Every Fist Was Once An Open Hand

To both be heard, to both be seen
A cry for peace and reconciliation
Download     mp3 demo     Chords (pdf)     Lyrics (pdf)

In 2015 I set myself a goal of writing 50 songs. I finished demoing song no 48 (Guns) on Dec 31st but I was determined not to fail I wrote and recorded song 49 (New Mistakes) with 40 minutes to spare. Digging into my ‘song starts’ folder I found the title Every Fist Was Once An Open Hand. It was a paraphrase of something I’d heard on a radio 4 program maybe 15 years before. Against the deadline I wrote and played the first words and chords that came to mind and demoed it as the new years fireworks began to go off (listen closely to the end of the demo for proof!). I rerecorded the song ‘properly’ in early 2016 but it was worse than the ‘New Years Eve one mic live take’ so I went back to that and added a little overdubbing to fix a spot where I got the words wrong and a few sweeteners.

I wish you peace, I wish you joy
I wish we’d have no fear of laying down our swords
To both be heard, to both be seen
Living in the light of shared humanity
It’s not too late for us to understand
Every fist was once an open hand

I pray for hope, I pray for grace
I pray that I can put the smile back on your face
I see the scars that your still bear
I know my actions and my words put them there
Can I change? I believe I can
Cos every fist was once was an open hand

You have a cause for which you fight
And the God you serve believes you’re always right
No second thoughts, no feeble doubts
Just the strength to carry your decisions out
It’s not too late for you to change your plans
Every fist was once an open hand

Call off the missile strikes that fall on foreign lands
Let every fist become an open hand

About mattblick

Songwriter/Singer from Nottingham, UK. My 2nd EP, Everything In The World Is Fighting Everything In The Sky, is out now. I'm blogging (& podcasting) through the entire Beatles catalogue at Beatles Songwriting Academy. In my spare time I wish I had some spare time.
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  • Maria Brilliant

    Hello, The title of this song striked me, because there is a famous poem by the Israeli Poet Yehuda Amichaï, writtten probably by 1948, and which says exactly the same : “And don’t forget that the fist was one an open hand with fingers”… I am sure you know that poem, don’t you ? I like your song !

    • Thank you Maria! I don’t know that poem but I think the radio program I mentioned must have been quoting or referring to it. I will certainly look it up and give due credit, as you are right it is such a striking phrase.

      • Maria Brilliant

        Hello Matt ! Thank you for your reply ! Would you like me to send you this poem in hebrew ? You might find someone to translate it to you ? I do not have it in english unfortunately. It is also a beautiful poem, which speaks about how peace. Anyway, I stick it here :
        גם האגרוף היה פעם יד פתוחה ואצבעות/יהודה עמיחי

        ואתם שזוכרים רק פנים,
        אל תשכחו את הידיים המושטות
        ואת הרגלים הרצות בקלות
        ואת המילים

        זכרו שגם היציאה לקרבות הנוראים
        עוברת תמיד דרך גנים וחלונות
        וילדים משחקים וכלב נובח

        זכרו והזכירו לפרי שנשר
        את העלים ואת הענף,
        הזכירו לקוצים הקשים
        שהיו רכים באביב,
        ואל תשכחו שגם האגרוף
        היה פעם יד פתוחה ואצבעות

        • Thank you maria – that’s very kind! I’ve just ordered an anthology of his poems from my local library – so thank you in advance for the introduction!