It is pushing 10 in the evening and Clapton is singing about Layla.
We’re almost at the section with the piano and I am smiling because it is one of my favorite parts of any song which brings me to my next point.
Do you know I wrote Layla?
Sure it was released in 1970 when I was just a wee lad, but I was very advanced and knew exactly how to write about mature themes.
I’ll share my favorite line with you, but I won’t tell you the history behind it, no sir.
“You’ve been running and hiding much too long.
You know it’s just your foolish pride.”
What? You say you don’t believe me and that it is impossible for me to have written the song? Foolish person, are you not familiar with alternative facts.
Where’s Our Walter Cronkite?
Walter Cronkite spent close to 20 years as an anchorman for CBS news.
I was 12 when he retired and remember his signature sign off of “and that is the way it was” in great detail.
A thousand years ago when I was working on my BA in Journalism school we had lots of discussions about Cronkite’s influence on American opinion.
More than a few moments were dedicated to what happened when he told the American public that he questioned the war in Vietnam and whether President Lyndon Baines Johnson really did say that if had lost Cronkite had lost middle America.
Thirty-six years after Cronkite stepped down we live in a very different world in which many people mistrust the media and that is of grave concern to me.
Because we don’t seem to have voices or a voice that people trust to be truthful, honest and unbiased.
Where do we get our news and information from? How do we determine if it is accurate?
So many people prefer to live inside echo chambers in which they only hear news that fits their particular beliefs and bias.
They don’t want to be challenged.
That is a problem.
We have a 24 hour news cycle and a new administration that delights in trying to convince people that the media cannot be trusted and that worries me too.
They remind me of people who have set a bonfire in the forest with the misguided belief they can control the flames.
There is no concern about the one spark they miss and the damage it can do. No fear about what happens if you manage to completely destroy the credibility of the media.
A free media is critical to democracy. They are part of the checks and balances.
So I wonder now what comes next.
More Songwriting News
Layla fades into nothing and Lay Lady Lay fills my ears and I smile again because I wrote this song too.
It was released in 1969, same year as I was born and serves as more proof of how advanced I was at writing.
Here let me share one of the most clever things I came up with then.
Stay, lady, stay, stay with your man awhile
Why wait any longer for the world to begin
You can have your cake and eat it too
The beauty of being a baby is you don’t worry about calories so you can have your cake and eat it too.
And when you are as advanced as I was, well you don’t want to wait for the world to begin because you were born ready.
Alternative facts, learn to love them at least until the new Walter Cronkite comes along.