John Cougar Mellencamp – Hand To Hold On To

This is my contribution to Song Lyric Sunday for Jim Adams’s blog. This week’s prompt…Hold/Pause/Stop/Wait

From his 1982 album, American Fool. The song reached #19 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart on January 21, 1983.

From Apple music

Though credited to John Cougar, 1982’s American Fool marks the moment when John Mellencamp began to assert his true identity as an artist. This is a scrappy version of classic rock ‘n’ roll, built around storytelling lyrics and guitar-centered tunes that harkened back to Dylan and the Stones. The playful “Hurts So Good” became the album’s first hit, but it was the small-town-romance theme of “Jack & Diane” that truly defined the album’s sensibility. Mellencamp’s raspy, Indiana-accented vocals breathe life into his tales of Middle American dreams, ambition and heartache. Tracks like “Hand to Hold Onto” and “Can You Take It” offer plenty of radio-friendly punch and attitude. Going deeper, “Weakest Moments” is indicative of the working-class balladry that would turn up on later albums. The album’s title cut — added to the remastered version of the album — is a good-natured declaration of independence. More than anything, it’s this sense of personal freedom that makes American Fool such a fun listen — for the first time, John is taking off his Cougar disguise and getting real.

Hand To Hold On To

You can laugh and joke and make fun of your friends,
Spin in the middle when your troubles begin,
Take it nice and easy and always pretend
That you’re cool…so cool…so cool.Say, “I’munna hold onto that a while and I will and I’ll be tame”,
Talk like a jerk on an educated brain,
Be an old girl drivin’ the young boys insane,
Be a joker, a preacher…it does not matter.Everyone needs a hand to hold on to
Everyone needs a hand to hold on to
Don’t need to be no strong hand
Don’t need to be no rich hand
Everyone just needs a hand to hold on toHavin’ good luck with your financial situation,
Play the ponies, be the president of the United Nation,
Go to work and be a Hollywood stand,
Drive your four wheel drive right into the mud, butEveryone needs a hand to hold on to
Everyone needs a hand to hold on to
Don’t need to be no strong hand
Don’t need to be no rich hand
Everyone just needs a hand to hold on toAnd in those hours when you’re alone,
And there’s nobody there except yourself,
I know it…you want to pick up the phone,
And say, “Talk to me, talk to me, somebody please
Talk to me!” Yeah!Ohh, yeah!Everyone needs a hand to hold on to
Everyone needs a hand to hold on to
Don’t need to be no strong hand
Don’t need to be no rich hand
Everyone just needs a hand to hold on to

Source: LyricFind Songwriters: John Mellencamp

11 thoughts on “John Cougar Mellencamp – Hand To Hold On To

      1. I know a lot of his music, but there are very few of his songs that I can name off the top of my head. Hurts So Good, I Need a Lover, Jack and Diane, Pink Houses, R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A. and Small Town are the big ones.

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