No, don't ask me to apologize
I won't ask you to forgive me
If I'm gonna go down, you're gonna come with me

You say, "Why don't you be a man about it
Like they do in the grown-up movies?"
But when it comes to the other way around, you say
You just want to use me
Oh, you and you wonder whether
It's gonna be syndicated
You sit with your knees together
All the time your breath is bated

(Hand in hand) no, don't ask me to apologize
I won't ask you to forgive me
If I'm gonna go down, you're gonna come with me

Don't you know I got the bully boys out
Changing someone's facial design
Sitting with my toy room lout
Polishing my precious china
Don't you know I'm an animal?
But don't you know I can't stand up steady?
But you can't show me any kind of hell that I don't know already

(Hand in hand) no, don't ask me to apologize
I won't ask you to forgive me
If I'm gonna go down, you're gonna come with me
Hand in hand, hand in hand
Hand in hand
Hand in hand, hand in hand, hand in hand
Hand in hand, hand in hand, hand in hand
Hand in hand, hand in hand, hand in hand
Hand in hand, hand in hand, hand in hand


Lyrics submitted by suckmykiss

Hand in Hand Lyrics as written by Elvis Costello

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Hand in Hand song meanings
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6 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentI read somewhere years ago that it's about Jimmy Page, it would certainly fit.
    The 'bully boys' being Zeppelin's violent heavies and hand in hand meaning the devil [Page's occult practices] also the mention of hell.
    Costello's manager Jake Riviera was also manager of Dave Edmunds, who was signed to Zeppelin's record label Swan Song.
    FishnChipson September 09, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"masked backward words" at start of song is also a bit of a clue
    redly40on March 01, 2017   Link
  • 0
    My Opinion"backwards masking" is also a clue
    redly40on March 01, 2017   Link
  • 0
    My Opinion"backward masking" of intro is also a bit of a clue
    redly40on March 01, 2017   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAll the songs of his early period (Armed Forces era) were about Bebe Buell, ex-girlfriend of Todd Rundgren and former Playmate of the Year. All that Sturm und Drang of his early years - the menace, the love-hate relationships he sang about - were about her. She saw the PR potential of their relationship, the angry nerd rock-god and the bombshell beauty ("you just want to use me"). He was never sure if that was ALL she saw in him and, even so, he couldn't resist her beauty and despised himself for it.
    robertlsvon April 13, 2021   Link
  • -2
    General Commentit's about cunnilingus ("if I'm gonna go down, you're gonna come") and mutual masturbation (the title is obvious), along with the sexual/romantic angst that defined Costello's lyrics.
    chowfun18on October 25, 2007   Link

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