Who Holds Your Hand – Patty Larkin

Song: Who Holds Your Hand
Album: Angels Running
Performer: Patty Larkin
Writer: Patty Larkin
Year: 1993

Patty Larkin is a great female guitarist and songwriter. This song was my introduction to her music. She was born in Iowa, raised in Wisconsin but her musical career started and is based in Boston. Her music could be described as “urban folk.” I’m very drawn to her lyrical style and I enjoy her writing and arrangements of songs.

This song feels like an inner-monologue put into a song for the first two verses with the third verse being more a general observation. It feels like a coming of age song. The first verse opens:

Can’t blame it on the moon no more, no
Can’t blame it on the radar weather
Can’t blame it on my lucky stars
Or my mother or my father

She’s at a point in life where she’s the only one accountable for her actions. She goes on to look for various ways to cope with life on her own. The chorus is simply a question:

Who holds your hand when you’re alone?

We never get an answer in this song but the last verse acknowledges that some people do find a higher comfort:

Some people believe in Jesus
And I guess that works real good
Some people believe in God
Like they believe in knocking on wood

Religion is a picture window
Life is not a pretty picture
Rattles when the wind blows
And it never knew what hit her

I assume religion wasn’t the answer for the narrator of the song, because all we’re left with in the end is that question, “who holds your hand when you’re alone?” I can’t decide if this song makes me feel better or worse about life. On one hand, it makes me feel like life is something with no guidebook and that there is often an emptiness and aimlessness to it. But the nice thing is that we can choose what our comfort will be throughout life, be it religion, or other people, or work… whatever. There are probably good and bad things to place your trust in.

The one thing I know for sure is that this song leaves me with the feeling that nothing is certain. And that’s not always a negative thing.