China in Your Hand
|"China in Your Hand"|
|Single by T'Pau|
|from the album Bridge of Spies|
|B-side||"No Sense of Pride"|
|Writer(s)||Carol Decker, Ron Rogers|
|Producer(s)||Ron Rogers, Tim Burgess (single version)
Roy Thomas Baker (12"/album version)
|T'Pau singles chronology|
"China in Your Hand" is a song by the British band T'Pau, released from their album Bridge of Spies. A re-recorded version was released as a single in October 1987, spending five weeks at number one in the UK and is arguably the song for which the group is best known in their native Britain, though their debut single "Heart and Soul" was a much bigger hit in the United States. "China in Your Hand" was the 600th song to top the UK charts and kept George Harrison's "Got My Mind Set on You" from hitting the top spot. In 2015 the song was voted by the British public as the nation's 11th favourite 1980s number one in a poll for ITV.
The song's lyrics refer to the novel Frankenstein and its author Mary Shelley. This is more readily heard on the longer album version of the song, as the re-recorded single edit omits most of the more obvious references to the book. The song's title was more unclear however and when quizzed, co-writer Ron Rogers was unsure of to what it referred. Lyric writer Carol Decker explained that it is the effect that if you hold a china cup to a light, you can see your hand through it – therefore 'china in your hand' means something that is transparent. In a segment on the BBC1's The One Show on 6 March 2014, Carol Decker explained that she had been holding a china tea cup belonging to Ronnie Roger's mother in her hand while washing up and had felt a lump in the bottom. She held the cup to the light and saw an image of a young woman in the base of the cup. Decker had the cup with her and showed the viewers the image. Sadly Ronnie's mother died of breast cancer just before T'Pau achieved major chart success.
The song is in the key of B-Flat major on the original album version but the radio edit version is slightly sped up to reduce its length resulting in the tuning being mid-way between B-Flat and B Major.
In 2011, contestant Amelia Lily performed the song on series 8 of UK's The X Factor. Judge Gary Barlow said it was "nice to hear the song being sung in tune for once", in mockery of Decker, who reacted to the comment via Twitter.
British EDM artist Jimmy Rotten used a sample of the song's intro in his track "Join Hands".
- "China in Your Hand" (Carol Decker, Ron Rogers) – 4:07 (Sax solo by Gary Barnacle)(Guitarist Dean Howard)
- "No Sense of Pride" (T'Pau) – 3:25
- "China in Your Hand" (Full Length Album Version) (5:06)
- "China in Your Hand" (Single Version) – 4:07
- "No Sense of Pride" – 3:25
|Austrian Singles Chart||5|
|Belgian Singles Chart||1|
|Canadian Singles Chart||20|
|Dutch Singles Chart||1|
|French Singles Chart||44|
|West German Singles Chart||2|
|Irish Singles Chart||1|
|New Zealand Singles Chart||8|
|Norwegian Singles Chart||1|
|Polish Singles Chart||8|
|South African Singles Chart||12|
|Swedish Singles Chart||5|
|Swiss Singles Chart||1|
|UK Singles Chart||1|
- List of number-one singles from the 1980s (UK)
- List of number-one hits in Norway
- List of number-one hits of 1987 (Switzerland)
- List of Dutch Top 40 number-one singles of 1988
"You Win Again" by Bee Gees
|UK number-one single
8 November 1987 – 12 December 1987
"Always on My Mind" by Pet Shop Boys
"Got My Mind Set on You" by George Harrison
|Irish IRMA number-one single
21 November 1987 – 28 November 1987
"The Way You Make Me Feel" by Michael Jackson
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- Top 10 of 1987, Channel 4 documentary
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