Mudcat Café message #3701933 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #156969   Message #3701933
Posted By: Joe Offer
15-Apr-15 - 05:49 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: Hands (Phil Ochs)
Subject: Lyr Add: Hands (Phil Ochs)
We're icluding the Phil Ochs song, "Hands," in the upcoming Rise Again Songbook. There's a problem, though. Apparently, Ochs never released a recording of this song. I have a very nice recording by Pat Humphries on the What's that I Hear? Ochs tribute album, and a good performance by Joe Jencks.
But I don't have lyrics from Ochs. Here's what I have so far, based on the recordings by Humphries and Jencks. Anybody have something that comes more directly from Phil Ochs?

HANDS
(Phil Ochs)

I've seen the hands of the laborer lifting all the loads
Granite stuck to their fingers as they built the canals & the roads
Now they're cleared & the bridges span, the river's paused by a power dam
And now the hand of the laborer is reaching out to you

CHORUS
Oh the hands hands hands that worked to build the land, land, your land,
The labor of the woman & the man workin' with their hands

I've seen the hands of the miner digging out the coal
Black dust stuck to their fingers as they live their lives in a hole
Now the rock, it's still under the ground & the mine is closin' down
And now the hand of the miner is reaching out to you

I've seen the hands of the lumberjack, forests swaying in the breeze
Splinters stuck to their fingers as the lumber was torn from the trees
Now the wood from the timbers tall built your buildings from wall to wall
And now the hand of the lumberjack is reaching out to you

And I've seen the hands of the farmer plowin' across the fields
Topsoil stuck to their fingers as the earth was split by the steel
Growing all that they could grow to fill your tables row after row
And now the hand of the farmer is reaching out to you

Phil Ochs
Recorded by Ochs on a homemade tape of a live performance in 1964, but not released. On What's That I Hear? S of Phil Ochs, V2, Pat Humphries Hands, Betty and the Baby Boomers, I'll Always Sing. In Sing Out! 30:1.


We emailed Sonny to ask whether Phil ever recorded this, and here's her reply:
Hi Pat,
No, Phil never recorded the song but it was recorded by Betty & the Baby Boomers and by Pat Humphries (title song of one of her cds) There is only one source with Phil singing it which is a scratchy homemade tape done at the Gaslight in 1964.   Jim Glover transcribed it.