Wonderful Tonight? My arse

I was writing an epically dull post on web standards when I noticed that Molly had written about her top three love songs and just had to rant.

Yes, Nick Drake’s “Brighten My Northern Sky” is a great song, but Eric Clapton’s “Wonderful Tonight”?!?!?! Eric Clapton??? Eric Clapped-out, more like.

When I was a bar singer in Turkey, I used to charge people one beer for requests, except for a few songs with finger-twisting chord changes (Stairway to Heaven, Bridge Over Troubled Water) that would cost the punter two beers.

There was also a select list of three-beer songs, chosen not because of complex chord structures, but because they’re toe-curlingly shit. I’m talking Rod Stewart’s “I am Sailing”. I’m talking “The Power of Love”. I’m talking two by Eric CrappedOn: “Tears In Heaven” and “Wonderful Tonight”.

It’s not even a hard song to play – in fact, just four chords will do it. You don’t need a great vocal range. What makes it so horrible is the sheer mawkishness of it; the ploddingly uninspired monosyllabic lyrics with their clunky and pedestrianly obvious rhymes (wear/ hair, see/ me, head/ bed).

Plenty of people paid the three-beer fine for “Wunnerfooool Tonighd”, so it’s evidently popular (but then, so are Whitney Houston, Osama Bin Laden and circumcision).

I thought those days were over, but late last year I joined a band and what do we play mid-set, to give the drummer a break? You guessed it. Wonderful To-fucking-night.


9 Responses to “ Wonderful Tonight? My arse ”

Comment by John Oxton

Rant all you like, I agree totally! To be honest though “When I was a bar singer in Turkey” was enough for me, that one sentence alone as a post would have made my day.

Comment by Alessandro Ansa

“Layla” is the real travesty: here we have a masterpiece of Persian literature, Nizami’s story of Majnoon’s love for Layla, which is like a madly intense equivalent of Romeo and Juliet in the east, people even had versions written in gold ink, and all clapton can come up with is:

“Layla, you’ve got me on my knees.
Layla, I’m begging, darlin’ please.”

The guitar riff is not bad though.

Comment by lawson

I thought I should at least stop and see what this is all about, as your a “lawson” and i’m a “lawson” too.
Well, Hello fellow cyber traveller. Viel Gluek.

Comment by its Eric Clapton no matter what u say

man, u reall should get help or smthing.. so ur critising music by “how hard is it to play” omg.. goto hell man :DDD music can sound good no matter how simple or complicated it is.. u’re just a paranoid. and u really should find urself.. :> its easy to play i admit that.. but it really touches from bottom of heart, i know that u require much from urself.. but dont critise someone who rly is better than u.. and to be honest with you.. u dont know anything about music itself if u’re saying that tears in heaven and wonderful tonight are crap

Comment by Benny

There is nothing wrong with being “pedestrian” and simple once in a while. There is beauty in simplicity and ordinariness. Too many love songs tritely proclaim the sun and the moon and the four winds and eternity of love; they all ring so hollow and superficial. It’s refreshing to hear a song with pedestrian lyrics speaking to thoughts and sensibilities of the common person. What I do look down on are so-called musicians who disrespect other musicians and label them and their songs with expletives. If I ever went to a bar you were playing in I would pay you ten beers to get out of my earshot.

Comment by Jim

If I ever went to a bar you were playing in I would pay you ten beers to get out of my earshot.

Yes, Bruce becomes much quieter and more respectful after ten beers.

Comment by Bruce

If I ever went to a bar you were playing in I would pay you ten beers to get out of my earshot.

Yeah, but any one who likes Eric “Enoch” Clapton is too wet and weedy to go into a bar. A cup of Ovaltine and listening to The Archers while wearing a beige cardigan is more your scene, Benny.

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