Reach Out and Touch the Hand
(c) 2003 by Lewis D'Aubin

Reach Out and Touch the Hand

The hand
It's following you
Without an arm
Without a clue
You can't understand
Why... it's still alive
You'd think you'd have to run
In order to survive - but you could reach out
Reach out and touch the hand
Get a grip
Try to understand
Life these days, it never goes as planned
So go ahead - and touch the hand

Touch the hand, touch the hand, touch the HAND!

The hand
It doesn't follow commands
Like sit, or stay
It doesn't understand
What does it want?
You can't comprehend
A handshake? Love? Or a sequined glove?
This torture will never end
Until you reach out
Reach out and touch the hand
The hand you're dealt
Is not yours to demand
And life these days, it never goes as planned
So go ahead - and touch the hand!

But... forgive me Lord, for I have sinned against Music
Mangled the melody, torn and abused it
The words and lyrics, I have confused them yeah
Somebody lend me a hand that's connected
Not one that's crawling around and infected
Don't point the finger if it's not protected, yeah

Just touch the hand, touch the hand, touch the HAND!

The hand... it's now around your neck!
It's strangling you! You ask me, "what the heck?
Whaddid I do? Do? To deserve this?"
Then you look at your arm... it's amputated at the wrist!

I told ya reach out - reach out and touch the hand
Why'd ya listen to me?
I'm just the singer in a band
Next time... think for yourself - Take a stand
You should not... have touched the hand!
I repeat... don't touch the hand!
I do declare... don't touch the hand!
Hey you over there... don't touch the hand!
Attencion... n'est touchez pas le main!
I cannot stress strongly enough... don't touch the hand!
Oh no... run away
Here comes the hand!!!

"Uhhh, Lab Girl, can you lend us a hand?" "I think I saw a hand over here in a jar!" "No no no no no, don't touch tha..." "Ewwww, it's crawling around all over the floor! Do you still want it?"

Early in 2003 I was having lunch with Chris Flattmann, my former bassist. While munching on his shrimp poboy, Chris casually mentioned that he had discovered that singing like Neil Diamond was the same as singing like James Hetfield of Metallica. Whoa. The awful truth of this amazing concept sunk in and stayed with me until a couple weeks later when I was eating dinner with my wife. I was eating a shrimp poboy when suddenly I began laughing uncontrollably. "Uh oh," said Jeannine... "either you've lost your mind or you just wrote another new song." She was right! On both counts!

At the next C.O.G. practice I demoed the first verse and chorus of this song to the band. By the next practice I had the bridge and the rest of the lyrics. This awful ballad came right on the heels of 'I Have the Power' and chordally they're kind of similar.

Recording this puppy took a little bit of time. The drums I played on the demo were tweaked a little but essentially preserved. I had to reperform the lead vocals a few times to get the authentic Neil Diamond 'feel'. It's also worth noting that this was the only song I used the Antares Mic Modelling plugin on, in order to make my AKG C3000 sound a little more like an old Neumann U87. In the end, the lead vocals were easy, but the background harmony 'ahhhh' vocals were really NOT and I spent a week punching away at them until I was happy. We also got the whole band and my wife to lay down the gang vocals on the end. Then I got my friend Emkay Anderson to come in to replace my mickey mouse piano parts with real meaty chords - unlike most C.O.G. songs, the piano is the center of this song. For guitars, we used Jeff's Ovation through the POD XT on one channel, and my friend D.J. Ragas's beautiful Ibanez acoustic on the other. And as usual, Jim recorded his Musicman bass digitally through the Johnson J-Station. It's also worth noting that I was never happy with this song's mix until I came up with my multiband re-mastering technique, during the final month of production on 'In C.O.G. We Trust'. I developed the approach essentially to keep from having to remix this song and it worked so well, I applied it to most of the other mixes.

Guitars.........Jeff King
Bass............Jim Fairchild
Piano...........Emkay Anderson
Synthesizer.....Lewis D'Aubin
Lead vocal......Lewis D'Aubin
Backing vocals..Lewis D'Aubin, Beth Patterson
Recorded and mixed 2003 at C.O.G. Secret Lab, Harahan LA