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Lyr Add: Hands (Phil Ochs)

15 Apr 15 - 05:49 AM (#3701933)
Subject: Lyr Add: Hands (Phil Ochs)
From: Joe Offer

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.


15 Apr 15 - 06:39 AM (#3701943)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Hands (Phil Ochs)
From: Jason Xion Wang

I have a very muddy recording of the song by Phil Ochs, from Gaslight Cafe, June 1964: http://ddpro.ucoz.com/05-Hands.mp3

Phil's original has "The labor of the man, man, man, a-workin' with their hands" rather than "The labor of the woman and the man, a-workin' with their hands". I believe that Jim Glover once said that he changed the lyrics because he felt uncomfortable that Phil's original didn't give credit to women laborers.

You can find a very wonderful live recording by Jim Glover on Fast Folk Music Magazine compilation.

Jason


15 Apr 15 - 06:54 AM (#3701945)
Subject: Lyr Add: Hands (As sung by Phil Ochs)
From: Jason Xion Wang

I think this is what Phil sang at the Gaslight:

HANDS
(Phil Ochs)

Oh, I've seen the hands of a laborer, they're lifting all the loads,
And the granite stuck to their fingers as they dug the canals and the roads.
Now they're cleared and the bridges span, the river's paused for a power dam,
And now the hands of the laborer are reaching out to you.

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 black dust stuck to his fingers as he live his life in a hole.
Now the rocks, they're under the ground; now the mine is a-closing down.
And now the hand of the miner is reaching out to you.

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 lumberjack and the forests swaying 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 is reaching out to you.

Oh, the hands, hands, hands - they're working on the land, your land.
The labor of the man, man, man a-working with his hands.

And I've seen the hands of a farmer plowing 'cross the fields,
And the topsoil stuck to his fingers as the land was split by the steel.
Just growing all they could grow to fill your tables row after row.
And now the hand of the farmer is reaching out to you.

Oh, the hands, hands, hands - they're working on the land, your land.
The labor of the man, man, man a-working with his hands, hands, hands,
Working with his hands.


15 Apr 15 - 07:12 AM (#3701947)
Subject: ADD Version: Hands (Phil Ochs)
From: Joe Offer

Jason, thank you very much. Nice job on the transcription.

Jim Glover's recording of "Hands" was on Vol 1, No 2 of Fast Folk Musical Magazine (February 1984). My issues don't go back that far. Anybody have the booklet from that issue, that you can post the lyrics as Glover transcribed them? The online copy of the booklet has pages missing.

-Joe-

Here's my transcription of the Glover recording:

HANDS
(Phil Ochs)

CHORUS
Hands hands hands, worked to build the land, land, your land,
The labor of the woman and the man workin' with their hands, hands, hands
Workin' with their hands

I've seen the hands of the laborer that lifted all the loads
And the 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

I've seen the hands of the miner digging out the coal
Black dust stuck to their fingers as they risk their lives in a hole
But the rocks, they're still under the ground, now the mines are closin' down
And now the hand of the miner is reaching out to you

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

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


15 Apr 15 - 09:34 AM (#3701963)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Hands (Phil Ochs)
From: Jason Xion Wang

Hi Joe, I believe this is what Jim transcribed: http://web.cecs.pdx.edu/~trent/ochs/lyrics/hands.html - Not very sure though.


15 Apr 15 - 06:25 PM (#3702059)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Hands (Phil Ochs)
From: Joe Offer

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.