We all have love songs that capture our hearts, pull at our emotions, and send us deep into the memories of our own great loves. But, they also might make us wonder what kind of passionate love compelled these wonderful songs to be written. In the case of “Layla” the catchy 1971 tune from Eric Clapton (recorded with Derek and the Dominos), the story behind it is very interesting and involves another famous musician as well, George Harrison.

Via: Wiki Commons/RSO Records

Clapton had become enamored with the 12th century Arabic poem based on earlier stories and myths called Layla and Majnun, a story of a poet gone crazy with love for a woman named Layla who he could not have. The two had fallen in love at a young age, but were kept apart by her father who had other plans for her future. In some way it seemed that Clapton felt that he was the hero of the story and his love interest was none other than George Harrison’s then-wife, model Pattie Boyd- a woman he could not be with, but whom he had had also become enamored with.

Harrison and Boyd had met on the set of the Beatles’ film Hard Day’s Night in 1964 and had gotten married in 1966. Harrison and Clapton had become friends who discussed music and played guitar at home together.

Pattie Boyd in 2018. Via: Wiki Commons/Eddie Janssens

By Boyd’s own account Clapton had given her a painting of a woman’s face and he had named the painting Layla. He also gave her a preview of the song “Layla” after it was recorded and she worried that Harrison would work out who the song was about since the 3 were close friends.

But, not being able to have Boyd only made Clapton fall more in love.

Via: The Netherlands Institute for Sound & Vision

After Clapton professed his love for her, Boyd didn’t see him again for 4 years! During this time he went into a period of isolation and Derek and the Dominos broke up. But, this wasn’t to be the last the two saw of each other- not by a long shot.

Watch the video below to uncover more interesting facts about this wild love triangle and the beautiful songs (yes, plural) that came from it.

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