I want to hold your hand

Oh yeah, I’ll tell you something
I think you’ll understand

No song has ever expressed love with such a wonderfully simple longing as the Beatles’ first Billboard #1 hit. When you look at the songs on that same list today, everything is so much more complicated. I have a growing vendetta against whiny boy songs: Breakeven by The Script, Hoobastank’s The Reason, and anything by Justin Bieber.

It’s not about what these songs lack, it’s that they have way too much. We all know love and lust, relationships and break-ups are complicated. That’s why I’ve always taken comfort in the effortlessness that encompasses Lennon & McCarthy’s refrain, “I wanna hold your hand”. It all boils down to that truthful yearning for touch. It has almost a wise innocence about it that makes me reflect back on the various meanings of this basic gesture. The time my mom held my 5-year-old hand as I was sobbing over a scraped knee. Or when my first boyfriend slid his hand over mine while we sat 4 feet apart on my basement couch watching Meet the Parents.  Holding my grandma’s hand to steady her as she made her way up the steps. Pulling my best friend up off the floor by her hand when she had too much to drink.

“I Want to Hold Your Hand” has appeared across multiple media, each time taking on a new meaning.  After watching last night’s Glee, I realized the true universality of this song.

It can be about a girl.  It can be about a boy.

It can cross culture barriers.

It can express a bond between friends and family.*

Yeah, you got that something
I think you’ll understand
When I feel that something
I wanna hold your hand

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