Some Saturday Love: Eric Clapton, “Change the World,” 1996

This was on the audio loop over at the local Starbucks, and immediately, my heart just went mooshy, mushy.  Both Clapton‘s and BabyFace‘s renditions are really good—-they were symbiotic together—-but Eric’s got me this morning.  I had to stand with my coffee and listen to the song to the very end before I could leave on this frosty day with snow on the ground.

This song also came from a film I’ve never seen called Phenomenon From Wiki:

Although “Change the World” is better known as an unplugged acoustic track, a rare electric performance of the song was featured on Babyface‘s 1997 live album Babyface MTV Unplugged NYC, with Clapton on co-lead vocals, playing his namesake signature Fender Stratocaster guitar. There was also another electric cover of this track, released the following year, with Nathan East on electric bass.

In the song, the performer expresses his desire to communicate his love to an unnamed woman. This love, he fears, will go unrequited without a drastic change in his life.

Sounds like that love for Pattie Boyd Harrison, but I don’t think she’s the muse in this one.  I think it’s Sheryl Crow.  That seems to be his particular story: unrequited, unconsummated yearning.  Old Slowhand has been around, but he’s settled down and married once more, to a young American woman, Melia, who has given him three daughters.

Lyrics?  Why not.

If I could reach the stars I’d pull one down for you
Shine it on my heart so you could see the truth
That this love I have inside is everything it seems
But for now I find it’s only in my dreams

CHORUS:
That I can change the world
I would be the sunlight in your universe
You will think my love was really something good
Baby if I could change the world

If I could be king even for a day
I’d take you as my queen I’d have it no other way
And our love will rule in this kingdom we have made
Till then I’d be a fool wishin’ for the day

CHORUS:
That I can change the world
I would be the sunlight in your universe
You will think my love was really something good
Baby if I could change the world
Baby if I could change the world

GUITAR SOLO

CHORUS:
That I can change the world
I would be the sunlight in your universe
You will think my love was really something good
Baby if I could change the world
Baby if I could change the world
Baby if I could change the world

Clapton’s long past his “Clapton is God” days; he’s more and more into blues rather than rock.  Of course, before his second wind, Jerry Lynn Williams’ “Pretending” had me turning the volume up in my car in the late Eighties.

I can forgive him a few transgressions but not all; namely, his disgraceful dissing of immigrants to Britain’s shores that led to accusations of racism on his part.  (A few other Brit rockers, like David “married to Iman” Bowie, have also complained about the transformation of their former haunts and neighborhoods, much like Americans here.  Even the recently departed Christopher Hitchens ominously groused about the Muslims who now inhabit his former Jewish neighborhood, implying in Vanity Fair that Britain was encouraging some kind of nest of terrorists in its midst; that they were some kind of fifth column.)

My answer to those complaints are, they are here because you were there.  And the more that they are integrated into British society rather than resisted, the better for everyone all around.  As late as 2007, Clapton refused to revise his previous statements, and reiterated his support for British racists like Enoch Powell.  So that’s what B.B. King is singing and strumming with?  Methinks he’d be better off changing his inner world.

Yet, it’s a beautiful song.  And except for that mess upwind, Clapton’s quite an impressive guy.  Enjoy.

~ by blksista on January 14, 2012.

6 Responses to “Some Saturday Love: Eric Clapton, “Change the World,” 1996”

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