♫ Sometimes When We Touch ♫

I was rather surprised to find I hadn’t played this one here yet.  I’ve always liked this song … guess I was just saving it for tonight, eh?

Sometimes When We Touch, released in 1977, was written by Dan Hill (lyrics) and Barry Mann (music).  It hit #1 in Canada, #3 in the U.S., and #13 in the UK.  According to Hill …

“I grew up in a really suburban area, the model suburb of which all suburbs were based in Canada. And it was a beautiful place to grow up in terms of there were so many talented kids that I learned from, music, writing, books. But it was also very, very conservative. By that I mean I had no experience at all with girls.

So suddenly I was like 18, 19, living on my own. And I was running into a whole different kind of girl that I didn’t even know existed. I didn’t know females could think the way some of these girls were thinking, and I’m talking the early ’70s. And at the time the world was changing. Fear of Flying had just come out by the writer Erica Jong, you know, the great writer Germaine Greer had read written ‘The Female Eunuch.’ And women were kind of wearing their sexuality almost on their chest, as though it was a political statement, as though they were saying, This is my body and I can do what I want with it. They were almost like embracing the ‘slut’ word, in terms of turning it into a term of empowerment.

I didn’t really understand that at the time. All I knew was there was this woman that I was falling desperately in love with, and I just thought everybody was naturally monogamous. My parents have always stayed together. Well, this woman didn’t want anything to do with monogamy. She wanted to get close to me, so to speak, but she wanted to be close with a lot of other guys at the same time, and I found this to be terribly distressful. She also liked to tell me about how all the other guys were so much more rich than I was, older, more established, she was going out with athletes, Argonauts (players from the Toronto football team), famous photographers. So I felt very inadequate.

And I thought the only thing that I could do to make her take me seriously as more than just her occasional fling was to write a song that would absolutely galvanize her. I knew that all these guys might have more money, might be older, maybe more sophisticated. But they sure as hell couldn’t write songs and sing like I could.

So I set out to write the most powerful song ever written that was just going to absolutely flatten her, so that she would reconsider me, so that she would take me as her only lover. I was very proud of that song. I thought that I had really, really broken into new territory. I’ll always remember, I was working for the civil service for $1.89 an hour. I was so proud of that lyric. And I taped it right over where I sorted all the mail. So I saw it on the wall, just looked at that lyric, because I was so proud of it. And then, of course, I got a little too proud of it and a little too cocky, went home from work, phoned up my erstwhile girlfriend, and played her the song, ‘Sometimes When We Touch’ in its earlier incarnation, expecting her to swoon. Well, there was this sort of martyr silence on the other end of the phone after she had heard that song, and a long, drawn out sigh. And she said, ‘Did anyone ever tell you for a 19 year old you’re way too goddamn intense. I’m leaving town with a CFL football player, he just got cut. We’re moving to North Carolina.’ Bam, she was gone.

That was the first of many unintended consequences of ‘Sometimes When We Touch.’ You think you’re going to do one thing with a song, it does something else. You know, I was a very intense guy. ‘Sometimes When We Touch’ was a very intense song.”

In 1985, Sometimes When We Touch was notably covered by American country music artists Mark Gray and Tammy Wynette. The tune was recorded as a duet between the artists and originally released as a single the same year.

Sometimes When We Touch
Dan Hill

You ask me if I love you
And I choke on my reply
I’d rather hurt you honestly
Than mislead you with a lie

For who am I to judge you
In what you say or do
I’m only just beginning
To see the real you

And sometimes when we touch
The honesty’s too much
And I have to close my eyes
And hide
I want to hold you till I die
Till we both break down and cry
I want to hold you till the fear in me subsides

Romance’s an honest strategy
Leaves me grappling with my pride
But through the years of maturity
Some tenderness survives
I’m just another writer
Still trapped within my truth
A hesitant prize-fighter
Still trapped within my youth

And sometimes when we touch
The honesty’s too much
And I have to close my eyes
And hide
I want to hold you till I die
Till we both break down and cry
I want to hold you till the fear in me subsides

At times I’d like to break you
And drive you to your knees
At times I’d like to break through
And hold you endlessly
At times I understand you
And I know how hard you try
I’ve watched while love commands you
And I’ve watched love pass you by
At times I think we’re drifters
Still searching for a friend
A brother or a sister
But then the passion flares again…

And sometimes when we touch
The honesty’s too much
And I have to close my eyes
And hide
I want to hold you till I die
Till we both break down and cry
I want to hold you till the fear in me subsides

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Barry Mann / Daniel Grafton Hill
Sometimes When We Touch lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Ole Media Management Lp

14 thoughts on “♫ Sometimes When We Touch ♫

  1. Pingback: ♫ Sometimes When We Touch ♫ | The Inglorius Padre Steve's World

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s