Eric Clapton’s Song to Virgin Mary was Stolen for Princess Bride film

Do you remember that epic closing music to The Princess Bride? It’s a ripoff of a song written by Eric Clapton, a ballad written to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

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During the lows of Eric Clapton’s alcoholism, he wrote a ballad to the Blessed Virgin Mary called “Holy Mother.” The lyrics are moving and conclude with a “now and at the hour of our death” moment followed by a solo that only Clapton could construct:

When my hands no longer play,
My voice is still, I fade away.
Holy mother, then I’ll be
Lying in, safe within your arms. [guitar solo]

During this time in his life, Clapton had a conversion to Christ which explains like this:

I had found a place to turn to… From that day until this, I have never failed to pray in the morning, on my knees, asking for help, and at night, to express gratitude for my life and, most of all, for my sobriety. I choose to kneel because I feel I need to humble myself when I pray, and with my ego, this is the most I can do.

Anyway, he wrote a beautiful ballad called “Holy Mother” and from the first time that I listened to it, I thought to myself, “This sounds like a movie?” And then I realized that it sounded like The Princess Bride theme.

Compare the opening and the melody of Eric Clapton’s “Holy Mother” (1986) to The Princess Bride Theme (1987). I’ve included both from Youtube:

Here is Eric Clapton’s “Holy Mother” from his album August (1986):

And here’s The Princess Bride Theme Song, “Storybook Love” (1987):

It’s a bit odd that these songs came out a year apart. Mark Knoplfer, composer of The Princes Bride theme, was the singer for Dire Straits (“Money for nothing and your chicks for free…”). He was also a friend of Clapton’s and the two have played together over the years. But I’ve got say, it sure does sound like Knopfler cribbed Clapton’s “Holy Mother” for The Princess Bride. Just saying…

I really enjoy Clapton’s “Holy Mother” (brings me to tears) and I especially his version of “Holy Mother” with Pavarotti. Give it to 1:43:

You’ll see that Clapton is wailing on a blue Stratocaster – fitting for a Marian hymn.

  • If you want another beautiful Clapton song, check out his “Presence of the Lord” with Blind Faith (Clapton and Steve Winwood singing). This song is so epic.
  • Two other great spiritual ballads by Clapton are “Tears in Heaven” and “Running on Faith.”

Question: Do you like Clapton’s “Holy Mother”? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Godspeed,
Taylor

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