Joe Jencks

Hands

from Poets, Philosophers, Workers, & Wanderers


I've seen the hands of the laborer

Lifting up the loads

Granite stuck to their fingers

As they built the canals and the roads

Now they're gone and the bridges span

Rivers 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 a woman and a man

Working 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

And the mine is closing 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 your timbers tall

Has built your buildings wall to wall

And now the hand of the lumberjack

Is reaching out to you

I've seen the hands of the farmer

Plowing 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

© 1964, 1972, Phil Ochs

updated: 4 months ago