The Hands of Time (Brian’s Song)

Composer Michel Legrand
Lyricists Alan Bergman, Marilyn Bergman
Year Written 1971
About The Hands of Time
“The Hands of Time” was written for the very successful made-for-television movie Brian’s Song about the friendship between two football players: Brian Piccolo (played by James Caan) and Gale Sayers (Billy Dee Williams), where Piccolo dies cancer at the age of 29.


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 learn to fly
Until the hands of time
Would choose to wave goodbye

Session / Album Information


“The Hands of Time” was recorded on December 13, 1972 and released in 1973 on the album Listen Easy. It was arranged by Don Costa.

This recording released on:

  • 1972: Philips LP 12″: 6641297 — Spotlight On Tony Bennett (UK)
  • 1973: Verve LP 12″: V6 5094 — Listen Easy
  • 1973: Philips LP 12″: 6308 157 — Listen Easy [UK]
  • 2011: Disc #46 in The Tony Bennett Complete Collection (88697874602-JK45) Listen Easy

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