What does Tears In Heaven mean?

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Eric Clapton: Tears In Heaven Meaning

Song Released: 1992

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Tears In Heaven Lyrics

Would you know my name
If I saw you in heaven
Would it be the same
If I saw you in heaven
I must be strong,
and carry on
Cause I know, I don't belong
Here in heaven

Would you hold my hand
If I saw you in heaven
Would you help me...


    #1 top rated interpretation:
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    Jul 1st 2009 report

    Eric believes that his 4 yr. old son who died of a very tragic death is already in heaven. He thought of getting there to heaven to see him and be with him again, but not sure if his son will recognize him. Deep inside, he knows that he is not ready to be there in heaven and needed to come back to earth ( a saying goes "good people go to heaven") to straighten things out in his life. He knew he needed to be strong to change Maybe, when he's up there in heaven, he's still under the influence of drugs--...hold my hand, help me stand, find my way.. He must have been talking out honestly when he's in the state of addiction.Begging please, could mean how he's suffering from the loss of his son and the addiction he knew was punishing him. However he knows that Connor is in a better place where there is no tearsnor sorrow.


    #2 top rated interpretation:
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    Sep 12th 2008 report

    Eric Clapton tells this tragic story in his book, "Clapton".
    He was at his apartment in NY, and as he was getting ready to walk over to Lori's apartment to pick she and Conor up for a trip to the Zoo and out to eat, his phone rang around 11AM. It was Lori and she was hysterical. She told him that Conor was dead. Eric at first was in complete shock and disbelief, even asking her, "Are you sure?!" She then told him that Conor had fallen out of the window, 53 stories up, plunging to his death.
    When Eric arrived, this is what he said, and I QUOTE:

    "By talking to the police and the doctors, I established what had happened without even having to go into the room. The main sitting room had windows along one side that went from floor to ceiling, and they could be tilted open for cleaning. There were no window guards, however, since the building was a condominium and escaped the normal building regulations. On this morning the JANITOR was cleaning the windows and had temporarily left them open. Conor was racing about the apartment playing a game of hide-and-seek with his nanny, and while Lori was distracted by the janitor’s warning her about the danger, he simply ran into the room and straight out the window. He then fell 49 floors before landing on the roof of an adjacent four-story building." End QUOTE.

    Sheesh people. Your compassion's overwhelming!!
    Whether or not Eric Clapton was on drugs or drink or sober as a baby, which, by the way, he was then, these kinds of freak accidents can and do happen to anyone! For those of you who are implying that he asked for it because of his lifestyle choices, are not only sick, but get off of your high horses! Who are YOU to point a finger at this man who made some bad choices in his life? You've NEVER said or done ANYTHING in your entire life that was bad or ever did or said anything to hurt anyone?
    Be careful of those stones you're carrying around in that glass house of yours.
    And as far as what Conor's parents had to endure facing life without him, NOT to mention the grief and guilt of knowing that their son died such a horrific death, well I wonder how many of us would even be here today if faced with that.
    And for the woman who delievered a still baby? My heart and prayers go out to you and your precious angel.
    And I think the lyric, "...I know I don't belong, here in heaven." is meant to be interpreted as his way of saying it's not my time yet. Or maybe because of his overwhelming grief and guilt, he felt that he (Eric) didn't deserve Heaven.


    #3 top rated interpretation:
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    Mar 6th 2007 report

    The song was written for conor as claptons own way of dealing wit his death, my interpretation was that clapton felt bad about not being there for his son when he died as he was just starting to act like a proper father figure to him, conor triped after playing hide and seek with the maid and ran off the balcony which should of had a glass door there but had been open by the cleaner, (lori) claptons ex- as addressing a fax and was not keeping an eye on conor. clapton was not present in the room when it occured but arived shortly after.
    The song emphasize the term that you only know how good something was until after its gone, tears in heaven demon straights the love in which Eric Clapton had for his child but the slow realization of this that lasted only 2 days before the tragerty of the 4 yr old falling out of an open window in which the cleaner unlatched.
    For Eric this song shows the regret of not being for his son both throughout his short life and moments before he died.
    The first part of the song were he talking about it being same as it was on earth in heaven and repetitively asking if “you would no my name if I sore you in heaven” this demon straights the distance of Eric to his son and to finally ask weather his son realized who he was while he was still alive. When he then states “would it be the same” meaning that would they still have the same distant relationshio that they had on earth.

  4. anonymous
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    Dec 18th 2017 report

    The years following 1990 were extremely turbulent for Clapton. In August 1990, his manager, two of his roadies and his friend and fellow musician Stevie Ray Vaughan were killed in a helicopter accident. Seven months later, on March 20, 1991, Clapton's 4-year-old son Conor died after falling from the 53rd-floor window of his mother's friend's New York City apartment. He landed on the roof of an adjacent four-story building.[4] After isolating himself for a period, Clapton began working again, writing music for a movie about drug addiction called Rush. Clapton dealt with the grief of his son's death by co-writing "Tears in Heaven" with Will Jennings. Shortly after his single was released, he went on to the MTV Unplugged series and recorded a new version of the song.[5] Unplugged topped charts and was nominated for nine Grammy Awards the year it was released. Clapton made numerous public service announcements to raise awareness for childproofing windows and staircases.

    In an interview with Daphne Barak, Clapton stated, "I almost subconsciously used music for myself as a healing agent, and lo and behold, it worked... I have got a great deal of happiness and a great deal of healing from music".[6]

    In an interview, Will Jennings said:

    "Eric and I were engaged to write a song for a movie called Rush. We wrote a song called 'Help Me Up' for the end of the movie... then Eric saw another place in the movie for a song and he said to me, 'I want to write a song about my boy.' Eric had the first verse of the song written, which, to me, is all the song, but he wanted me to write the rest of the verse lines and the release ('Time can bring you down, time can bend your knees...'), even though I told him that it was so personal he should write everything himself. He told me that he had admired the work I did with Steve Winwood and finally there was nothing else but to do as he requested, despite the sensitivity of the subject. This is a song so personal and so sad that it is unique in my experience of writing songs."[2]

    Clapton stopped playing it in 2004, as well as the song "My Father's Eyes", stating: "I didn't feel the loss any more, which is so much a part of performing those songs. I really have to connect with the feelings that were there when I wrote them. They're kind of gone and I really don't want them to come back, particularly. My life is different now. They probably just need a rest and maybe I'll introduce them for a much more detached point of view."[7] Clapton eventually resurrected both songs for his 50th anniversary world tour in 2013.

  5. anonymous
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    May 29th 2016 report

    I truly believe that Eric wrote this song for his son that fell to his death at 4 years old. Eric even said that was his way of dealing with the pain of loosing his son. so people get a grip on the truth and you will understand what the song is really saying. To me it is one of the best songs i have heard.

  6. anonymous
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    Jan 28th 2014 report

    Would you know my name
    If I saw you in heaven...
    this would mean that you know my name here on earth but would you
    Would it be the same in heaven and would you know me there.
    If I saw you in heaven
    I must be strong,
    and carry on.....
    means your no longer here i have to be strong life goes on.
    Cause I know, I don't belong
    Here in heaven....
    not feeling worthy of being in such an esteemed high place.

    Would you hold my hand
    If I saw you in heaven.....
    means if i saw you in heaven would you even hold my hand or associate with me
    Would you help me...

  7. anonymous
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    Dec 1st 2013 report

    As a young father my son born two weeks after I turned 19 and now a single dad. This song has a lot of meaning. I was on a very wrong path at the time of my sons birth and even in the year that follows I was a bad person. I woke up an realized one day what it ment to be a father. From my actions in the past I don't expect to go to heaven. My son who is the sweetest boy in the world. I would want nothing more to see him there but I being who I was will probably not be there. I understand what Eric is saying. His son died so young would you remember me and I don't deserve to be there with you.

  8. anonymous
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    Oct 27th 2011 report

    Eric Clapton wrote this song when his son Connor, 4 years old, fell to his death from their apartment 53 stories up. Connor fell for 49 stories before landing on a roof on the fourth floor. He was killed instantly. He fell because the dumba** janitor left the 4 ft by 6 ft huge screen door open because of cleaning, and his mother was in the other room, receiving (or sending) a fax. He did NOT fall because Eric Clapton neglected his child and was on drugs, his mother was NOT smoking crack in the other room. He did NOT write it for the moving Rush, or for his father or grandfather. He wrote it out of his remorse for Connor’s horrific and tragic death, although he would deny it. He also wrote it because he felt bad that he had been a terrible father- always traveling, and now he was gone forever. And also, all those people pasting all those comments, I only have one thing to tell you: My world, haters can make like bees with no stingers.

  9. anonymous
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    Jul 3rd 2011 report

    Can somebody actually explain what the lyrics actually mean, and what they refer to specifically, as this page is supposed to do, not the background story to the song. We all know the background story. I would like to know what the lyrics specifically refer to line by line. e.g. who is asking 'would you know my name if I saw you in heaven' is it Eric Clapton or his son? And why would he ask such a question? The meaning of the lyrics please people!!

  10. anonymous
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    May 29th 2011 report

    Cmon guys

  11. anonymous
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    Feb 7th 2011 report

    Just read his autobiography. He wrote this song about his grandfather (who acted as a father to him for most of his life). It was recorded around the same time as his other songs that actully were about his son, like "The Circus Left Town", so naturally people think "Tears in Heaven" is also about Connor. When he wrote it, as it says in his book, he was really just wondering if he would get to meet up with his grandfather again in heaven.

  12. anonymous
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    Jan 22nd 2011 report

    In my opinion I think the song is about a dad that killed his son by mistake, and when saying he doesn't belong in heaven he is referring to himself, and his son saying that he killed his son by accident so he feels guilty, and his son has died at a early age meaning it wasn't his time to go to heaven. This is what the song means to me.

  13. Gemini
    click a star to vote
    Nov 23rd 2010 report

    So the song "Tears in Heaven" was about Connor..it was his way of dealing with his death..So that should end all other interpretations of what others might say that are way out of line...

  14. Gemini
    click a star to vote
    Nov 23rd 2010 report

    This is what Eric said..And i quote :"In Clapton’s new book, the famed musician wrote that he poured himself into his music, honoring his son with several songs, most notably, “Tears In Heaven.”

    “Was that the toughest song you ever wrote or did it just come out?” Potts asked.

    “The writing of the song is the therapy. The toughness is doing nothing,” Clapton responded. “From the time where everyone said goodbye to one another at the funeral and I was left at home — from that time to the time the song was finished, it was harder if I didn’t play the guitar. Playing the guitar was actually the solution.

  15. anonymous
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    Nov 15th 2010 report

    People should try to challenge the idea's instead making the person defensive. Also, if the issue was already resolved why repeat it again? There's no point in saying "This was made for his son not because of the movie rush" We get it okay?

  16. anonymous
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    Jul 22nd 2010 report

    Thank you Eric Clapton for having the strength and sharing!!! If I were to lose my one true meaning to live, I think I would have to rely on this song to carry on.. you did it alone,, and Conor would be proud!

  17. anonymous
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    Jul 18th 2010 report

    What goes through one mind following tragedy can never be understood by others. Mr. Clapton was struck with something that most folks would not be able to handle. My heart & prayers go out to him and his loved ones...on earth as well as in heaven.

    Clapton is a gifted and respected artist that has proven to have strength, dignity, and persaverance far greater than the average jo. I think his songs have touched many hearts and we will remember these tunes for as long as we live...and after too.

  18. HateMyGeneration
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    Jun 14th 2010 report

    This is my interpretation and it has most likely nothing to do with the author's intention while writing it.
    I think this song is about how futile some people are and only pretend to care about others and if they were in some place where they didn't depend on that person anymore (like heaven) would they still care.

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