Once upon a time, one summer
When I was witless and 19
I arranged to meet this girl in a pub
Somewhere on a hill in St Albans
We'd been going out for several years
In teenage terms. At least two months,
And it was grinding to a tortuous end.
Her hanging out with a hipper set
Me, frantically following her around.
It being "underground rock night"
The place was suitably darkened
With two red lights and chemical slides
This was going some. For St Albans.
The DJ played a song called "Layla"
Which up until then, I had never heard.
Instantly, it prompted knowledgeable
And self-conscious headshaking
From my girlfriend and her new set.
You know how when you're young
The playing of certain pop songs
Can be almost a declaration of war?
Well, with "Layla" it was just like that.
After four Triple As (strong barley-wine)
And several attempts at forced gaiety
Which cuts no ice with females. Ever.
I'm afraid I lost it and became noisy.
After being asked to leave the table,
"Uncool" and "immature" were the charges
All the long lonely way home to heartbreak
"Layla" would not get out of my head.
And then the next day and day after that
For the whole of my last teenage summer
The song was on the radio. And never once
Did I ever listen to the lyrics. Which are
Actually about a geezer being dumped.
And now, the guitar with which Eric Clapton
Wrought the riff for this wretchedness
Is going to be up for auction at Christie's.
Perhaps I'll go along. And try to outbid her.