Songs About Hands


Eyes, mouths and hands have always been my favorite features in people. They are the things I notice first, the points of attraction, the parts of a body I am forever drawn to, and fascinated by. Eyes and mouths I feel have been written about often, the eyes being windows to the soul, the mouth being this point of connection, of communication, of sustenance, and on another Friday in another week I will dedicate this space to my praises, but for this week, today, I want to celebrate hands.

Hands are the conduit of touch, something that we all crave, and need, for emotional survival. They are also a point of communication, be it in language itself (signing), or in the emphasis of emotion. They are our personal shield, a place to hide behind, and the part of us that can hold things close, be it someone else’s hand, a pen to write a letter, a dish to serve up food to ourselves, or others, or to pick up something we want to make closer to us.


Our hands tell a story, the lines, the age, the scars, the individual markings. I still recall clearly having my palm read for the first time. Although it was done in a very surface way, a tourist stop while on vacation with “predictions” of romance and surface dreams (“I see dreams for big things in your future“), and yet, even though there was no personal revelations, there was still something so intimate and exciting about someone reading my hands.

Holding a lovers hand for the first time, that kind of thrill, it is right up there with a first kiss, to me. Holding one of my children’s hands, when they were small, or that first time they wrapped their hand around my finger, or now, as they are older, when they slow down for a moment and let me hold their hand for a brief moment, there are no words to describe that feeling. Memories of my Grandmother’s hands, her nails always perfectly manicured and neat, the veins that protruded, the stories in the wrinkles and ridges, I used to love examining them, comparing them to mine.


You know the reason The Beatles made it so big?…’I Wanna Hold Your Hand.’ First single. Fucking brilliant. Perhaps the most fucking brilliant song ever written. Because they nailed it. That’s what everyone wants. Not 24/7 hot wet sex. Not a marriage that lasts a hundred years. Not a Porsche…or a million-dollar crib. No. They wanna hold your hand. They have such a feeling that they can’t hide. Every single successful song of the past fifty years can be traced back to ‘I Wanna Hold Your Hand.’ And every single successful love story has those unbearable and unbearably exciting moments of hand-holding.” ~ David Levithan, Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist

Some people read palms to tell your future, but I read hands to tell your past. Each scar makes a story worth telling. Each callused palm, each cracked knuckle is a missed punch or years in a factory.” ~ Sarah Kay

“We have hands; we can stand on them if we want to. That’s our privilege. That’s the joy of a mortal body. And that’s why God needs us. Because God loves to feel things through our hands.” ~ Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

“All he wanted from the girl was for her to hold his hand again if possible. He wanted her to squeeze his hand again someplace where the two of them could be alone. And he wanted her to tell him something—anything—about herself, to whisper some secret about what it meant to be Aomame, what it meant to be a ten-year-old girl. He would try hard to understand it, and that would be the beginning of something, though even now, Tengo still had no idea what that “something” might be.” ~ Haruki Murakami, 1Q84

As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.” ~ Audrey Hepburn

The final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands.” ~ Anne Frank

I want to hold your hand.” ~ The Beatles


Here are my top five “hands” songs for this week’s Friday Five. I had fun compiling this one. What are yours?

1. I Want to Hold Your Hand :: T.V. Carpio

And when I touch you I feel happy inside,
it’s such a feeling that my love,
I can’t hide,
I can’t hide,
I can’t hide

2. I Want Your (Hands On Me) :: Sinead O’Connor & M.C. Lyte

Put ’em on,
put ’em on,
put ’em on me

3. Hands Down (live) :: Dashboard Confessional & Michael Stipe

Hands down this is the best day I can ever remember.
Always remember the sound of the stereo,
the dim of the soft lights,
the scent of your hair that you twirled in your fingers.
And the time on the clock,
when we realized “it’s so late!”,
and this walk that we share together.
The streets were wet,
and the gate was locked,
so I jumped it,
and I let you in.
And you stood at your door,
with your hands on my waist,
and you kissed me like you meant it.
And I knew…that you meant it,
that you meant it,
that you meant it

4. Hands Open :: Snow Patrol

Put Sufjan Stevens on,
and we’ll play your favorite song,
“Chicago” bursts to life,
and your sweet smile remembers

5. Crystal Village :: Pete Yorn

“Take my hand,
come with me,
into this crystal scenery,
and wait,
’til I retain the ticket.”


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