Golden Ring

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Songfacts®:

  • When asked to name his favorite song out of his own catalogue during an October 1999 interview for the VH1 show, Flix, Eric Clapton chose this song. The episode was dedicated to the Rob Reiner film, The Story Of Us, for which Eric composed the soundtrack. He said he picked the song as his all-time personal favorite because it's obscure and people don't know it and it's about marriage (the theme of the movie).
  • Eric wrote this song during the 1978 sessions for Backless. In the tour program for his 1979 North American Tour, he had this to say about it: "The best thing that happened on Backless were the things that happened at the time. I got away with one song on there, 'Golden Ring,' which I think is the strongest song on the album, because I wrote it because I was fed up with the general sort of apathy of everyone involved, and I just thought, 'Well, I'll take a song in there and whether they like it or not, we'll do it, they'll learn it and record it, and we'll put it on the record and that's that!' And that kind of conviction carried the thing through. I spoke with Don Williams [an American Country & Western Cult Artist] just before Christmas and I told him I liked his album, and he said 'Golden Ring' was his favorite track, too, because it was the only one that came through with any kind of feeling, with strength. And if you listen to it, there's virtually nothing to it. Songs like that are caused by situations, but situations of that extremity don't happen every day, thank God." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    DeeTheWriter - Saint Petersburg, Russia Federation, for above 2
  • Although they share the same title, this song should not be confused with the hit 1976 duet, "Golden Ring," by George Jones and Tammy Wynette.
  • Eric fell in love with Pattie Boyd while she was still married to his friend George Harrison. When the pair finally got together in the mid-'70s, things were not as rosy as he imagined they would be. The complicated Eric-Pattie (whom he nicknamed "Nell")-George triangle inspired this song. He explained in his 2007 autobiography: "[The song] was written about the situation between me, Nell, and George. It referred in part to her response to the news that George was getting married again. She took it quite hard, and I, in my arrogance, found that hard to understand. So I wrote this song about the peculiarity of our triangle, which finishes with the words

    If I gave to you a golden ring,
    Would I make you happy, would I make you sing?
    "

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