Lay Your Hands On Me

Album: New Jersey (1988)
Charted: 18 7

Songfacts®:

  • This was written by Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora in the studio while the band were recording the New Jersey album. Though the pair usually start off with a song title, in this instance it originated from Sambora's guitar riff.
  • The video is a live performance of the song taken from Bon Jovi's concerts at the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma, Washington and the Memorial Coliseum in Portland, Oregon during The Jersey Syndicate Tour.
  • The song was re-recorded in an acoustic style for Bon Jovi's This Left Feels Right album. This new version featured Sambora playing the mandocello as the primary instrument.
  • Dolly Parton covered the song as a gospel tune on her 2014 studio album Blue Smoke. She recalled to Get Out! magazine: "I called Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora personally, and the three of us got together. They gave me their thoughts, and it was gonna be a big surprise to everyone. I heard it years ago and thought that it sounded so gospel!"

    Parton added in Entertainment Weekly: "I always loved the song, but the first time I heart it - because I grew up in a Pentecostal church, where people believed in healing hands and laying your hands on someone - I just thought, 'Wow, that would make a fantastic gospel song.' Jon wrote a real nice note that he loved the way it turned out."
  • There were two other popular songs in the '80s with the title "Lay Your Hands On Me." Peter Gabriel's was released in 1982 and used as his concert showstopper where he pioneered (or at least refined) the stage dive, jumping into the crowd and letting the magic fingers transport him.

    In 1985, Thompson Twins' "Lay Your Hands On Me" became one of their biggest hits. When we spoke with their lead singer Tom Bailey in 2014, he told us that he was not aware of the Bon Jovi song.

Comments: 1

  • Josh from TumwaterIt’s a song about healing
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Curt Kirkwood of Meat PuppetsSongwriter Interviews

The (Meat)puppetmaster takes us through songs like "Lake Of Fire" and "Backwater," and talks about performing with Kurt Cobain on MTV Unplugged.

Danny KortchmarSongwriter Interviews

Danny played guitar on Sweet Baby James, Tapestry, and Running On Empty. He also co-wrote many hit songs, including "Dirty Laundry," "Sunset Grill" and "Tender Is The Night."

Petula ClarkSongwriter Interviews

Petula talks about her hits "Downtown" and "Don't Sleep In The Subway," and explains her Michael Jackson connection.

Dave EdmundsSongwriter Interviews

A renowned guitarist and rock revivalist, Dave took "I Hear You Knocking" to the top of the UK charts and was the first to record Elvis Costello's "Girls Talk."

Francis Rossi of Status QuoSongwriter Interviews

Doubt led to drive for Francis, who still isn't sure why one of Status Quo's biggest hits is so beloved.

Colin HaySongwriter Interviews

Established as a redoubtable singer-songwriter, the Men At Work frontman explains how religion, sobriety and Jack Nicholson play into his songwriting.