"Hard Hand to Hold" as written by and Willy Mason....
Look him in the eyes
There's no need to be scared
He's as powerless as you and me,
Though his face is well worn
And his clothes a bit torn
That don't mean that you shouldn't believe,
When he asks you your name
Says 'brother we're all here in the same game'
But you shrink back like he's a disease,
Yeah you shake and you moan
You say 'oh please take me home'
And the homeless all sing the reprise.

It's a hard hand to hold
That is looking for control
It is tempting to fight
When you know that you're right,
It's hard to lie down
When you don't trust the ground
It's hard to hold on,
It's hard to hold on.

Walking home again
There comes a battle with the wind
As it teases your previsions against shame,
Like all that wax in your hair
It becomes painfully clear
That as long as it's a fight, you'll never win,
And when you get to the door
You're still so busy fighting wars
That you can't look upon your lady as a friend,
You're trying so hard to be right
You miss the love in that first sight
And your lover feels alone once again.

It's a hard hand to hold
That is looking for control
It is tempting to fight
When you know that you're right,
It's hard to lie down
When you don't trust the ground
It's hard to hold on,
It's hard to hold on.

Entering the liquor store
You try your hardest to ignore
That street sleeper on your left there all alone,
And the young man on your right
With unchained souls and love of night
You look so scared they laugh and wonder if your stoned,
But somewhere deep inside
They feel the pain they've learned to hide
Because that same fear has brought much trouble on their homes,
And they know you won't feel safe
Until that cop car wins its race
And another life is driven off its road.


Lyrics submitted by Kitti

"Hard Hand to Hold" as written by Willy Mason

Lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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Hard Hand to Hold song meanings
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7 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentI agree with everyone on viewing people less fortunate as less than human, etc. and I think that's definitely one message in the song.
    Additionally though, this song rings extremely true to me because some people (myself included) close themselves off and avoid letting people in out of fear of getting hurt and "losing the fight." I think he's saying that you can't go through life afraid to be vulnerable because eventually nobody will be there to hold hands with (figuratively and literally.)
    maymyhearton September 30, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentmy favorite song by willy mason.

    ahh, delicious!
    waves_on January 03, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"It's a hard hand to hold
    that is looking for control
    It is tempting to fight,
    when you know that you're right"

    All true. A song surely about our preconceptions, the futility of imposing draconian controls and how it is always the most marginal that suffer the most, ie the homeless
    BoHoon May 20, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song is more about how hard it is to hold on other people. Relations with others are so very hard to keep. Nobody feels safe, and we're so alone thorugh our lives.

    Really, really good song.
    sbtoon September 14, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI fully think its kind of obviously about the treatment of the less fortunate because and how people automatically try to ignore homeless people because it's just easier. But a deeper meaning could be showing how humans are kind of desensitised and when they see something going on thats not right it's much easier to just block it out than take action.

    eg...'you shrink back like he's a disease' and

    'you try your hardest to ignore
    that street sleeper on your left there all alone'

    anyway thats just a little insight most probably wrong but haha wateva.... this is a beautiful song with amazing acoustic willy mason is my idol
    am-doggon August 07, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI fully think its kind of obviously about the treatment of the less fortunate because and how people automatically try to ignore homeless people because it's just easier. But a deeper meaning could be showing how humans are kind of desensitised and when they see something going on thats not right it's much easier to just block it out than take action.

    eg...'you shrink back like he's a disease' and

    'you try your hardest to ignore
    that street sleeper on your left there all alone'

    anyway thats just a little insight most probably wrong but haha wateva.... this is a beautiful song with amazing acoustic willy mason is my idol
    am-doggon August 07, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt appears to be about human relationships, and like most have said, focusing in on those less fortunate, though I think there is more to it than just that.

    I think the entire theme is just that when you treat everyone else as less than human i.e. a disease, or a competition, or an opponent in a war, it leaks into everything ("you can't look upon your lady as a friend").

    I love the part with the cop, because everyone is rooting for police to take lives off of the earth, just because we're scared. We're all so scared, and that is no way to live.
    blueoftheskyon February 18, 2007   Link

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