Watch: Ed Sheeran covers Clapton's 'Layla' along with an R&B orchestra
Nobody can sing Layla like Eric Clapton can. And there's no other song that captures the agony of unrequited love like Clapton's Layla. Ed Sheeran, however, king of angst and emo songs decided to cover the song and it was a delight. Revellers ringing in the New Year in the UK were treated to a performance of Ed singing his heart out to "Layla" on Jools Holland's Annual Hootenanny. And, he absolutely got this rendition on point.
About the song:
Inspired by a 7th century love story from Arabia, the crux being The Story of Layla and Majnun by the 12th-century Persian poet Nizami Ganjavi, a copy of which Ian Dallas had given to Clapton. Moved by the book, Clapton was bowled over the story of a young man who fell hopelessly in love with a beautiful, young girl and went crazy and so could not marry her.
Watch the original here:
In his autobiography, Clapton states, "Ian Dallas told me the tale of Layla and Majnun , a romantic Persian love story in which a young man, Majnun, falls passionately in love with the beautiful Layla, but is forbidden by her father to marry her and goes crazy with desire." The song was further inspired by Clapton's then unrequited love for Pattie Boyd, the wife of his friend and fellow musician George Harrison of the Beatles. Clapton and Boyd would eventually marry.
What happened soon was that Boyd divorced Harrison in 1977 and married Eric Clapton in 1977. It is said that Harrison wasn't bitter about the divorce and even attended the wedding along with his band members, Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney. Another love ballad that Clapton wrote for Boyd was the evergreen Wonderful Tonight in 1977. As far as numbers go, Layla was ranked number 27 on Rolling Stone's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time in 2004 and the acoustic version won the 1993 Grammy Award for Best Rock Song.