Eric Clapton Channels A Father’s Love And Grief For Stirring “Tears In Heaven”
A Father’s Grief Put Into Song
Losing a child is the biggest wound that any parent could suffer, and it can be difficult to put a loss of that magnitude into words. Eric Clapton did just that, though, when he penned the lyrics to the iconic ‘Tears In Heaven’ after the death of his 4-year-old son Conor.
This performance, featured on MTV’s Unplugged is undeniably Eric’s best and his most honest performance of his entire career – it’s heartfelt without being saccharine, and it’s a flawless tribute to Conor.
Five Things You Didn’t Know About “Tears In Heaven”
- Clapton went nearly a decade without performing “Tears In Heaven,” saying that he “didn’t feel the loss anymore” and that he was finally able to make peace with Conor’s death.
- It was never even meant to be heard. Written as a way to do something constructive with the mind numbing grief, “Tears In Heaven” was solely for Eric, who had a lifetime of questions about the afterlife stemming from his grandfather’s death.
- It marked a turning point in Clapton’s life, seeing the legend turn to music for healing instead of drugs and alcohol to numb the pain.
- Following the release of “Tears In Heaven,” Clapton vowed to prevent other parents from experiencing his tragedy by appearing in PSAs calling for the childproofing of windows and staircases.
- Songwriter Will Jennings helped Eric Clapton write “Tears In Heaven” after the two teamed up to craft a song for the 1991 film Rush but initially protested when Clapton said, “I want to write a song about my boy,” saying that the subject matter was too personal.
This is our favorite performance of all time – hands down. Eric may have only meant for it to be an outlet for his grief, but ‘Tears In Heaven’ has helped millions of people who have lost a loved one and needed to find some kind of peace. For that, we’re grateful; thank you for sharing this with us, Eric.
Rest in Peace, Conor Clapton.