Songnotes Songs

Grab A Hand

I was in the shower, one Tuesday morning, in my Oakland, California warehouse, where I lived worked and played, when my neighbor, Adam came barging in. “They’re bombing the World Trade Center!”, he said, trying to catch his breath.

Of course our collective breath was continually sucked out of us all that day as we watched events unfold. Of all the images of that day, and perhaps the one seen least often since, were people, nowhere left to turn, often hand in hand, eighty stories up…. jumping.


Is there any witness to that day that wasn’t overwhelmed by the rawness and complexity of emotions and the surfacing of the human spirit faced with unfathomable circumstance.

I wrote the lyric “grab a hand, don’t let go” knowing that humanity perseveres together, not in fearful or isolated groups. What I didn’t know until that fateful day is that we also, sometimes, grab a hand in order TO let go.




I was lying there
when I heard the news
I was getting my rubdown
from a new masseuse
almost left her there
in my underwear
she grabed my shoes

I grabbed her hand
we flew down the stairs
the lines on her face
silently said she was scared
when we got to 4
oh how we prayed for 3
at 3 we prayed for floor 2

the faster you run
then the further you get
but you can’t out run rain
once its gotten you wet
now we know pains that everybody have known
grab a hand and don’t let go
grab a hand and don’t let go

there was nothing there
‘cept smoke and ash
leaving nothing but love now
left for us to grasp
we didn’t feel safe
we had to find our place
I’m still holding her hand

we headed north
past the tappan zee
up the hudson river
to saratoga springs
she had a cousin there
she loves very much
oh but she never sees

thought the world had changed
but I was wrong
seems most of the world
is singing the same song
I have dignity
Don’t hurt my family
together we are strong