Song Lyric Sunday — I’ve Got the Blues

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday, Jim Adams has given us the theme of “colors.” Actually blue is my favorite color, and yet it is associated with the feeling one gets when sad, somber, glum, or depressed. I was curious why the color blue is considered to be a sad, depressing color. Turns out that Washington Irving is credited with having first used the term “the blues” in 1807, as a synonym for sadness: “He conducted his harangue with a sigh, and I saw he was still under the influence of a whole legion of the blues.” Irving was shortening the phrase “blue devils,” which was a synonym dating back to Elizabethan time to describe a menacing presence.

But I digress. The song I chose is “Bell Bottom Blues,” reflecting a feeling as much as a color.”

“Bell Bottom Blues” was written by Eric Clapton and Bobby Whitlock, and performed by their band, Derek and the Dominos. The song appears on the 1970 double album Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs. Issued as a single, backed with “Keep on Growing,” the song reached number 91 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1971.

Bell-bottoms are a style of pants that were popular at the time. According to Clapton, the song was written for Pattie Boyd, the wife of his friend George Harrison, after she asked him to get her a pair of bell-bottom blue jeans from the United States. Clapton wrote the song for her, and it describes a lovers’ quarrel. It deals with Clapton’s unrequited love for Pattie.

However, Bobby Whitlock contradicts Clapton’s claim that Pattie Boyd was the song’s inspiration. Whitlock says the band was in France when the inspiration for this song hit. “Eric met this girl, she was like a Persian princess or something, and she wore bell bottoms. She was all hung up on him. She didn’t speak a word of English and they had to date through an interpreter. That relationship did not last but a week, and Clapton started the song over there. When we got back to England, we finished it up in his TV room in Hurtwood Edge.” Whitlock said that the song “Layla” was, indeed, about Clapton’s love for Pattie. “The entire album was about unrequited love,” Whitlock insisted, “but this song was not about Pattie.”

Hmm. Maybe that disagreement over who inspired this song is why the band, Derek and the Dominos, produced only one studio album.

Here are the lyrics to “Bell Bottom Blues.”

Bell bottom blues, you made me cry
I don’t want to lose this feeling
And if I could choose a place to die
It would be in your arms

Do you want to see me crawl across the floor to you?
Do you want to hear me beg you to take me back?
I’d gladly do it because
I don’t want to fade away
Give me one more day, please
I don’t want to fade away
In your heart I want to stay

It’s all wrong, but it’s all right
The way that you treat me baby
Once I was strong but I lost the fight
You won’t find a better loser

Do you want to see me crawl across the floor to you?
Do you want to hear me beg you to take me back?
I’d gladly do it because
I don’t want to fade away
Give me one more day, please
I don’t want to fade away
In your heart I want to stay

Do you want to see me crawl across the floor to you?
Do you want to hear me beg you to take me back?
I’d gladly do it ’cause
I don’t want to fade away
Give me one more day, please
I don’t want to fade away
In your heart I want to stay

Bell bottom blues, don’t say goodbye
I’m sure we’re gonna meet again
And if we do, don’t you be surprised
If you find me with another lover

Do you want to see me crawl across the floor to you?
Do you want to hear me beg you to take me back?
I’d gladly do it ’cause
I don’t want to fade away
Give me one more day, please
I don’t want to fade away
In your heart I want to stay

I don’t want to fade away
Give me one more day please
I don’t want to fade away
In your heart I want to stay

I don’t want to fade away
Give me one more day please
I don’t want to fade away
In your heart I want to stay

21 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday — I’ve Got the Blues

  1. aisasami February 7, 2021 / 5:44 am

    I love this song! I really love the album by Derek and the Dominos. Was the whole album all about Patti?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango February 7, 2021 / 2:21 pm

      Not the whole album but at least 3 or 4 songs. It’s one of my favorite albums also.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. newepicauthor February 7, 2021 / 8:29 am

    I had several pairs of Bell-bottoms back in my hippie days. Several people seem to be going with the Blues today.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hetty Eliot February 7, 2021 / 12:47 pm

    I didn’t know blue bell bottoms could be sadder than simply how they look 😢😢

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Richmond Road February 7, 2021 / 1:34 pm

    Here’s another one …. on rather a lighter note, all the way from Oz in the ‘70’s and penned by an old hero of mine, Ross Wilson.
    I’ve been thinking a lot about getting a job
    But I’m paranoid about my hair
    I just left school
    And I don’t mind saying I’m scared
    My folks have been picking on me
    Treating me bad, I just don’t think that’s fair
    I’ve got the blues
    The teenage blues.

    No video, I’m sorry. Television had barely been invented back then.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango February 7, 2021 / 11:33 pm

      I think I suffered from the teenage blues well into my twenties.

      Like

      • Richmond Road February 8, 2021 / 12:45 pm

        In retrospect I would not describe my own experience as ‘suffering’. I look back upon it with great nostalgia and a deep sense of longing. Pathetic, eh?

        Liked by 1 person

        • Fandango February 8, 2021 / 2:00 pm

          Well, your right. I realize in hindsight that I wasn’t suffering from teenage blues. It was actually a case of teenage blue balls. 😳

          Like

  5. Lisa Coleman February 8, 2021 / 6:44 am

    Great write up on the origin of this song. While blue is linked with sadness, it is also linked with a calming effect in a good way too. It is the color of the ocean and sky and projects happiness too. Plus, you can never go wrong with Clapton and his talent! I can recognize his guitar almost anytime without know the song because of his style and I’m not that good at picking that out. He certainly has had enough “blues” in his lifetime! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango February 8, 2021 / 11:41 am

      Thanks. I am a big fan of Clapton’s guitar style, too. I still wonder if this particular song was about Pattie Boyd or that Persian “princess.” 😂 And as to blue, it’s my favorite color.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lisa Coleman February 10, 2021 / 8:09 am

        I wonder about that too. Who really knows. The drugs couldn’t have distorted where it actually originated. Maybe it was all of the above. LOL! 🙂 Nothing wrong with Blue. Purple is my favorite color and I should have done one of my all time favorite songs “Purple Rain”.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Marleen February 8, 2021 / 12:16 pm

    I have a pair of blue jean bell bottoms in my closet from the early two thousand aughts (when they began to be widely in style and easily accessible again)… because I really like them. My favorite pair ever. I did like H.E.R.’s pair for the Super Bowl (her singing America the Beautiful), too (while they were much more ornate and a little less belled).

    I’m going with it being the Persian princess.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. leigha66 February 10, 2021 / 10:10 pm

    My sister and I went beyond bell bottoms and had elephant pants in the 70s. Good song choice!

    Liked by 1 person

      • leigha66 February 12, 2021 / 8:10 pm

        They were like bell bottoms, but much bigger the bottom foot to six inches of the jeans.

        Liked by 1 person

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