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.

Lyrics of "Layla"

4 Responses

  1. Blake Richards says:

    The track Layla was sang by Eric Clapton about being in love with someone who is difficult to have . A relationship that seems impossible.

    In the beginning of the song, he asks about her. How she’s dealing with loneliness and why she won’t lower her pride and give him a chance. He feels that she has been trying to stay away from him though he believes she misses him.

    In the next verse, it is obvious this lady was with someone else but turned to him when she experienced disappointment. Looks like she was just passing time with him but he went and fell in love with her which was messing with him.

    In the final verse, he begged her to find the best solution to their predicament so that his mind can finally be at ease instead of giving up on them and his love.

    It is believed that he sang this song about Pattie Boyd who was then married to George Harrisson, his friend from ‘The Beatles’. The song was also based on the book ‘The story of Layla and Majnun’. He eventually gotten married to his Layla

  2. Anonymous says:

    Love hurts sometimes. I’ve felt like Clapton!! I still love the man!!

  3. Wade says:

    Best version ever…slower. Warm up is a great addition. Would like even more warm up. Super performance!!!

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