Song Spotlight: “Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand)”

Four hands with dark brown skin embracing. Label reads "soul"
  • Mood: Supportive
  • Themes: Love, Community
  • Tempo: Slow
  • Genre/Style: Soul

Diana Ross is known for her solo work and her time spent with the iconic singing group, The Supremes. The featured song of our spotlight,”Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand)” was the first track she released at the start of her solo career. Diana Ross even sang the song on The Muppet Show. The theme of the song is supportive and offers encouragement to connect with those you care about and your community.  

The lyrics to “Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand)” suggest a variety of ways to offer support and engage in connection, starting with the simple act of reaching out and touching someone’s hand. It explores other ways of connecting, such as giving a little verbal encouragement to someone, sharing the weight of problems with another, and imagining walking in someone else’s shoes when they are experiencing troubles before judging their situation.

There are many ways that we can express support to those we care for. Sometimes the most meaningful acts are small, like supportive presence, a smile, hug, or listening ear. The message of the song expresses that when you share compassion with those around you, it has the potential to make the world a better place. 

Here are some of the lyrics:

Reach out and touch

Somebody’s hand

Make this world a better place

If you can

Take a little time out your busy day

To give encouragement 

To someone who’s lost the the way

Or would I be talking to a stone

If I asked you

To share a problem that’s not your own

We can change things if we start giving

Why don’t you

Reach out and touch

Somebody’s hand

Make this world a better place

If you can

This is a great song to use in a 1:1 setting or group and would go well with a collection of songs that explore the concept of connection, care and community. It’s also a great opportunity for songwriting, or it can be used as a transition into group discussion.

Try This:

Theme This song would fit well into a collection of songs about connection, care, and community.  Other complementary songs may include “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing (In Perfect Harmony),” “You’re My Best Friend,” and “I’ll Be There For You.”

Create a dance or add expressive movement to go along with this beautiful song.

Have a discussion about the ways you can connect with the community and those you care about. You can start with the things listed in the song and then brainstorm ways that your group can support the local community and their friends. 

Read the lyrics of the song and discuss how the actions suggested in the song have the possibility of making the world a better place. Try writing your own suggestions of ways to make the world a better place and putting them into the song, or writing your own song of support.

Encourage the group to explore what individual group members feel is a good way to show others they care or what support or actions are meaningful to them when they need assistance or are feeling down. You can collect the answers, and then create a menu or list of “go to” ideas for when people are unsure of how to support a loved one or friend.

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