Eric Clapton’s “Layla” Lyrics Meaning
“Layla” is a rock classic that was originally released in 1970 by Derek and the Dominos, a band that Eric Clapton belonged to. Clapton, who co-wrote the song, re-released it as a soloist over 20 years later as part of his 1992 MTV “Unplugged” live album.
First off, the titular “Layla” is both a fictional character and real person. The name of this track was derived from a 12th century Middle Eastern poem entitled “Layla and Majnun”. This tale has been described as the Arabic equivalent of “Romeo and Juliet” not only due to it being centered on a romance that ended in tragedy but also because it is considered a timeless literary classic.
In this story, Majnun goes mad, partially because the love of his life, Layla, is married to another man. Likewise, at the time of this track’s penning, Eric Clapton was feeling his own considerable distress. And what was the cause of this distress? He was deeply in love with a woman named Pattie Boyd (who despite later becoming his own wife, was at the time married to George Harrison of the Beatles). In other words, Pattie Boyd is the titular “Layla”.
Thus this track features Clapton, similar to Majnun, pleading with Layla to be by his side. For instance, he points out that if she gets with him, it would be greatly beneficial since despite already being in a relationship, it is only a matter of time before her husband disappoints her. And although he admits that he was a fool for being so, Clapton is in love with Layla. In fact Layla has him so captivated that ultimately he will not experience mental relief until she responds favorably to his pleads by indeed becoming his woman.