Song Lyric Sunday — Heaven and Hell

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday prompt, Jim Adams wants us to turn our attention to songs that are associated with Heaven and/or Hell. I chose Eric Clapton’s “Tears in Heaven.”

“Tears in Heaven” was written by Eric Clapton and Will Jennings. It was about his four-year-old son Conor, who died on March 20, 1991 when he fell out of a 53rd floor window in the apartment where his mother was staying in New York City. Clapton had one other child at the time, a daughter, Ruth, who was born in 1987, the year after Conor was born.

The song was Clapton’s best-selling single in the United States and reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100. It appeared on the soundtrack for the 1991 film, “Rush.” “Tears in Heaven” won three Grammy Awards for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance, Song of the Year, and Record of the Year. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked “Tears in Heaven” 362nd on its list of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.”

After his son’s tragic death, Clapton dealt with his grief by cowriting “Tears in Heaven” for the “Rush” soundtrack with Will Jennings. In an interview in 1992, Clapton said of the song, “It was in the back of my head but it didn’t really have a reason for being until I was scoring this movie. Then it sort of had a reason to be. And it is a little ambiguous because it could be taken to be about Conor but it also is meant to be part of the film.”

Jennings said that he and Clapton wrote a song called “Help Me Up” for the end of the movie when Clapton saw another place in the movie for a song. Clapton told Jennings that he wanted to write a song about his boy. And so they wrote “Tears in Heaven.”

Here are the song’s lyrics.

Would you know my name
If I saw you in heaven?
Would it be the same
If I saw you in heaven?
I must be strong and carry on
‘Cause I know I don’t belong here in heaven

Would you hold my hand
If I saw you in heaven?
Would you help me stand
If I saw you in heaven?
I’ll find my way through night and day
‘Cause I know I just can’t stay here in heaven

Time can bring you down, time can bend your knees
Time can break your heart, have you begging please, begging please

Beyond the door there’s peace I’m sure
And I know there’ll be no more tears in heaven

Would you know my name
If I saw you in heaven?
Would it be the same
If I saw you in heaven?
I must be strong and carry on
‘Cause I know I don’t belong here in heaven

29 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday — Heaven and Hell

  1. Janis May 9, 2021 / 4:23 am

    Love this song! Wonderful words and melody…
    Can’t help not get teary-eyed!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Melanie B Cee May 9, 2021 / 8:33 am

    This song always brings tears to my eyes. It’s so beautiful and sad. It was one of the songs played at hubby’s memorial service too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marleen May 9, 2021 / 8:41 am

      That’s lovely. I was just telling my mom, yesterday, a song I remember from my dad’s mom’s memorial service (when I was fifteen).

      Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango May 9, 2021 / 6:06 pm

      I can’t imagine the pain of losing a four year old child.

      Like

      • Marleen May 15, 2021 / 11:18 pm

        I can’t either. There are trials or circumstances I’m so thankful I didn’t have to navigate.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Marleen May 9, 2021 / 8:36 am

    I’m pausing on the words “here in heaven.” I’m guessing this refers to the feeling of the “departed” loved one being present with one who is not departed… but putting it the other way around (that the one who is not departed is present with the departed — the both being sort of in another world, or the not-departed being allowed in another reality or parallel spirituality relatively briefly, the time-frame varying). The song is now a reminder of that time.

    There is a favorite scene in a series I’ve been watching called FOR ALL MANKIND. A couple has lost their son in an accident and eventually adopted a daughter. When the daughter is of an age near the end of childhood or beginning of adulthood, she tells us (tells her mother) that she has been sensing the presence of the son. No, there’s nothing creepy. I think the sense of being in a slightly altered state with marginal contact is common.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marleen May 9, 2021 / 9:56 pm

      I think I don’t mean common; just not very unusual. And it can mean a lot, even if it doesn’t appear to really mean anything.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango May 9, 2021 / 10:07 pm

      Thanks, Di. I had plans today, so I’m also running late reading and responding to comments.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. aisasami May 15, 2021 / 7:30 pm

    This is such a beautiful song! Love this song and it is in a special part of my heart!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango May 15, 2021 / 9:53 pm

      I agree, it is a beautiful, albeit very sad song.

      Like

  5. leigha66 May 16, 2021 / 12:26 am

    One of Clapton’s finest… it hurts my heart every time I hear it.

    Liked by 1 person

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