"The Hand That Held Me Down" as written by and Tyson H.d. Vogel Adam Hayworth Stephens....
Oh, the razor in your apple
The affection of your glove
The prison of your company
The snake oil of your love

The heights to which you drag me
Just to hurl your scorn
The trumpets play the livelong day
But they blow so forlorn

Did you hold the hand that held me down?
Did you laugh at my expense?
When there's rust upon your ragged crown
Who will stand at your defense?

And when I unveiled my weakness
On your rodeo of tears
You stood there so vacantly
Your fingers in your ears

And you left by the morning
With all that's left to steal
But every time you say farewell
There's breadcrumbs at your heels

Did you kiss the hand that held me down?
Was your kindness just pretense?
When there's no one left for you to clown
Who will stand at your defense?

But it's ashes, Lord, it's ashes
Soon we all fall down
You take your place among the saints
Make not a single sound

And the hills that held our childhood
The flowers grow there still
You lay beneath them, pushing weeds
And I guess you always will

Could you be the hand that held me down?
When I was sick with common sense
And now your statuettes are all torn down
There's no one left to lean against

And ever since your epitaph
Was spattered on my wall
No one comes to call
They can't stand the stench

But I still sing your praises
Every time the curtain calls
The burden on me falls
Yeah, I alone stand at your defense



Lyrics submitted by mclurker

"The Hand That Held Me Down" as written by Tyson H.d. Vogel Adam Hayworth Stephens

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

The Hand That Held Me Down song meanings
Add your thoughts

11 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +1
    General Commentok... no...

    The song is about being in a bad relationship but still being in love with the person you know is bad for you. He's admitting it was his hand (his own fault) that kept him down, but she was encouraging it. And still he's the one that defends her if anyone beings up how bad she was for him.
    ElegantMuleon April 01, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think the point of a site called SongMeanings.net, would be to discuss the meaning of songs and not just tell people to buy an album. haha BUT oh well, you're a Two Gallants fan and that's all that really matters.

    Anyway, I think this song is obviously about somebody who puts others down to make themselves feel better.

    I love the line, "and now your statuettes are all torn down. There's no-one left for you to lean against"
    ckad79on November 20, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentckad79, you didn't get the 'what does this song mean to you?' part?
    but I agree with you, I think this song is about realizing that someone you would have done anything for, spended his/hers time holding you down - and 'enjoying' it
    johannsenon December 05, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTo me the lyrics seem to be talking about a bad relationship that ended with suicide. The first two verses are talking about the relationship, the second two sound like suicide.

    "And on the hills that held our childhood the flowers grow there still
    You lay beneath them pushing weeds and I guess you always will" Pushing flowers up means dead/burried in the ground.. "weeds" used in this case seems to say he's angry about it.

    "And ever since you epitaph was spattered on my wall
    No-one comes to call
    They can't stand the stench"
    oxygeninducedon October 09, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think it's more about a friendship than a relationship. the words don't seem like they were hurt by a girlfriend, it seems like they were let down by someone they truly considered a friend.
    i could analyze this song until the end of time, i think the lyrics are really powerful and thought-provoking.
    two gallants definitely win my best lyrics award.
    willdanceforloveon February 28, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think that, in the simplest of terms, it's about thinking someone's a lot better for you than you are. To me, it's about the moment you realize when someone, whether a friend or a lover, has actually been unhealthy for you; i.e. "the hand that held me down." The metaphor of "did you kiss the hand that held me down?" signifies that the person he speaks of had a greater hand in his emotional downfall/the disintegration of the relationship than he had realized at the time.
    thecoldparton May 02, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think it's about someone being under the spell of another person, "The Hand" that held the person down. The singer believes that he will eventually come to his senses and realize that he needs to break free but, sadly, stands at her (I'm guessing it's a girl) side when no one else will.
    jaketfoleyon May 03, 2009   Link
  • 0
    Link(s)alternate lyrics from live version; youtube.com/…

    The hollow of the evening, the flicker of your love
    the shadow of your bedside lamp outshines the stars above
    the heights to which you drag me, just to hurl your scorn
    the trumpets play the livelong day, but they blow so forlorn

    do you hold the hand that held me down?
    is your kindness just pretense?
    when you stumble on your last go-round
    who will come to your defense?

    among your pigs and cowards, i take my daily meal
    you said farewell so tastelessly with breadcrumbs at your heels
    and i've unveiled my weakness on your rodeo of tears
    and you hum under your breath, pretending not to hear

    did you kiss the hand that held me down?
    was your kindness just pretense?
    and when there's dust upon your ragged crown
    who will stand at your defense?

    when i come back from this evening, to the flicker of your love
    and madness from the hearts you claim as though you come for love (??? unsure about this)
    and you watch me come for miles, from your white ivory tower
    i've been around your every house, i come back every hour

    could you be the hand that held me down?
    when i'm sick with common sense
    when your lowliness wants me around
    when I (??? can't make this out)

    and ever since your epitaph was splattered on my wall
    no-one comes to call, they can't stand the stench
    but i still sing your praises every time the curtain calls
    I alone will stand at your defense.
    ozzmoticon September 14, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree with ElegantMule. This is a song about being in love with someone that is not good for you, and perhaps just stringing you along. They like you around, but not enough to commit as shown in "
    every time you say farewell, there's breadcrumbs at your heels." I disagree with Oxygeninduced saying that the lover commits suicide. Instead I believe he finally comes to the conclusion that she was bad for him and now she is "dead" to him, as that is the only way for him to escape the relationship.
    "And on the hills that held our childhood the flowers grow there still
    You lay beneath them pushing weeds and I guess you always will"
    To me these lines remenisce on the good times at the beggining, but show the resentment he holds towards her and her "deadness" to him underneath these admittedly positive memories.

    The next portion tells of why he can no longer chase after her, he has realized that by her being bad for him and his reluctance to leave the situation he was the hand holding himself down.

    And ever since you epitaph was spattered on my wall
    No-one comes to call
    They can't stand the stench
    But I still sing your praises every time the curtain calls
    The burden on me falls
    Yeah, I alone stand at your defense

    He can not come back due to the sour ending of things not working out for fear of holding himself down again. Yet regardless of the relationship ending he still has love for her and will defend her positive aspects because of this enduring love. I feel this song ties into the next song on the CD, "Trembling of the Rose."
    Apachedinoon June 25, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song reminds me of a guy who was bad for me, but he had a good heart. He was just damaged goods and I was part of the damage. In the end, he kept getting caught in his web of destruction, and I would always defend his honor as a friend until it dragged me down so hard I hit bottom. I was his only friend, but he couldn't hold it together, and I was reminded of this song, "Could you be the hand that held me down? When I was sick with common sense And now your statuettes are all torn down There's no-one left for you to lean against."

    The whole time this person is leaning on you, but they've pulled the rug out from under you and it doesn't make any sense to you, because you were the only one there for them. Basically, they try to hold on to you by making you feel like shit about yourself. Really sick and twisted!
    DunkingGalon August 11, 2012   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain