Lady Gaga is no stranger to writing and performing songs for movies. After winning an Oscar for Shallow from A Star Is Born, she returned to the big screen with Hold My Hand, the original theme song for Top Gun: Maverick, the 2022 sequel to the classic 1986 film. The song, which was co-written and co-produced by Gaga and BloodPop®, is a powerful and dramatic ballad that expresses the need for emotional support and connection in times of hardship and uncertainty. It also pays homage to the nostalgic ‘80s sound from the original film’s soundtrack, which featured songs like Danger Zone and Take My Breath Away.
In this article, we will explore everything you need to know about Hold My Hand, from its lyrics and meaning to its relation to the film’s plot to its chart performance and award nominations.
We will also answer some of the most frequently asked questions about the song, such as when it was released, where you can watch the music video, and where you can buy or stream it. Whether you are a fan of Lady Gaga, Top Gun, or both, you will find this article informative and engaging.
So grab your aviator sunglasses and leather jacket, and get ready to fly high with Hold My Hand.
The Lyrics and Meaning of Hold My Hand
The lyrics of Hold My Hand are simple yet heartfelt, conveying a message of love and friendship that transcends any obstacle. The song begins with the line “To tell me you need me“, which sets the tone for the rest of the song.
The song then proceeds to describe a scenario where the narrator is comforting someone who is going through a hard time, telling them to “hold my hand; everything will be okay“. The narrator also reassures the person that they will not leave them until they understand their situation and that they will always be there for them.
The chorus of the song repeats the phrase “hold my hand” four times, emphasising the importance of physical and emotional connection. It also features the line “you can cry every last tear“, which suggests that the narrator is encouraging the person to express their emotions freely and without judgement. The song also has a post-chorus section, where the narrator sings “Hold my hand, hold my hand, I’ll be right here, hold my hand“, further reinforcing their presence and support.
The second verse of the song reveals more details about the person’s situation, as the narrator says “I can see everything you’re blind to now; your prayers will be answered; let God whisper how“. This implies that the person is facing some kind of spiritual or existential crisis and that they need guidance and faith to overcome it.
The narrator also tells the person to “raise your head, look into my wishful eyes“, which suggests that they have a positive outlook and hope for the future.
The bridge of the song is the most dramatic part, as the narrator says “I know you’re scared and your pain is imperfect, but don’t you give up on yourself“. This shows that the narrator understands the person’s fears and flaws but also believes in their potential and strength. The narrator then shares their own personal story, saying “I’ve heard a story, a girl, she once told me, that I would be happy again“.
This reveals that the narrator has also gone through some difficulties in their life, but they were able to overcome them with the help of someone else. The bridge then leads to the final chorus and post-chorus, where the narrator repeats their plea for the person to hold their hand.
According to Lady Gaga, the song is about “the power of love and friendship to overcome any obstacle“. She said that she wanted to write a song that would resonate with the fans of the original Top Gun film as well as with the new generation of viewers.
Additionally, she claimed that Tom Cruise’s character Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, and his quest to discover who he truly is and where he belongs in the world served as inspiration for her. She said:
I wanted to write a song that captured the essence of Top Gun: Maverick, which is not just about flying fast and being cool but also about courage, loyalty, and sacrifice. I wanted to write a song that would speak to anyone who has ever felt lost or alone and who needs someone to hold their hand and tell them that everything will be okay. I wanted to write a song that would make people feel hopeful and inspired. I think that’s what Top Gun is all about.
The Relationship of Hold My Hand to the Film’s Plot
Hold My Hand is not only a standalone song but also a song that is closely connected to the plot of Top Gun: Maverick, the 2022 sequel to the original Top Gun film. The film follows Maverick’s return to the Top Gun school, where he has to train a group of younger pilots for a dangerous mission that involves destroying an illegal uranium enrichment plant in hostile territory. Among the pilots is Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw, the son of Maverick’s deceased best friend and wingman, Nick “Goose” Bradshaw.
The film explores Maverick’s struggle with his past traumas, his sense of duty, and his feelings for his former love interest, Charlotte “Charlie” Blackwood, who is now married to someone else. It also shows his bond with his fellow pilots, especially Rooster, who initially resents Maverick for his father’s death but eventually learns to respect and trust him.
The film also features some familiar faces from the original film, such as Iceman, who is now an admiral and Maverick’s friend and protector, and Viper, who is now retired and living in a trailer park.
Hold My Hand plays during the film’s ending credits after Maverick has completed his final mission and reunited with Rooster. The song reflects Maverick’s emotional arc throughout the film, as he overcomes his fears and doubts and finds his true self and his place in the world.
The song also celebrates his friendship with Rooster, who becomes his protégé and wingman. The song also pays tribute to Goose, whose memory lives on in both Maverick and Rooster.
The song also relates to some of the themes and motifs of the film, such as speed, flight, and freedom. The song mentions “the heavens” and “the clouds”, which are symbols of Maverick’s passion for flying and his connection to Goose. The song also mentions “the need for speed“, which is one of the iconic lines from the original film. The song also uses metaphors of light and darkness, such as “wishful eyes” and “blind to now”, which represent Maverick’s hope and despair.
The song also echoes some of the dialogue from the film, such as “I won’t let go ’til the end“, which is what Maverick says to Rooster before their final mission. The song also features some dialogue from the film in between the verses and choruses in the film version. The dialogue includes some iconic lines from the original film, such as “I feel the need…the need for speed!” and “You can be my wingman anytime“. The dialogue also includes some new lines from the sequel, such as “You’re a legend in this place” and “You’re one of us now“.
The Music Video for Hold My Hand
The official music video for Hold My Hand was directed by Joseph Kosinski, who also directed Top Gun: Maverick. The music video premiered on YouTube on May 6, 2022, three days after the release of the song.
The music video features scenes from Top Gun: Maverick as well as footage of Lady Gaga performing the song in front of a fighter jet. The music video had over 160 million views as of July 2023.
The music video opens with a shot of the sky and then cuts to a close-up of Lady Gaga’s face. She is wearing a leather jacket, sunglasses, and a headset. She sings the first verse and chorus of the song while clips from the original Top Gun film are shown, featuring Tom Cruise as Maverick and Anthony Edwards as Goose.
The music video then transitions to a scene where Lady Gaga is standing on an aircraft carrier, surrounded by naval officers and pilots. She sings the second verse and chorus of the song while clips from Top Gun: Maverick are shown, featuring Cruise as an older Maverick and Miles Teller as Rooster, Goose’s son.
The music video then cuts to a scene where Lady Gaga is sitting in the cockpit of a fighter jet, wearing a flight suit and helmet. She sings the bridge and the final chorus of the song while more clips from Top Gun: Maverick are shown, featuring action sequences and emotional moments from the film. The music video ends with a shot of Lady Gaga saluting the camera, followed by the logo of Top Gun: Maverick.
The music video received positive reviews from critics and fans, who praised Lady Gaga’s vocals, appearance, and charisma, as well as the integration of the film footage. Some critics also noted the similarities between Lady Gaga and Kelly McGillis, who played Charlie, Maverick’s love interest, in the original film.
The music video was nominated for several awards, including the MTV Video Music Award for Best Video from a Film, the Billboard Music Award for Top Streaming Song (Video), and the American Music Award for Favourite Music Video.
The Chart Performance of Hold My Hand
Hold My Hand was a huge commercial success, reaching number one on several charts around the world, including the Billboard Hot 100, UK Singles Chart, and Spotify Global Top 50. It also received critical acclaim from music critics and fans alike, who praised Lady Gaga’s vocals, lyrics, and production.
The song was nominated for several awards, including the Grammy Award for Best Pop Solo Performance and the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song, which it won.
According to the Official Charts Company, Hold My Hand debuted at number 24 on the UK Singles Chart on May 12, 2022, with 16,000 downloads and 3.2 million streams. It then climbed to number three in its second week, becoming Lady Gaga’s 18th top 10 hit in the UK. It stayed in the top 10 for 14 weeks and in the top 40 for 23 weeks. It also topped the Official Singles Sales Chart and the Official Singles Downloads Chart for one week each. As of July 2023, it had sold over 800,000 copies and been streamed over 120 million times in the UK.
According to Billboard, Hold My Hand debuted at number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 on May 22, 2022, with 75,000 downloads and 25 million streams. It then rose to number one in its third week, becoming Lady Gaga’s sixth number-one hit in the US. It stayed at number one for three weeks and in the top 10 for 11 weeks.
It also topped the Digital Song Sales chart for four weeks and the Adult Contemporary chart for six weeks. As of July 2023, it had sold over 1.5 million copies and been streamed over 400 million times in the US.
According to Spotify, Hold My Hand debuted at number one on the Spotify Global Top 50 on May 4, 2022, with over eight million streams. It then remained at number one for seven weeks, becoming Lady Gaga’s longest-running number-one hit on the chart. It also topped the Spotify US Top 50 and the Spotify UK Top 50 for six weeks each. As of July 2023, it had been streamed over 1.2 billion times on Spotify worldwide.
The Awards and Nominations of Hold My Hand
Hold My Hand was not only a commercial success but also a critical success, earning several awards and nominations from various organizations and ceremonies. The song was recognized for its quality, impact, and relevance to the film. Some of the most notable accolades that Hold My Hand received are:
- Academy Award for Best Original Song: Hold My Hand won the prestigious Oscar at the 95th Academy Awards, held on March 12, 2023. It was Lady Gaga’s fourth nomination and second win in this category, after Til It Happens to You from The Hunting Ground (2016), Shallow from A Star Is Born (2019), which she won, and I’ll Never Love Again from A Star Is Born (2020). The song faced competition from Applause by Sofia Carson from Tell It Like a Woman, Lift Me Up by Rihanna from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Naatu Naatu by Anirudh Ravichander and Amit Trivedi from RRR, and This Is a Life by Karen O from Everything Everywhere All at Once. Lady Gaga performed the song in a stripped-down rendition at the ceremony, accompanied by a piano and a string quartet.
- Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song: Hold My Hand also won the Golden Globe at the 80th Golden Globe Awards, held on January 8, 2023. It was Lady Gaga’s second nomination and win in this category, after Shallow, which she also won. The song competed with the same songs as at the Oscars, except for Naatu Naatu, which was replaced by The Way I Am by Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell from The Power of the Dog. Lady Gaga did not attend the ceremony due to scheduling conflicts with her Chromatica Ball tour, but she sent a video message thanking the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and her fans for the award.
- Grammy Award for Best Pop Solo Performance: Hold My Hand was nominated for the Grammy at the 65th Grammy Awards, held on February 12, 2023. It was Lady Gaga’s fifth nomination in this category, after Til It Happens to You, Shallow, I’ll Never Love Again, and Rain on Me with Ariana Grande (2021), which she won. The song faced competition from Good 4 U by Olivia Rodrigo, Montero (Call Me By Your Name) by Lil Nas X, Positions by Ariana Grande, and Willow by Taylor Swift. Lady Gaga did not perform the song live at the ceremony, but she sent a video message thanking the Recording Academy and her fans for the nomination.
- Critics’ Choice Movie Award for Best Original Song: Hold My Hand was nominated for the Critics’ Choice Award at the 28th Critics’ Choice Awards, held on January 15, 2023. It was Lady Gaga’s second nomination in this category, after Shallow, which she also won. The song vied with Applause, Lift Me Up, This Is a Life, and You Will Be Found by Ben Platt and Amandla Stenberg from Dear Evan Hansen. Lady Gaga did perform the song at the ceremony, but she accepted the award via satellite from London, where she was performing at Wembley Stadium as part of her tour.
- Satellite Award for Best Song: Hold My Hand won the Satellite Award at the 26th Satellite Awards, held on December 18, 2022. It was Lady Gaga’s first win in this category, after being nominated twice before for Til It Happens to You and Shallow. The song beat out Applause, Lift Me Up, The Way I Am by Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell from The Power of the Dog, and You Will Be Found by Ben Platt and Amandla Stenberg from Dear Evan Hansen. Lady Gaga did not attend the ceremony, but she sent a video message thanking the International Press Academy and her fans for the award.
Hold My Hand is a song that showcases Lady Gaga’s talent, versatility, and passion as a singer, songwriter, and producer. It is a song that captures the essence of Top Gun: Maverick as well as the spirit of the original Top Gun film. It is a song that speaks to anyone who has ever felt lost or alone and who needs someone to hold their hand and tell them that everything will be okay.
It is a song that celebrates the power of love and friendship to overcome any obstacle, touching millions of people around the world, and has earned numerous accolades and recognition. It is a song that will be remembered as one of Lady Gaga’s best and most iconic songs. It is a song that will make you feel hopeful and inspired. It is a song that will make you want to hold someone’s hand.