Someone Put Your Hand Out: An Interpretation..

Stranger

Proud Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2005
Messages
300
Points
0
Hi everyone. :) This is just something I wanted to do for ages: take a song and explore every detail. This is just my interpretation and I’d love to hear how others interpreted it!<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com
P><B><U><FONT face=
Someone Put Your Hand Out<o:p></o:p>
</U></B>
<o:p></o:p>
The piece begins with a simple melody, so simple in fact, it seems almost amateurish. It’s easy to imagine the chords played by a novice. Yet, the simplicity is the beauty of it. Gentle, tender and pure, it is a melody full of sweetness and romance, one that gives no hint of the desperate longing the singer intends to evoke.<o:p></o:p>
<o:p></o:p>
As the stunning music builds up with instrumentation, a soft whisper can be detected amongst the chords. The words are somewhat unclear upon first listen and still ambiguous upon closer inspection. This is intriguing as the voice is soft enough to be overtaken by the music, yet this doesn’t happen. It sits among the composition, its blurred words intertwined in the melody.<o:p></o:p>
<o:p></o:p>
The introduction speaks almost like a prologue. Its beauty is so divine and lovely, one wonders how the singer will ever live up to it. Almost any voice threatens to kill the breathtakingly gorgeous sound.<o:p></o:p>
<o:p></o:p>
However, once the vocals kick in, the dilemma turns on its head. At once, how easy it is to forget the music! It becomes near impossible to ignore the voice. Sung completely in falsetto, the voice is full of power and depth, yet soft and passionate at the same time. Again, the voice is at one with the sound. The high register makes for an unusual song and whilst Michael has performed vocals in this range many a time before, it is rare for him to do so for an entire piece. Perhaps this speaks volumes as to how he views the track and its significance in his countless works. <o:p></o:p>
<o:p></o:p>
Indeed the lyrical content could hardly be more personal. He doesn’t appear to be addressing a particular person initially and instead speaks to the audience as a whole. The result does not seem impersonal however. One thing becomes clear from the first note. This is Michael speaking from the soul.<o:p></o:p>
<o:p></o:p>
His description of himself as “so undemanding” makes for an unusual first line, but effectively sets the tone for the rest of the lyrics. He suggests that the depth of his loneliness is such that he doesn’t want anything else from anyone other than to be loved. He has no requests, no demands, nothing.<o:p></o:p>
<o:p></o:p>
I’ve lived this life pretending<o:p></o:p>
I can bear this hurt deep inside<o:p></o:p>
<o:p></o:p>
I find these two lines to be the most telling and honest. It emphasises the “mask of life” he mentions in “Stranger in Moscow” that hides his soul. As he is a symbol of the fickle world of celebrity, this resonates too with the audience. As a dynamic and modern people, how easy to bury our intense desires and mask them with our images. Indeed, Michael speaks of the hurt being “deep inside”. He pretends he can bear it, but is fully aware of this facade, which highlights his self awareness.<o:p></o:p>
<o:p></o:p>
He then proceeds to tell us “the truth”. He confesses that “I’m longing... For love that’s so divine”. An interesting adjective to use (“divine”). This suggests that not just any love will do, but one sacred and pure. Perhaps he means someone to love him for HIM, not for his fame and talent? Also, note his use of “longing”, as opposed to any other interchangeable lyric, like “wanting” or “wishing”. To long for something shows us the intensity of him wanting this and just how “long” it’s been missing. <o:p></o:p>
<o:p></o:p>
But he’s been actively searching! In fact, he’s “searched this whole world”. Not just the world, but the whole world. If this is honestly the case, one wonders why he has failed at every hurdle. Is it that no love has matched his expectations? He appears to want someone who’ll be there for him and never tire of his constant need for support. <o:p></o:p>
<o:p></o:p>
She’ll be there time after time(s)<o:p></o:p>
<o:p></o:p>
The lyric reads “time after time”, but upon playing the track, the last word can clearly be detected as “times”. This use of plural where it is not necessarily needed or even grammatically correct, effectively conveys his wish for her to be there forever. To stand by him, no matter what. <o:p></o:p>
<o:p></o:p>
This makes me a little sad, when I think of all of times he needed support and probably felt totally alone.<o:p></o:p>
<o:p></o:p>
Someone put your hand out<o:p></o:p>
Begging for your love<o:p></o:p>
All I do is hand out<o:p></o:p>
A heart that needs your love<o:p></o:p>
<o:p></o:p>
The chorus layers multiple harmonies and vocals to build up the ethereal and sweet sound. Whilst he speaks about a certain woman in the first verse and what he wants from her, he changes to “Someone” in the chorus. <o:p></o:p>
<o:p></o:p>
“Someone put your hand out”. Someone. Anyone. <o:p></o:p>
<o:p></o:p>
This makes me think of when I’m waiting for a bus and as it arrives, I put out my hand to make it stop and allow me to get on. This analogy is not dissimilar to the song. Countless “someones” go past us every day, and it’s only when you take that brave step and ask for help or love or friendship (“put your hand out”), that the person notices you and allows you to build a connection. However, Michael seems to have turned it around. He doesn’t have his hand out; he’s asking someone else to put out their hand. Perhaps this is the only way for him to accept their help and love. He needs someone to show him they care about him, without him having to ask.
<o:p></o:p>
Alternatively, when you think of people with their hands out, you automatically think of beggars. They are at the depths of despair in needing our help that the only way to express it is to literally put their hand out. I wouldn’t have thought this could apply to this song, had it not been for the next line (“begging for your love”).<o:p></o:p>
<o:p></o:p>
He’s literally “begging” and re-visits a theme that was present way back in the “Destiny era”. He’s given away so much of his heart, handed out so much love, but he still has to wait for it to be returned to him.<o:p></o:p>
<o:p></o:p>
I’ve lived my life the lonely<o:p></o:p>
A soul that cries of shame<o:p></o:p>
In handicapped emotions<o:p></o:p>
Save me now, of what still remains<o:p></o:p>
<o:p></o:p>
Searingly honest and heart breaking. The alliteration of the “l” sound draws attention to the loneliness that has become his life. It’s almost as if his life and loneliness just simply belong together. Suspecting he was speaking from the soul, he confirms this with his self description of “a soul that cries of shame”. To me, this says that the innermost core of his being is dictated by broken, “handicapped” emotions. He’s been hurt and alone for so long, he’s ashamed to let anyone see his soul and the crying child that screams out in pain. As much as he craves love, this here is the explanation for his failure. The pain is so intense, he’s crying out to be loved, but is terrified of letting anyone get too close to see the person he really is. The person that he doesn’t see as beautiful and wonderful, the way we do, but the person he probably regards as a total failure. Someone not good enough. Hence, the “shame”. <o:p></o:p>
<o:p></o:p>
I’ll be your story hero<o:p></o:p>
I’ll serenade in rhyme<o:p></o:p>
I’m just needing that someone<o:p></o:p>
<o:p></o:p>
A quick switch in tactics now. In that perfect and sweet voice, he decides he’ll change himself for her. He’ll give her whatever she wants. He’ll be her “story hero”, something he’s done throughout his life. Hasn’t he been a hero to his fans, his audience? Hasn’t he saved so many lives, literally and metaphorically? Furthermore, has he not “serenaded” us all with his singing and made us fall in love with him? Ultimately, this is him accepting that he may have to use his talents to win her love. It seems unfair that he should have to do so. Is it really impossible for any woman to love him as just plain “Michael?”<o:p></o:p>
<o:p></o:p>
But he’s willing to do all these things, because he’s just “needing that someone”. Needing, not wanting. <o:p></o:p>
<o:p></o:p>
Save me now or I’m out of my mind<o:p></o:p>
<o:p></o:p>
He repeats the “Save me now” lyric. First he sings of needing to be saved “of what still remains” and then follows this up with “or I’m out of my mind”. The implication here is that before long, he’s going to lose himself through yearning and isolation. Or perhaps he’s given away his heart so much, there’s not much left for himself?<o:p></o:p>
<o:p></o:p>
When you say we will dance until the light of day <o:p></o:p>
It’s just like the children of Earth’s joy<o:p></o:p>
When we play<o:p></o:p>
<o:p></o:p>
The inclusion of the soprano backing vocals on the bridge fits brilliantly with the lyrics. The song takes on a more mystical and sacred tone. He compares their imagined love to the “children of Earth’s joy”. No other simile can convey the purity and spirituality of it so well. It brings to mind the image of two innocents playing together in a sort of paradise, untouched by the real world. “Will you promise me you’ll always stay?” <o:p></o:p>
<o:p></o:p>
It’s because I’m needing that someone <o:p></o:p>
<o:p></o:p>
For the first and only time in the song, he drops the falsetto for a strained, rough voice. This to me is the most significant moment. He’s dropped his sweet, seducing and “perfect” crooning. This is the real him now. Desperate and naked with pleading. Everything else stripped away, all control, all pretence, his entire image. So much emotion conveyed in just one line. <o:p></o:p>
<o:p></o:p>
The song plays itself out with a mournful saxophone, perfectly adding to the sorrow. The chorus picks up with the falsetto again, as if he’s back to his control. The adlibs speak of his heart being on the line and “hanging”. Well, he certainly bore his soul and is now at the mercy of what that “someone” makes of him.<o:p></o:p>
<o:p></o:p>
The close of the song features again the piano chords and ends almost as it begun. Perhaps it’s too much to hope anything has changed? Will anyone reach out and put out their hand to save him?<o:p></o:p>
 
A

Ape

Guest
Beautiful beautiful interpretation and explanation. Thank you for sharing this and taking such care and time to write it all out. I have to get out the door right away so can't write much of a reply but It's made me happy to read. One thing I wanted to say and would love for you to look at is if you take "All on the Line" as a prequel to this. Like he is saying to himself that if he wants this love, he has to lay it all on the line and open up. Perhaps that was the song before this where he does lay it all out and puts his heart on the line.
 

CinnamonGirl

Proud Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2011
Messages
1,101
Points
0
Location
NYC
This is one of my favourite songs. The emotion is so real!

I totally agree with your interpretation, especially this part:

It&#8217;s because I&#8217;m needing that someone

For the first and only time in the song, he drops the falsetto for a strained, rough voice. This to me is the most significant moment. He&#8217;s dropped his sweet, seducing and &#8220;perfect&#8221; crooning. This is the real him now. Desperate and naked with pleading. Everything else stripped away, all control, all pretence, his entire image. So much emotion conveyed in just one line.
 
Last edited:

Themidwestcowboy

Proud Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2011
Messages
5,885
Points
113
What a great interpretation! I agree with all of it, this is one of my favourite songs aswell. I would love to read other interpretations from you from other songs:)
 

mlg2804

Proud Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2011
Messages
178
Points
0
Fantastic post! I love it. Hope you will interpret more songs. And I agree with everything you said. This is one of my favourite MJ songs.
 

helena22

Proud Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2008
Messages
1,521
Points
0
Location
South Korea
It’s because I’m needing that someone <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-comhttp://www.mjjcommunity.com/forum/ /><o:p></o:p>[/I][/quote][/FONT][quote]
[I]<font face=" /><o:p></o:p>[/I]
<FONT face="Comic Sans MS"><FONT size=3>For the first and only time in the song, he drops the falsetto for a strained, rough voice. This to me is the most significant moment. He’s dropped his sweet, seducing and “perfect” crooning. This is the real him now. Desperate and naked with pleading. Everything else stripped away, all control, all pretence, his entire image. So much emotion conveyed in just one line.[/quote]

<FONT size=3 face=Beautiful, p simply beautiful...<><FONT face="Century Gothic"><FONT size=3>
<FONT face="Century Gothic"><FONT size=3>Thanks for sharing.

<FONT face="Century Gothic"><FONT size=3>He delivered emotions like no other.
 

Stranger

Proud Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2005
Messages
300
Points
0
Thank you for reading and replying guys! Would love to hear everyone else's ideas and thoughts!
And yes, I will do more songs. I think I'll do Will You Be There or On the line or Earth Song next...
 

Ingelief

Proud Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2009
Messages
1,857
Points
0
Location
Netherlands
wow looks like you know alot about music and singing. the terms you use in there are technical. I love your own opinion in it..

edit: it was released on the ultamite collection right?

I listen to it again with your text and i agree with this:
For the first and only time in the song, he drops the falsetto for a strained, rough voice. This to me is the most significant moment. He&#8217;s dropped his sweet, seducing and &#8220;perfect&#8221; crooning. This is the real him now. Desperate and naked with pleading. Everything else stripped away, all control, all pretence, his entire image. So much emotion conveyed in just one line

but personally i dont like the song.. sorry i found it so sweet to high all the time i love this rough voice and it was there to little for me, and also the sentence someone put your hand out is sang for me to many times.. its to many of a repeat for me

but im curious what you can do with other songs, your explanation is wonderfull even if you dont like the song like me
 
Last edited:

Alma

Proud Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2011
Messages
2,752
Points
0
Location
Askthewanderers
Thank you for your amazing post, Stranger...

He sounds so emaciated or drained about that simple human need, love the way he humbles himself for a blessed rare slice of life or or love, more precisely... I can picture him on his knees sobbing silently, then after that much feeling of defeat, him bursting out with despair - still contained, though, in my view - that "it's because I'm needing that someone" is what I really love... and then, how that smooth saxophone lulls him gently with its strains to calmness, for Michael to be able to resume singing the chorus in the same loving, meek way... precious. ..
 

Stranger

Proud Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2005
Messages
300
Points
0
^ Totally agree Alma. I love the way he's not afraid to tell us how lonely he is and how much he's missing that someone in his life.

Never thought about the saxophone lulling him back to the chorus, after that desperate plea. I think I made a mistake actually and I think it was a trumpet, not a saxophone. I'll have to go back and listen.
 

Alma

Proud Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2011
Messages
2,752
Points
0
Location
Askthewanderers
.. ^ Or was that a trumpet, lol...? I don't know, the sound of it seems intermixed to me.... ^^

Anyway. As for the "It's because I'm needing that someone" pleading line, through it he makes it clear that it is not just somebody, anybody whom he needs, though his desperation derived from loneliness would make one conclude that he meant just basically anybody. He was surrounded by a variety of people all the time, and many loved him, yet he still felt lonely, because, although he was curious about all, he didn't like those people, he didn't settle for just anything or anyone. ... He was actually aching for a divine type of love to come his way, as he accurately says: "The truth is that I'm longing for a love that's so divine".... So divine, meaning God-sent... Therefore, he strains his voice to clarify and conclude toward the end of the song that "I'm needing that someone!". "That" someone... not just anyone, is his conclusion he wanted to express. ...

.. Kind of like how he confesses in "I Just Can't Stop Loving You"... That 'you' pronoun seems to address the same type of love he hopes and wishes for, that at that moment was a plan, not yet materialized, though during a more calm, appeased state of mind; in this song, he confesses that "At night when the stars shine / I pray for that I'll find / A love so true." . And in "Someone Put Your Hand Out", he also seems to be praying, as he's 'begging', and that could've been a confession and prayer addressed to God at night, just like it's addressed to that special someone out there (he was one to cover more grounds than just one, as with many of his songs..).. When one comes home.. or in a foster home (hotel), turns the key, pulls down the blinds, turns off the lights and starts saying his prayer before going to sleep... I think so anyway. ..
 
Last edited:

claudiadoina

Proud Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2011
Messages
4,324
Points
0
Location
Bucharest, Romania
Wow!


I love the song and Michael's performance here brings me tears to my yes every time I listen to it.And it isn't all about the lyrics is the way he sings, is so beautiful.His voice is just perfect,pure like a crystal.In my poor english vocabulary it's all I can say but I really enjoyed the insightful review in first post.
The introduction speaks almost like a prologue. Its beauty is so divine and lovely, one wonders how the singer will ever live up to it. Almost any voice threatens to kill the breathtakingly gorgeous sound.
However, once the vocals kick in, the dilemma turns on its head. At once, how easy it is to forget the music! It becomes near impossible to ignore the voice.

]


Exactly how I feel everytime this song begins.


This song is so underrated.:sad:


Can anyone tell me what he is wispering at the beginning?
 
Last edited:
Top