"I Have The Touch" as written by and Peter Gabriel....
The time I like is the rush hour, 'cause I like the rush
The pushing of the people, I like it all so much
Such a mass of motion, do not know where it goes
I move with the movement and, I have the touch

I'm waiting for ignition, I'm looking for a spark
Any chance collision and I light up in the dark
There you stand before me, all that fur and all that hair
Oh, do I dare, I have the touch

Wanting contact
I'm wanting contact
I'm wanting contact with you
Shake those hands, shake those hands
Give me the thing I understand
Shake those hands, shake those hands
Shake those hands, shake those hands

Any social occasion, it's hello, how do you do
All those introductions, I never miss my cue
So before a question, so before a doubt
My hand moves out and, I have the touch

Wanting contact
I'm wanting contact
I'm wanting contact with you
Shake those hands, shake those hands
Give me the thing I understand
Shake those hands, shake those hands

Pull my chin, stroke my hair, scratch my nose, hug my knees
Try drink, food, cigarette, tension will not ease
I tap my fingers, fold my arms, breathe in deep, cross my legs
Shrug my shoulders, stretch my back - but nothing seems to please

I need contact
I need contact
Nothing seems to please
I need contact


Lyrics submitted by kevver

"I Have the Touch" as written by Peter Gabriel

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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I Have The Touch song meanings
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9 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentWell said, Major Valor! I've just recently experienced it.

    I went to an old folks' home about a week ago, with a small group of youngsters. There, we met some of the residents who are not so healthy either mentally or physically.

    What I'm tryin to say is while I was there, I came across a tiny woman. Becoz of my incapability of tryin to strike a conversation with her , I was almost immediately reminded of this song. She couldn't understand me, neither could I understand her. But language wasn't all that, I then realised when she cupped my face.

    "I'm wanting contact with you
    Shake those hands, shake those hands
    Give me the thing I understand"

    The only we understood each other was the smilelines in each other's faces.
    floreon January 08, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSelf-explanatory confession. love Tony Levin's bass/Stick line in this one.
    drds63on March 30, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentconfessional?

    Help me out.......It's about the need for human touch. Nothing more.
    pton July 03, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSometimes a song comes from nowhere and shakes you with it's lyrics.
    You find a personal meaning in such songs, almost as though it were meant for you to find them at that time.
    This was such a song for me in 1992.
    Major Valoron September 01, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFlore.

    Thank you. You have the soul of a poet.
    uffyon June 19, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI am reminded by my friend that died by suicide when I hear this song. Right afer he died, i would talk to him in these lyrics. He was a very furry guy, with a full beard. I always like the part "There you stand before me, all that fur and all that hair."

    During the denial stage of grief, I would sing the plea at the end:

    Pull my chin, stroke my hair, scratch my nose, hug my knees
    Try drink, food, cigarette, tension will not ease
    I tap my fingers, fold my arms, breathe in deep, cross my legs
    Shrug my shoulders, stretch my back - but nothing seems
    to please

    I need contact
    I need contact
    Nothing seems to please
    I need contact
    gradgirlon July 16, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentA very extroverted song by who I believe to be an introverted songwriter... interesting. But anyone can want, need human contact, of course. It's about being stimulated and envigorated by being around people, the "high" one gets from moving through them, touching, feeling, exchanging words, and how dull everything seems when no one is around. I love the last verse ("pull my chin, stroke my hair...") and always try to do the motions Peter sings at the same time he sings it.
    EnduringChillon January 23, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General Commentdont we all long for contact...self explanatory.

    side note -
    I like this song but I really hate how he over does it with the "shake the hands" bit in the end. The flow, lyrics and everything else is awesome...just cant stand the shake the hands in the end which almost made me think my song was skipping it went on so long...kinda kills it for me.
    donoven100on May 08, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love this song. "So before a question, so before a doubt
    My hand moves out and, I have the touch." I think gives away the meaning of the song. Although he doesn't talk about the other senses, he is putting "touch" ahead of everything else; it's what he understands first and grounds his relationships to other people and his space in the world. The song sets this in different contexts. The subway/rush hour - in a mass of movement he feels comfortable. The movement associated with the "mass of motion" sets him at ease (gives him the touch). Light up in the dark with fur and hair - he understands women by sexual communication (there are references to this in some of his other songs). In social situations... he goes for the handshake first - because human contact, touch is how he approaches the world and it bases the rest of his interaction with that person.

    Like so many great songwriters, Peter Gabriel is probably is on the autistic scale. Touch and motion calm/ground him, and probably more so than most as supported by the almost beckoning: "give me the thing I understand". This is really a song about human communication and one man's relationship with it.
    matthewhxson March 30, 2016   Link

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