Tears in Heaven – Eric Clapton
“Tears in Heaven” by Eric Clapton, an acoustic cover by Mike Massé
I consider this song to be hallowed ground. As a piece of music, it’s beautiful, haunting, and even uplifting somehow. As an expression of grief, it’s devastating. I approach this song with sincere reverence for the very real pain felt by very real people. I didn’t know little Conor, but as a father, I know the innocence and purity of a little boy his age and how precious those little souls are when they’re with you in your home, in your life. And I know the pain of nearly losing a child. I am grateful for not having to experience the actual grief of losing one. [If you don’t know what inspired the lyrics, Google it at your own risk, and prepare yourself to cry your eyes out, and prepare your heart to feel the pain of a deeply wounded artist.]
When I perform this work, I try to wall off some of my own emotions and not think too hard on the song’s meaning and origin, lest I break down mid-song. I can’t imagine how hard it is for Eric Clapton to perform this. After everything we went through with our own little Noah, I feel a type of kinship with the pain and fear expressed in this song, but I don’t pretend to fathom even a glimpse of the heartbreak and loss that brought Mr. Clapton to write this modern masterpiece. I hope my rendition will remind you of how you felt the first time you heard this song, knowing what it was about. And maybe help you feel connected to your own kids and/or family—every moment you have with them. For me, these quiet moments of extreme empathy for another’s loss make me feel more connected to those around me, family and strangers alike. They make me feel more human. They make me want to be a better human. What more could we want from art? What more could art want from us?
Tears in Heaven – Eric Clapton Chords/Lyrics
Tears in Heaven Eric Clapton Key: A A E/G# F#m F#m/E D/F# E7sus4 E7 A Verse: A E/G# F#m F#m/E Would you know my name D/F# A/E E If I saw you in heaven A E F#m F#m/E Would it be the same D/F# A/E E If I saw you in heaven Chorus: F#m C#/F I must be strong A7/E F#7 and carry on Bm7 E7 Cause I know I don't belong E7 A here in heaven (repeat intro riff) A E/G# F#m F#m/E D/F# E7sus4 E7 A Verse: A E/G# F#m F#m/E Would you hold my hand D/F# A/E E If I saw you in heaven A E F#m F#m/E Would you help me stand D/F# A/E E If I saw you in heaven Chorus: F#m C#/F A7/E F#7 I'll find my way through night and day Bm7 E7 Cause I know I just can't stay A Here in heaven Bridge: C G/B Am Time can bring you down D/F# G D/F# Em D/F# G Time can bend your knee C G/B Am Time can break your heart D/F# G Have you begging please D/F# E Begging please (repeat intro riff) A E/G# F#m F#m/E D/F# E7sus4 E7 A Verse: A E/G# F#m F#m/E Would you know my name D/F# A/E E If I saw you in heaven A E F#m F#m/E Would it be the same D/F# A/E E If I saw you in heaven Chorus: F#m C#/F Beyond the door A7/E F#7 There's peace I'm sure Bm7 E7 And I know there'll be no more A Tears in heaven Bm7 E7 Yes, I know there'll be no more A Tears in heaven
(Songwriters: Eric Patrick Clapton / Will Jennings)