Circus Left Town

“The last night I spent with Conor, we went to the circus. We went to see one of those huge things that they do in America where they have three rings going on at the same time. You’ve got clowns and tigers and everything. They don’t do anything in half measures. They just pile it all in. After the show, we were driving back to New York City and all he could remember, all he could talk about was this clown. He’d seen a clown with a knife, which I didn’t see at all. Some clown was running around brandishing a knife, which was something quite frightening but he liked it – I mean, it excited him. And so that is in the lyrics. But, and I suppose what I was doing, I was paying tribute to this night with him and also seeing him as being the circus of my life. You know – that particular part of my life has now left town.”Eric Clapton (1180)

Broken Hearted

“And again, it was quite a specific set of circumstances I was talking about a lost love.”Eric Clapton (1180)

Lonely Stranger

“You can get a lot of very strange vibrations coming in from the outside and doing something with the film industry [Eric was in LA in 1991 writing for the file Rush – Ed]. I really wrote that song to try to kind of cheer myself up. I felt like an English exile trying to beat the odds.”Eric Clapton (1181)

My Father’s Eyes

“‘My Father’s Eyes’ is very personal. I realized that the closest I ever came to looking in my father’s eyes was when I looked into my son’s eyes. [Clapton never met his father – Ed].”Eric Clapton (1182)

River Of Tears

“Lyrically, it is about a specific person. My impulse for writing the song was initially very manipulative. I was always toying with the idea that when she’d hear this song there would be a reconciliation or something. It had a purpose. And then it started getting vindictive. It got quite vindictive in some of its early stages, and at some point I started feeling like the lyrics were becoming too melodramatic. I realized that the way to save it was to bring it back to talking about me, and that maybe I’m an unavailable person, maybe it’s me that’s unavailable. That whole thing in the song about just drifting from town to town and not really being able to fit in takes the blame off somebody else and places it on myself.”Eric Clapton (1182)

Presence Of The Lord (Blind Faith)

“That song was a true statement of what was happening in my life at the time. I had somewhere to live. I was actually having a good time after leaving Cream, feeling very secure. I was in a great frame of mind.”Eric Clapton (1183)

Tears In Heaven

“My question was ‘Will I see you again?’ In a sense, it wasn’t even a sad song. It was a song of belief. When it talks about there will be no more tears in heaven, I think it’s a song of optimism.”Eric Clapton (1184)

You Were There

“I had my daughter staying with me during the summer and I went around to the news agents on the Sunday morning and it was on the front page that Princess Diana was dead. All this stuff started coming up like it did for everybody. For me, it was like a compilation of feelings that go back to every loss that I’ve ever experienced. And I had this feeling … and I didn’t want it to get pinned onto this event. I wanted to actually place it somewhere where I felt it really belonged. And so I took it to a relationship that I have been involved with, myself, for the last 25 years, which is with my manager [Roger Forrester – Ed]. And I took this feeling and put it in this song for him.”Eric Clapton (1185)

Holy Mother

“I was madly in love with Richard [Manuel – Ed]. For me, Richard was the true light of ‘The Band’. There was something of the holy madman about Richard. He was raw. When he sang in that high falsetto the hair on my neck would stand on end. Not many people can do that.”Eric Clapton (1186)

Old Love

“[After his divorce from Boyd was finalized in 1988, Clapton wrote to Boyd telling her that he was working on Journeyman and had written a song about her – Ed]. I think it will be the best one on the album. Don’t be offended, it’s not about you being old, it’s about love getting old, and it’s great, well, you’ll see it when you hear it.”Eric Clapton (1186)

Back Home

“Writing about a relationship that is productive and successful and loving without being boring or self-indulgent is difficult [referring to his second marriage to Melia – Ed]. It’s so much easier writing in anger or sadness about something that’s gone and lost.”Eric Clapton (1187)

Run Home To Me

“She [second wife Melia – Ed] only has to hear the opening and she starts to cry, and me too, because that song is about us sitting on the stony beach in Bognor in winter. It was cold but beautiful and nobody was there and it was the most real picture I had of us becoming a family. That was the moment of realisation.”Eric Clapton (1187)