Mudcat Café message #3702059 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #156969   Message #3702059
Posted By: Joe Offer
15-Apr-15 - 06:25 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: Hands (Phil Ochs)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Hands (Phil Ochs)
My transcription of the Phil Ochs performance is just a bit different from how Jason hears it. This is what I plan to submit to the Rise Again Songbook for publication. Anyone have any corrections to our transcriptions?

HANDS
(Phil Ochs)

Oh, I've seen the hands of the laborer they're lifting all the loads
And the granite stuck to their fingers as they dug the canals & the roads
Now they're cleared & the bridges span, the river's paused for a power dam
And now the hands of the laborer are 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
[orig: Oh, the hands, hands, hands that worked to build the land, your land.
The labor of the man, man, man a-working with his hands]


And I've seen the hands of a miner digging out the coal
And the black dust stuck to his fingers as he lives his life in a hole
But the rocks they're under the ground & now his mine is a-closin' down
And now the hand of the miner is reaching...

And I've seen the hands of a lumberjack, and the forest sway in the breeze
And the splinters stuck to his fingers as the lumber was torn from the trees
And the wood that came from the timber tall built your buildings from wall to wall
And now the hand of the lumberjack…

And I've seen the hands of a farmer plow across the fields
And the topsoil stuck to his fingers as the land was split by the steel
Just growing all he could grow to fill your tables row after row
And now the hand of the farmer…


Recorded on a homemade tape of a live Ochs performance in 1964, but not released. Jim Glover transcribed the tape and recorded the song for Fast Folk Musical Magazine in 1983. 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.