Peace Songbook

Gentle Hands

Music and lyrics by Michael DelMain

©1999 Michael DelMain

My friend and colleague, Michael DelMain, wrote these beautiful words for one of the young girls who kept hitting her friends in his Montessori preschool classroom. Michael told her, we don’t use our hands for hitting here. We have gentle hands. He went home that night and wrote the song “Gentle Hands” and sang it to her the next morning. It became a favorite song not only of his classroom, but of the whole school and two other associated schools as well. I have loved this song from the first time I heard Michael and the children sing it. He and I recorded it together and I introduced “Gentle Hands” at our CMN gatherings. It was one of the original Peace Resources Page listings on our CMN website in 2001. Many years later it was sung at a healing concert by Nancy Hershatter, Sally Rogers and other CMN members for the families of Sandy Hook Elementary School children after the horrific school shooting there in 2012. It is one example, among many, of the powerful impact we have in CMN—an enduring strength in the ways we hold songs and pass them along to share in meaningful moments with our children and each other.

--Barb Tilsen


I want to have gentle hands, strong hard-working hands

Hands that play the music of every instrument in the band

These are not pinching hands, never pushing hitting hands

These are hands with a loving touch, hands that understand

They can be building hands, they can be making hands

These are not for fighting, these are not breaking hands

I want to have gentle hands, celebrating creating hands

Let us all join hands together, remember we hold gentle hands


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All songs posted in the CMN Song Library are protected by copyright and are provided by the generosity of the owner/artist. You may perform songs you find here in classrooms and camps without the copyright owner’s permission. For all other performances, you must first obtain a performance license through BMI, SESAC or ASCAP or obtain the copyright owner’s express prior written permission.