Mathis, Johnny - Brian's Song (The Hands Of Time) Lyrics

If the hand of time
Were hand that I could hold
I'd keep them warm.

And in my hand
They ‘d not turn cold.

Hand in hand
We'd choose
The moments that should last.

Timeless moments
That have no future
And no past.

The summer
From the top of a swing
The comfort
In the sound of a laughter.

The innocense
Of leaves in spring
But most of all
The moment when love touched me.

All the happy days
We've never learned to fly
Until the hands of time
Would choose the wave goodbye.

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Mathis, Johnny Brian's Song (The Hands Of Time) Comments
  1. mahatmt

    A real and true love story! God bless Gale Sayers and Brian Piccolo.

  2. mahatmt

    This was the first movie in which I cried.

  3. grooverunner

    Vikki Carr does a great version of this song, too.

  4. Jonathan Lega

    Memory’s of this movie as an assembly

  5. George Swift

    If you don't shed a tear...then I feel for you.

  6. Rusty

    The instrumental version is way better.

  7. Maury Joseph

    just can't get any better

  8. Chief Lambo Crown Mcqueen

    If i die now pls i want to hear this song, i will leave this to you as you left me alone in the hands of my time

  9. Mary Hall

    Johnny Mathis The Greatest. Very special person. Thank You.Mary

  10. mike sutton

    Sorry to hear of the passing of the composer of Brian's Song -The Hands Of Time Michel Le Grand he passed away on January 26th 2019 ! He was a brilliant composer and pianist , may you music live on FOREVER the hands of time !

  11. Orson Cart

    Thanks for this... you think it might be possible to arrange 'crowd funding' for a new stylus for your record deck? ;-)

  12. Robert Matthews

    RIP Uncle John, this song is for you.

  13. Bryanne C

    My parents loved the song so much and remember the movie fondly.. that when they were pregnant with me they decided to name me after the Bryan, and only decided to change the spelling a bit since I’m a girl.

  14. Liz Doyle


  15. Connie Helinsky

    Love this song and this wonderful artist who can sing anything. Thank you for sharing this beautiful song by the best singer in the world in my opinion.

  16. Mary Hall

    Johnny beautiful song. Also a great movie. Thank You Connie. 😍😍😍😍

  17. Tucky Blue

    This movie came came out the summer my grandfather died of cancer. It’s still my favorite piece of music ever...

  18. Dan Wesolick

    Beautiful song and awesome voice..

  19. Emily Malden

    Sadly the time is coming when we will eventually say goodbye to JM!

  20. Raymond Weaver

    A beautiful post I just love to here Johnny sing.!!!


    The theme itself was my favorite in high school. I had no idea until a few years ago that there were lyrics and that Johnny sang them.

  22. Anita Schon

    OH Mr. Mathis, you sang this wonderfully, gives me goose bumps. Thank you for sharing your beautiful voice with us.

  23. Monica Mousley

    I absolutely love this song, cry every time I hear it. Had it played at my wedding at the time that my husband and I were taking the hands in front of the flowers picture. Will have it played at my funeral also, my kids know

  24. percy 12/37

    Another tear jerker for me; "Taking Chance" staring Kevin Bacon. I watched it twice, and cried more the 2nd time. Excellent movie.

  25. Ivan Sanofi boca


  26. Ray Giammarco

    One of the greatest beautiful voice.

  27. percy 12/37

    Also, only in my opinion; I think Johnny Mathis is the best Male singer in the World fir this type of music!!!

    Frank Denardo

    percy 12/37 the best. my dad has his albums and inherited the collection after he passed away.

  28. Marcelo Klayn

    i did hear so much this song in 1988

  29. Jonathan Lega

    The first romantic assembly movie with my junior high girlfriend Alyssa gettler

  30. Elisabeth Misheletti


  31. Reinaldo Reizinho


  32. Stan Cano

    Billy boy Lewis is that all you do is cry like a lol munchkin

  33. Stan Cano

    such a whiner boo hoo hoo lmao

  34. rickw1100

    Johnny Mathis...nuff said........exquisite.

    Barbara Bertke

    Perry Comi did an equally exquisite cover of this beautiful ballad .

    Barbara Bertke

    Perry Como...sorry fat fingers on a phone keyboard!

  35. Virgil Davis

    If the hands of time
    Were hands that I could hold
    I'd keep them warm.
    And in my hands
    They 'd not turn cold.

    Hand in hand
    We'd choose
    The moments that should last.

    The lovely moments
    That should have no future
    And no past.

    The summer
    From the top of a swing
    The comfort
    In the sound of a lullaby.

    The innocence
    Of leaves in the spring
    But most of all
    The moment when love first touched me.

    All the happy days
    Would never learned to fly
    Until the hands of time
    Would choose to wave goodbye.


    I am in tears, this is so beautiful.

  37. Jason Burdette

    This song makes me think of my wife. Who passed away from stage 4 bone cancer five years ago.

    Virgil Davis

    +Jason Burdette Bless you Jason. You will meet again in Paradise.

    Erin Steensma

    I'm so sorry for your loss.

  38. collette wilson


  39. 7howie71

    Just snapping out of depression, caused by me deterioarating health. Come acroos rthis. Thanks to the person who posted and of course Johnny Mathis.


    Johnny is so great for helping depression. I wonder how many of us he has helped to save.

  40. Stan Cano

    if you have to worry about spam you definitely need a life

    Bill Lewis

    And if obnoxious comments are all you can offer, you probably need a life, too. And some manners..

  41. Ronbo710

    Damned onions :( .

  42. htg-p 77

    What a beautiful song .
    This make me relate of so many thins in LIFE.
    Thank you for sharing ❤️

  43. Arthur Archambeau

    Best version of this beautiful song.  Brian's Song was once voted the Best Made For TV Movie of All Time...and rightly so.  Best Sports Movie of all time too!

    Frank Denardo

    Arthur Archambeau the highest rated for the 1971-1972 season.

  44. Tami Quigley

    Thanks so much for sharing this most beautiful version of this wonderful song! I still cry every time I watch Brian's Song, it's timeless!

    Marcelo Klayn

    beautiful music from henry mancini... brian's song

    percy 12/37

    I have seen "Brian's song" at least 4 times, and cried more each time.

    Hermelinda Islas

    Marcelo Klayn no, no, Michel Legrand great composer!!!

    percy 12/37

    I have seen it 4 times, and cried more each time.

  45. Judith Horne

    I never get tired of Brians song the words gives it more meaning and touches your heart everyone even if u don't like football it will tug at your heart strings Judith Horne jax.fl

  46. Toasted Ravioli

    Is it me or does the song begin with Auld Lang Syne?

    P PA

    It does

  47. ronda sanwyn

    Beautiful Song ! thanks for adding it.

  48. Deb Morris

    This song gives me so much comfort in a very difficult time.  It's the best song ever written, and Johnny Mathis wraps this song in such great love.  

  49. Connie Yelp

    I see there are 4 posts here that have been marked spam. I read them and don't see them as span but I don't see any way to bring them permanently to be viewed here. If anyone knows how to do this please share it with me, thanks.

    ronda sanwyn

    Just write to youtube and tell them what you think. There are so many idiots that go through youtube making stuff as spam, they are just nutters that need to feel they have power, don't worry, it's happened to us all. It's a lovely song. 

  50. JON D. ELDER

    Oh my, how sadly poignant and beautiful. God keep you always Brian and Gale. Thank you Johnny for saving this jewel for us.

  51. Ray Giammarco

    You will never see anything like this on American Idol

  52. percy 12/37

    may God bless You & yours always!

  53. percy 12/37

    this was a great movie (very teary). I saw it 4 times, and each time I cried more. I also love American football. mostly college.

  54. Sherron295

    God Bless You, you are sooo brave!!!

  55. Jason Burdette

    The movie Brian Song made me cry.
    This song reminds me of everyone I have loved from my past.

  56. Connie Yelp

    TamiTrailscapes - Yes, I think the original with James Caan and Billie Dee Williams was the best, they remade it later, I watched half of the remake, to me there are some movies that are best left alone. I agree about cherishing and telling the ones we love that we do while they are here. Life is full of changes and life is very short. Thanks for your post.

  57. Connie Yelp

    frank d - Since Johnny is my favorite singer I always prefer to hear any song sung by him. I'm aware other singers recorded this but to me no one sings it with the feeling and emotion in their voice that Johnny has. Thanks for your post.

  58. frank d

    I am about your age and I did see this film. My dad has this album being he likes Johnny Mathis. Other singer who did this song include Andy Williams, Tony Bennett, Jerry Vale, Jim Nabors, Robert Goulet, Ray Conniff, & Vikki Carr.

  59. Andrée Beauchesne

    This song reminds me of both my parents that I lost to that terrible sickness. Now my husband will also leave me soon so it is very special for me when I hear it.

  60. Sethie Pitt

    I lso lost my hsband from cancer 5 week after her..

  61. Sethie Pitt

    I also lost a daughter i got to keep her in my life for 31 years then she die in a car wreck i was a little older than ya'll but remmber when the move came out,thank you.

  62. Connie Yelp

    Hi Sandi -- Oh yes, another one you lost a close relative to that awful disease. My sympathy to you and my prayers and best wishes too. Thanks for your post and I hope you have a happy and safe Christmas holiday, take care.

  63. Connie Yelp

    629ces -- My sympathy to you on the loss of your father. So this song was his favorite? It's great that you could play it for him during his last moments and that you could be there with him. This has probably been the the song that I'm most glad I was able to uploaded. Over 91K people have listened to it, I appreciate the posts saying how it's been an inspiration to so many. My best to you during this holiday season and the rest of the year too, take care.

  64. Connie Yelp

    Hi Sandi -- I'm sure you still miss your sister. It seems that's the hardest thing to deal with in life is the death of the ones we love. My thoughts, prayers and best wishes to you and your family during this holiday season and all the days to come too. Thanks for your post..

  65. Connie Yelp

    metalweb - Johnny was on the Jay Leno show this past Tuesday Dec. 18, I think it was. I hadn't seen him live since I last saw him a year ago in concert. He still looks good, healthy, happy and that great voice is still there. Yes seems this song has touched many, even Don Piccolo Brian's brother posted here. I'm so glad I was able to upload it for all of you to hear. It couldn't be sung by a better singer. Thanks for your post.

  66. Sandi Larew

    thanks Conyelp....this means a lot....

  67. Sandi Larew

    I also was 6 when the movie came out and I remember my sister loving it, Johnny Mathis and playing it on the piano....unfortunately she too died of cancer in 1974....10 days from her 16th birthday. And yeah this song has great did the someone too young to really get it and how the death of a child destroys or can destroy a family. My parents did not go their separate ways.But well it was and is still hard.....

  68. jityr2

    That means I looked him up on wikipedia,

  69. Connie Yelp

    I don't know what wikiing is but I'm glad you found the song. Gees! I can't believe 89 plus people have listened to this but it's such a great song. The lyrics make me tear up everytime I listen to it. This song has been responsible for helping me to take time to look around and appreciate the little things in life like the warm sun on my face, the taste of meatloaf, my favorite food dish. Rest in peace Brian Piccolo.

  70. jityr2

    This song was hard to find in spite of all that wikiing I did of his discography.

  71. Aron J Lacson

    Apparently this song has touched so many people in so many different ways as it rightly should. For me, it was my sister learning to play Brian's song on the piano soon after the movie came out. It brought back fond memories of the innocence of my childhood. The good and happy times before my parents went their seperate ways. Thank you all for sharing your stories of inspiration. And yes, have always been a big fan of Johnny Mathis...thanks conyelp.

  72. Ken Mask

    Hearing this song and reading the comments here are rare, refreshingly pleasant moments of browsing.

  73. gemeyes2


  74. Tami Quigley

    I was only six when the movie came out on TV, but later I saw it and loved it. Such an inspirational story, and this song brings tears. But the words are also a reminder that the hands of time go on, so we should all cherish the people we love and tell them so while we can. Thanks for posting this!

  75. Arthur Archambeau

    Brings tears to my eyes every single time I hear it. "Brian's Song" was arguably the best made for TV movie of ALL TIME. The most beautiful part of the film is when Gale Sayers accepts the NFL "Man of Courage" award. Incredible scene. Beyond words. Anyway, I love this song and JM's version is the best!

  76. Danny Jr. Cunanan

    Lea Salonga did a cover of this :)

  77. Mick Flaire

    I came across this video today simply by way of serendipitous curiosity. I saw the tv movie back in 1971 with my whole family, when I was a senior at Balboa High School in San Francisco. We all cried because it was such an emotionally moving experience. Ironically enough, 40 years after it's release, Brian's Song (Hands of Time) still has a lasting endurance to it. We saw Gale Sayers return both a kickoff and a punt for TD's 49'ers on 12-3-67 in SF... Brian Piccolo hugged Gale after each!

  78. Connie Yelp

    @amapro21 I believe you will walk again. My best wishes and prayers will be with you too. Thanks for your post.

  79. amapro21

    Brian's Song surely had to inspire thousands of folks. I became paralyzed in 1987 while in the Navy and was told I would never walk again. My son put that great movie on tv in 1999 and challenged me to try. After about 15 months of intense therapy and at the age of 53 I walked right at 50 feet with braces and crutches. Now at 65, I was forced to have two below knee amputatuions. I am once again in therapy and the movie Brian's Song is my inspiration. I WILL be on my feet once again.

  80. Jason Burdette


    I sow the movie Brian Song, Your Brother seem like such great guy. I'm sorry for your loss, You and brother Brian Piccolo are in my prayers.

  81. kathybaca

    I played this song over and over years ago. A lovely tribute.

  82. Brett Camp

    I have never been so moved by a movie like I was with Brian's song and I hope the Piccolo family see's this comment because for a man I never met he was a inspiration to me and every one of my friends that played football, Thanks Brian R.I.P. and God Bless the Piccolo family

  83. 8jojobeans

    Absolutely beautifull! God bless.

  84. mityawelsh

    @TheDonpiccolo Your brother was an inspiration to to so many people; I first saw Brian's Song as a boy so long ago, and I still feel so deeply moved by Brian's story. Thank you for sharing your story about Johnny Mathis.

    My best to you and your family...

  85. Matt Thomas

    @TheDonpiccolo Mr. Piccolo, I've read "I Am Third" more times than I can count, and I think I have to credit your brother, with helping shape my sense of humor. My brother Patrick, died in 2000. As with Brian, it's not how he died, that's important, it's how he lived. I wish you peace and joy. Matthew Thomas Columbus, OH.

  86. capatga

    As hard as it was for Brian Piccolo's family ,think of the speech Gayle Sayers made in that locker room and he still had to play ball , carrying that hurt with him on to the field ,they shared a room for a very specific purpose, they just didn't know at the time what that purpose was

  87. digger15108

    I named my son after Brian. He was born in 1974. But the movie left such a lasting impression. We had been planning to name him Gabe, but seeing him immediately after being born, I said no, he's looks like Brian Piccolo. To you Mr Don Piccolo, I want to thank you and your family to allow us to see into Brian's life by allowing the movie to be made. He was a true inspiration to so many. God Bless.

  88. frank d

    @navyfitness my dad has this album which he bought back in 1972. I listen to this song a lot

  89. frank d

    @navyfitness my dad has this album which he bought back in 1972. I listen to this song a lot

  90. hobie996

    I saw Brians Song as a 10 year old kid and remember crying so hard. I was on a Southwest Flight about a month ago and read the article Gale Sayers had written about the movie being made. I cryed like a baby just reading about it. There were so many elements to that movie and it all started with a great story. My father met Brian Piccolo at Wake Forest were he worked as he managed the cafeteria. He said he was a great guy!

  91. Fred Burnett


    Wow, I played against Brian in college. Your post is affirmation on so many things (including Johnny Mathis). Thanks for posting!

  92. james richards

    mr.piccolo i saw the movie when i was young,and anytime i see it i cry.brian was a great man who fought till the end.i lost my brother 4 yrs ago to cancer an there is not a day goes by i dont think of him.and this song makes me think about him more.thank you again for sharing your brothers story with the world

  93. ftsjr

    This song never fails to move me. Johnny was the perfect one to record it, too.

  94. Donna Bonazzo

    I met Brian when I was about 10 yrs. old & he was already playing pro football. . My Mother (Helen) was a good friend of Gina who was married to Brian's brother. My Mother took me over to Gina & husband's house & Brian was there. We all sat at the kitchen table & had dinner. I remember how nice he was to me because I was very shy. I have seen the movie many times & always cry at the end. What a wonderful tribute to Brian & his courage with this beautiful song & movie.

  95. Bernadette Kazmarski

    Mr. Piccolo, what a joy to hear from a relative of one of the main characters. I saw this in grade school and the friendship between these two had such an impact and has stayed with me all these years, and the courage and strength of your brother. Many another movie on this theme has been made, but this told it the best of all the ones I know. I would love the song anyway, but the story behind the movie makes it complete. Thanks for connecting, thanks @conyelp for uploading this version.

  96. Jonathan Lega

    The movie Brian's song was the first movie as an assembly movie wjth my first ever
    girlfriend Allisa Gettler. Since then we became friends. If we ever got hooked back up My present girlfriend will be upset,

  97. Hammers Hamilton

    I have loved this song since I hear it many years ago. I now have the DVD and it never fails to move me - as much as the song does.

  98. Karen Bosworth


  99. Karen Bosworth

    Don, Karen here... I am 48yrs young. Never in my life did I see a friendship that was so color blind. When Gayle passed...I had to shed a tear. For now Brian and Gayle are throwing passes in Heaven.

  100. frank d

    @JPPT1974 There were other singers who did this song including Andy Williams, Tony Bennett, Vikki Carr, Ed Ames, Jim Nabors, Jerry Vale and there was also a duet with Henry Mancini & Doc Severinson.