George Harrison’s “Here Comes The Sun” – The Story Behind The Song
Before we get to the story behind George Harrison’s “Here Comes The Sun,” let’s take a little refresher course on the relationship between George and Eric Clapton. You may know the famous story of “Layla.” Eric Clapton wrote the song for Patti Boyd, George’s then-wife. She and Clapton were involved in an affair at the time. Patti ended up divorcing George (Patti said that the affair that George was having with Ringo Starr’s then-wife, Maureen, was “the last straw”). #drama Don’t worry, I’ll get to the actual song, “Here Comes The Sun,” in a moment. I promise. Here’s George and his bride, Patti.
Timeline for context: The Beatles broke up in 1970. Clapton released “Layla” in 1973. Patti left George in 1974 and their divorce was finalized in 1977. In 1979, Eric Clapton and Patti Boyd got married.
George not only attended their wedding, but he also performed there… with Ringo Starr. This was the first time any of The Beatles had performed together since their split. From all accounts, the two were feeling pretty good and the set was NOT their finest performance, but still. What a moment to have seen. BTW, Elton John and Mick Jagger were also in attendance. (info per Farout Magazine)
Now Back To “Here Comes The Sun”
The Clapton Factor
In 1969, George Harrison wrote, “Here Comes The Sun” in Eric Clapton’s garden, using Clapton’s acoustic guitar. It’s not like Eric Clapton was prone to walking about the garden with his guitar. It was all George. Clapton said in the documentary, Material World, “This is what George brought to the situation. He was just a magical guy… we sat down at the bottom of the garden, looking out, and the sun was shining; it was a beautiful morning, and he began to sing the opening lines and I just watched this thing come to life.”
George Harrison Explains
After Brian Epstein passed, things got tough for The Beatles. They had to shoulder a lot of adulting on the legal end of things with Apple Records. George did not enjoy this. He wrote, “Here Comes The Sun” after a long stretch of business meetings. Harrison said the song was inspired by the long English winters (which he also did not like). In a 1969 interview with the BBC, George said, “It was just sunny and it was all just the release of that tension that had been building up on me. It was just a really nice sunny day, and I picked up the guitar, which was the first time I’d played the guitar for a couple of weeks because I’d been so busy. And the first thing that came out was that song.”
The instrumental section of “Here Comes the Sun” is very similar to “The Badge.” George helped Eric write the song when Eric was with Cream. Harrison and Clapton’s relationship lasted much longer than either of their relationships with Patti Boyd. They collaborated many times and even toured together in the ’90s.
“Here Comes The Sun” is such an uplifting, unassuming song. I’m instantly in a better mood when I hear it. When my niece was pregnant, I made parting-gift CDs for her shower. Since she was having a boy, I made sure the first track was “Here Comes the SON.” LOL… I don’t know if she found it as funny as I did, but I still think it’s hilarious.
To read the story of “How Sammy Hagar Wrote ‘I Can’t Drive 55’,” CLICK HERE.