Friday, January 20, 2012

Thinking About Arranging “Layla”

Over at Wikifonia you can get an arrangement of Clapton’s “Layla” for free. I wouldn’t call it a great arrangement, but it’s free and anyone can re-arrange it. It’s pretty straightforward music, once you get the hang of the key change:

And this, of course, is the real deal, this is Layla herself, Pattie Boyd. I link to her biography in my post The Good Old Days—Umm, Yeah.... Whenever I use a phrase about ‘hippie girls’ I am almost always picturing Pattie Boyd as the archetype. I suppose—although I guess it doesn’t matter in the cosmic scheme of things—I suppose I think of Pattie Boyd as the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen. More accurately, I guess, I suppose I think of Pattie Boyd as the most beautiful woman I can imagine.

This is Pattie Boyd more recently, from a 2005 photography exhibit. I posted one of her photos in Equally And As Hopelessly Lost. She’s still beautiful. But, to be honest, she kind of frightens me. I wouldn’t want to meet her in real life. I don’t mean she frightens me because she’s beautiful. I’ve known, somehow, some beautiful women. I mean Pattie Boyd frightens me because there seems to be no connection at all between her beauty and her character. She doesn’t seem to have a bad character, just something completely disconnected from her phenomenal beauty. I’ve come to realize this isn’t entirely unusual. But it is one of those simple facts of life that is very hard for me to come to grips with in any practical way, and I’m afraid I still make a fool out of myself when I meet a woman and I jump to conclusions about her based on her looks.

When I play and sing Clapton’s “Layla”
I arrange it and imagine it
as a duet, where a woman sings
the verses and a man the chorus.

I change some words here and there. Instead
of looking to ease my worried mind,
I sing, “Won’t you heal my broken mind.”

Some people used to believe music
could change the world. Rearrange the world.

Or they pretended to believe it.

But even if today people laugh
or don’t even waste their breath laughing
because they’ve read, say, Pattie Boyd’s book
or they’ve read, say, Eric Clapton’s book,
and they know nothing was what it seemed,
Pattie Boyd did look like Pattie Boyd
and Eric Clapton did write “Layla.”

I’m trying to re-arrange my mind.

It’s broken and the pieces don’t work.

But if I move the pieces around
I’m hoping I can find some order
that works enough for me to pretend.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

“Layla” at Wikipedia

“Wonderful Tonight” at Amazon

“Clapton: The Autobiography” at Amazon


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My “Year Of The Cat” Fantasy

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