"Both Hands" as written by and Ani Difranco....
I am walking
Out in the rain
And I am listening to the low moan
Of the dial tone again
And I am getting
Nowhere with you
And I can't let it go
And I can't get through

And the old woman
Behind the pink curtains
And the closed door
On the first floor
She is listening to the air shaft
To see how long our swan song will last

And both hands
Now use both hands
Oh no, don't close your eyes
I am writing
Graffiti all over your body
I am drawing the story of
How hard we tried
How hard we tried

And I am watching your chest
Rise and fall
Like the tides of my life
And the rest of it all
And your bones have been my bed frame
And your flesh has been my pillow
And I've been waiting for sleep
To offer up the deep
With both hands
Oh, with both hands

And in each other's shadow
We've grown less and less tall
And eventually our theories
Didn't explain it all
And now I'm writing our history
Up on the bedroom wall
And when we leave the landlord will come
And paint over it all

And I'm walking
Out in the rain
And I am listening to the low moan
Of the dial tone again
And I am getting
Nowhere with you
And I can't let it go
And I can't get through

And both hands
Yes use both hands
Oh no don't close your eyes
I am writing
Graffiti on your body
I am drawing the story of
How hard we tried
How hard we tried
How hard we tried


Lyrics submitted by aur0ra

"Both Hands" as written by Ani Difranco

Lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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Both Hands song meanings
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77 Comments

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  • +2
    General Commenti think she refers to using *both hands* in the way that they tried so hard. as though using two hands signifies hard work. for some reason this relationship is falling apart. regardless of how much they would like to love eachother something's in the way. the problem is that neither know what it is or possibly the man in the relationship does but he is not attempting to fix it. it's definately a cool song. full of raw expression. just the way i like em'.
    the get up kidon May 26, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti thought this song referred to lesbian sex. . . both hands, she wants her to use both hands. . . ya know. . . i thought swan song was a reference to two people being intertwined. . . getting it one. the lady was listening. . . ha
    cantankerouson May 27, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti don't think the "deep" is anything you can quantify. in fact, i think both the idea of the landlord, and the deep, are metaphorical. IE, the landlord won't really be painting over anything, but someone is going to occupy this apartment after this couple, and all of it will be erased. the relationship will be painted over. in the same way, the "deep", i think, is merely the speaker's desire for someone, someday (possibly the lover) to remember the whole thing.
    manogrrlieon June 02, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe 'recording our history', to me, is literal ... she's really painting on the walls of the apartment that they shared. I think she really did it. Ani was an art student at the New School, and the other songs from this period (Out of Habit) employ painting as a metaphor. The wall will get painted over when they leave, and their history will be painted over too, details forgotten, no longer shared, when they break up.

    "The deep" is just sleep, because it rhymes.
    batchon June 06, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song, I think, is about that very last fight, and the very last make-up, before two people finally break up. The history that the two share of good, and bad, and other is so extensive, it needs to be recorded.


    Writing "graffiti" on your body makes me think of cavemen paintings.....and that is an intensive undertaking, taking a person's "both hands".
    sakeboxon June 07, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI always saw it as a song about a relationship. The sexual implications I took to show how close she felt with this person both by emotion and body.

    As for the low moan of the dial tone, either she's thinking of calling this person or they hung up on her.

    I found the song to be very moving and beautiful.
    Caton June 13, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI was merely saying that I don't like thinking that the song is about giving head.
    I understand that there are parts of the song that probably are abit about sex and whatever but because this song has been apart of my life for so long and has had so much to do with me becoming who I am that I don't like thinking that.
    I still stand by what I said though...I don't want to know what some guy says as someone goes down on him and it's not exactly something I would share with the world on some website.
    I think the song is about relationships and how hard it is to keep going when you know theres no point anymore.It can be so hard to keep trying even when they know it's over.They have obviously been through alot together as said when she sings "Your bones have been my bedframe and your flesh has been my pillow" being together is a comforting feeling...to have someone you can call yours but they have no future no mattr how hard they try.
    Lil lexon June 23, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI always thought that it said "the lawn mower/and the dial tone again." The real version is much more beautiful: a low moan --> grief, sex, frustration, pain <--dial tone.
    Lunetiaon January 13, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhat are you talking about?
    ChrissyTinaon January 22, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commenthow incredible is this song?! i love it so much, i'll never get sick of it.
    UltimateCHillon April 18, 2002   Link

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