"Hands Open" as written by Gary Lightbody, Nathan Connolly, Jonathan Graham Quinn, Tom Simpson and Paul Wilson....
It's hard to argue when
you won't stop making sense
But my tongue still misbehaves and it
keeps digging my own grave with my

Hands open, and my eyes open
I just keep hoping
That your heart opens

Why would I sabotage
The best thing that I have
Well, it makes it easier to know
Exactly what I want with my
Hands open and my eyes open
I just keep hoping
that your heart opens

It's not as easy as willing it all to be right
Gotta be more than hoping it's right
I wanna hear you laugh like you really mean it
Collapse into me, tired with joy

It's not as easy as willing it all to be right
Gotta be more than hoping it's right
I wanna hear you laugh like you really mean it
Collapse into me, tired with joy

Put Sufjan Stevens on
and we'll play your favorite song
"Chicago" bursts to life and your
sweet smile remembers you, my
Hands open, and my eyes open
I just keep hoping
That your heart opens

It's not as easy as willing it all to be right
Gotta be more than hoping it's right
I wanna hear you laugh like you really mean it
Collapse into me, tired with joy

It's not as easy as willing it all to be right
Gotta be more than hoping it's right
I wanna hear you laugh like you really mean it
Collapse into me, tired with joy

It's not as easy as willing it all to be right
Gotta be more than hoping it's right
I wanna hear you laugh like you really mean it
Collapse into me, tired with joy

It's not as easy as willing it all to be right
Gotta be more than hoping it's right
I wanna hear you laugh like you really mean it
Collapse into me, tired with joy


Lyrics submitted by paulyboy82

"Hands Open" as written by Gary Lightbody Nathan Connolly

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Hands Open song meanings
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67 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentThe line "Chicago bursts to life and your sweet smile remembers you", and i believe it is "and" not "in", can make sense if you think of it in the following way. He is personifying her smile, in the sense that it has been so long since she smiled that her smile has forgotten her own face. Does that make sense to anyone?
    Visualproon May 19, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentOk this seems to be about a troubled relationship/break up to me. I only intently listened to the song the other day so I could be way off. To me the key lines are:

    "It's hard to argue when you won't stop making sense,But my tongue still misbehaves, and keeps digging my own grave". - To me this signifies he knows she is right, but keeps arguing with her anyway because he doesnt want to acknowledge what shes saying.

    "Why would I sabotage the best thing that i have,
    Well it makes it easier, exactly what i want". - He knows that what he is doing is sabotaging the relationship with her, this makes it easier for him because to work on fixing it would just be too hard, suggesting not an impossible problem but one that is hard to solve.

    "It's not as easy as willing it all to be right. Gotta be more than hope that it's right.
    I wanna hear you laugh like you really mean it
    Collapse into me tired with joy" - As the relationship has been strained for some time the narrator issues a refrain, saying that to make it right it requires work, not just willing or hoping it is the case. He wants to hear her laugh like she really means it as she hasnt been happy for some time and seeing it would make him happy, as would her collapsing into his arms, out of joy not sadness.

    "Put Sufjan Stevens on, and we'll play your favorite song, Chicago bursts to life AND your sweet smile remembers you, My hands open and my eyes open, I just keep hoping that your heart opens - closely linked to the above line, narrator is hoping that the song rekindles her happyness leading her "sweet smile" to "remember" her in the sense that it will come across her face after not being there for so long and that she will once again embrace him.

    Thats my rather long take on it anyway :P
    slc7883on August 26, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentSufjan Stevens? What a crazy allusion!

    I love it!
    musicforlife!on April 26, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI'm pretty much amazed by this whole song... it nears perfection for me, it’s got great lyrics, emotional vocals that perfectly match the mood of the song, catchy guitar. As far as a meaning, it’s not masked at all, yet that doesn't take away from how well the lyrics tell the story. I'm going to look at the lyrics out of order, because they make more sense to me that way...

    I'm imagining a first kiss type moment- the narrator alone with his love (possibly someone who that "shouldn't be"), and this is how he wants the next moments to go... "my hands open, and my eyes open, I just keep hoping your heart opens" = leaning in for the kiss. "Gotta be more than hope that its right” = the effort it took to make the move. "Collapse into me tired with joy" = she goes with the moment and he succeeds.

    "It’s hard to argue when. You won't stop making sense
    My tongue still misbehaves digging my own grave"
    -- A great intro and when you hear this you know you're in for great descriptive lyrics the whole way through
    -- Reinforces the love that "shouldn't be" ... She is arguing with him (possibly already with a boyfriend), he knows she is right but his love still resists it

    "Why would I sabotage the best thing that I have
    Well it makes it easier, exactly what I want"
    -- He is worried that this will ruin a good friendship, since he shouldn't be able to be with her, even though his mind knows it is wrong, his heart knows it is right... the thought of not being open with his feelings is worse than losing her as a friend.

    "Put Sufjan Stevens on, and we'll play your favorite song
    Chicago bursts to life in your sweet smile remembers you"
    -- The way he describes her reaction to the song and the moment blows me away...

    I've never seen a song perfectly sum up that moment as well as this with its tempo, lyrics, and vocal delivery. Had the vocals been done differently, the words could seem like cheesy pop or worse if he had overdone them the song would be written off as an "emo" song... but instead Snow Patrol delivers near perfection for me and what I look for in my music.

    Great Lyrics, Catchy Music, Great Vocals = A Great Single
    Krwlng_n_mie_sknon May 01, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt's just someone, hoping for a totally impactical, forbidden, seemingly ridiculous, yet very strong love to work out. Everytime they express this love, they are shot down in flames for being silly.
    oops27on September 20, 2007   Link
  • +1
    My Opinion

    But my tongue still misbehaves, and keeps digging my own grave.

    I LOVE this metaphor (:
    emmamcguireon February 10, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song sums up to me a relationship that you want and need so much to work. there could be many reasons why u shouldnt be together but you cannot resist the one of your dreams. this is a very personal song to me and makes me cry everytime i hear it.I am so very much in love with someone who it will never unfortunatley work out with and these lyrics sum us up.
    shirley62on October 13, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is absolutely orgasmic. It's perfect in every sense.
    Skamandaon May 05, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYea - its very good
    bloc_party15on May 06, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentKrwlng_n_mie_skn you should comment on every song, you make so much sense!
    i agree - what a FANTASTIC song!!!!
    clojoeon May 10, 2006   Link

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