Hand Over Fist

Background and Commentary

“Hand Over Fist” is among the songs in later albums that switches Rush’s traditional reliance on individualism and self-reliance to interdependence with others.

“You must stand or fail by your own merits. This runs through all their work. However, the earlier work would emphasize that failure is either the result of your acceptance of the rule of others or of circumstances that need not be, while their latter work would emphasize that failure comes from a lack of awareness and inability to relate to, change, and adapt to your surroundings. Awareness of my surroundings may spark the wish to . . . ‘feel the strength in the hand’ of another.

“This shift in register [from self-reliance to interdependence] may reflect Peart’s advancing intellectual maturity as well as the band’s confidence following what had been more than a decade as a successful band.”—Chris McDonald, Rush, Rock Music, and the Middle Class

Rather than meaning [to certain songs], “think more of impressions, images, and an internal logic to each line or each verse. What I was after in . . . songs like ‘Hand Over Fist’ is more a sense of resonance, so that the listener might feel something.”—Neil in Backstage Club (1991), reproduced in Telleria, Merely Players

Lyrics

Hand over fist
Paper around the stone
Scissors cut the paper
Cut the paper to the bone
Hand over fist
Paper around the stone
Scissors cut the paper
And the rock must stand alone

I could disappear into the crowd
But not if I keep my head in the clouds
I could walk away so proud
It’s easy enough if you don’t laugh too loud

I thought I was okay alone
Wait for the postman and the telephone
Lost in a world of my own
I thought I could run alone
Thought I could run through the night alone

Hand over hand
Doesn’t seem so much
Hand over hand
Is the strength of the common touch

You talk as we walk along
You never imagined I could be so wrong
Humming your favorite song
You know I’ve hated that song for so long

How can we ever agree?
Like the rest of the world
We grow farther apart
I swear you don’t listen to me
Holding my hand to my heart
Holding my fist to my racing heart

Take a walk outside myself
In some exotic land
Greet a passing stranger
Feel the strength in his hand
Feel the world expand

I feel my spirit resist
But I open up my fist
Lay hand over hand over
Hand over fist

Tablature (Bass)

Excerpted from Ultimate Guitar.

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|-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-|-5-5-5-5-5-5—|-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-|-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-|
+—————–+————-5-+—————+—————–+

e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e q e e e e e e
+—————–+—————–+—————–+—————+
|—————–|—————–|—————–|—————|
|—————–|—————–|—————–|-3-3-2-3-2-3-5-|
+-3-3-3-3-3-3-5-7-+-5-5-5-5-5-5-3-5-+-1-1-1-1-1-1-0-1-+—————+

e e e e e e e e q e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e
+—————–+—————+—————–+—————–+
|—————–|—————|—————–|—————–|
|—————–|—————|—————–|-3-3-3-2-3-2-3-2-|
+-3-3-3-3-3-3-5-7-+-5-5-5-5-5-3-5-+-1-1-1-1-1-1-0-1-+—————–+

e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e
+—————–+—————–+—————–+
|—————–|—————–|—————–|
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+-3-3-3-3-3-3-5-7-+-5-5-5-5-5-5-3-5-+-1-1-1-1-1-1-0-1-+

e e e e s s s s s s s s q e e e e e s s e e e e e e e e w w e e H
+————————-+—————–+—————–+—+—+——-+
|———–R—R—R—R-|—————–|—————–|—|—|——-|
|-3-3-3-3-3—2—3—2—|—————–|—————–|—|-3-|-5-5-5-|
+————————-+-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-+-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-+-0-+—+——-+

For complete tab, go to Ultimate Guitar.

Tutorials

“Hand Over Fist” bass cover

“Hand Over Fist” drum cover

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~ by rvkeeper on February 10, 2011.

 
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