become top chart hits, with the first receiving recognition in 1972. The acoustic version for MTV Unplugged peaked at # 27 on “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.”
  • Nizami Ganjavi’s Book inspired the original version of “Layla.” The 12th-century poet wrote The Story of Layla and Majnun, a book Ian Dallas sent to Clapton, who related its storyline to his love for Pattie Boyd
  • The acoustic version for MTV Unplugged won a Grammy Award in the category of best rock song in 1993.
  • The “crying bird sound” in the acoustic version of “Lyla” was made by Dwayne Allan as a tribute to Charles Parker, known for his legendary jazz music.
  • The song version with Jim Gordon’s piano is featured in the movie Goodfellas.

Lyrics 

What’ll you do when you get lonely

And nobody’s waiting by your side?

You’ve been running and hiding much too long

You know it’s just your foolish pride

Layla, you’ve got me on my knees

Layla, I’m begging, darling please

Layla, darling won’t you ease my worried mind

I tried to give you consolation

When your old man had let you down

Like a fool, I fell in love with you

You turned my whole world upside down

Layla, you’ve got me on my knees

Layla, I’m begging, darling please

Layla, darling won’t you ease my worried mind

Make the best of the situation

Before I finally go insane

Please don’t say we’ll never find a way

And tell me all my love’s in vain

Layla, you’ve got me on my knees

Layla, I’m begging, darling please

Layla, darling won’t you ease my worried mind

Layla, you’ve got me on my knees

Layla, I’m begging, darling please

Layla, darling won’t you ease my worried mind

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