Hands

Album: Spirit (1998)
Charted: 41 6
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  • At a February 2008 concert in Las Vegas, Jewel explained that when she was 18, she was living in a van and did some shoplifting. She was going to take a dress when she looked at her hands and realized that she controlled them. Said Jewel, "I realized I was cheating myself. No matter how you work with your hands your own dignity is up to you."
  • Jewel wrote the track with keyboardist/music producer Patrick Leonard. In part, the lyrics of this song are based upon the poem Poverty by Pablo Neruda.
  • On December 19, 1998, Jewel performed this in front of The Pope at the "Natale In Vaticano" concert in Vatican City, Italy. She was backed by a choir and a 100-piece orchestra.
  • In the mid-late '90s, many record companies didn't release popular songs as singles in the US in an effort to boost album sales. That was Atlantic's strategy with Spirit, and it worked, with the album selling over three million copies in America.

    Radio play was key to an album's success, however, so "Hands" was sent to stations as a promotional single so they could play it on the air. In December 1998, Billboard made songs that weren't released as singles eligible for the Hot 100. "Hands" went to #6 in January 1999, making it one of the first songs to place high on the chart from just airplay alone.
  • In the Nick Brandt-directed music video, Jewel confronts the tragedy of an apartment building collapse and helps search for survivors while others walk away.
  • Jewel performed this on Late Night with David Letterman a week after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The song was a popular choice on the radio when a DJ remixed the track after the tragedy.
  • A Christmas version was included on Jewel's 1999 album, Joy: A Holiday Collection.
  • This was used twice on Dawson's Creek, on the 1998 episode "Full Moon Rising" and on the 2003 series finale "...Must Come to an End." It was also featured on the 2004 Cold Case episode "Resolutions."
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Comments: 16

  • Scott from Milwaukee, WiJewel explained on Celebrity Close Calls that the line - "in the end only kindness matters" was inspired by a doctor that treated her for a serious kidney infection when she had no medical insurance and was turned away by the hospital.
  • Theresa from Murfreesboro, TnHaunting song, the lyrics really tug at my heartstrings.
  • Heather from Webb City, MoI love this song everytime i hear it it inspires me! It is very heartwarming! It is such a wonderful song to listen to to boost somebody up and let them know that they are worth something and that they can make a difference in this big old world no matter how small they are!
    -Heather,Webb City,MO
  • Maaian from Aaa, IsraelJewel is amazing. One of the best songs ever written
  • Allan from Cleveland, OhI agree with Laurie too. She seems like someone who knows what she's talking about. Seriously, Jewel is a fantastic writer with a lot of insight.
  • Caitlin from Upper Township, Njthis was the song my lyrical class danced too. it made me a little sad the first time i heard it, but its still good song.
  • Angel from Somewhere In, AzIt is also found on Jewel's Christmas CD.
  • Don from B G, KyNote: when you hit "post comment" and then "f5" on the computer to refresh the page you double post. I never saw that on other sites I post on.
  • Don from B G, KyThanks Laurie for doing the lyrics.
  • Aj from Cleveland, GaThis song was used in the second season of Dawson's Creek
  • Zach from Horn Lake, MsI think that this song has a deeply religious meaning, but it can also be interpreted in a philanthropic way. The lyrics say "I'll gather myself around my faith" and that we work as "God's hands."
  • Peter from Howard Beach, NyI herd this song being played on every radio station in New York after the events of 9/11/01 and I would change the staion because my friends died in the World Trade Center and i just couldn't listen to it because it hurt so much it would make me think about them.
  • Charlie from Thomaston, Ctwhat a stupidly silly song, all you saps should take another look at the lyrics: My hands are small, I know
    But they're not yours,
    They are my own
    But they're not yours,
    They are my own
  • Anna from Nyc, Nyi never cried when i heard this song until 9/11 it is so true but so sad that this is our truh
  • Shawn from Loganville, GaI agree with Laurie. This song says "my hands are small I know, but they're not yours they are my own and I am never broken," which means even if you are just one person you can make a big difference in the world and if something bad happens, it will be okay in the end.
  • Laurie from Logan, OhAs I copied the lyrics of this song from the booklet of my CD, I realized that I had never really listened to all the words and what the song stood for. This song is so appropriate and encouraging for the stress and hard times that our country, and even the whole world, is going through now!
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