Left Hand Free
alt-J Lyrics


Jump to: Overall Meaning ↴  Line by Line Meaning ↴

Ain't shady, baby, I'm hot like the prodigal son
Pick a petal, eenie meenie miney moe
And, flower, you're the chosen one

Well, your left hand's free
And your right's in a grip
With another left hand
Watch his right hand slip
Towards his gun, oh, no (oh)

I tackle, we tussle and, oh my days, we're rolling
My right hand's gripped on his Colt single-action army, oh no

Well, your left hand's free
And your right's in a grip
With another left hand
Watch his right hand slip
Towards his gun, oh, no (oh)

N-E-O, O-M-G, gee whiz
Girl, you're the one for me
Though your man's bigger than I am
Oh my days, he disagrees, oh, no (oh, speak easy)

Well, my left hand's free (oh)
Well, my left hand's free (oh)
Well, my left hand's free (oh), oh no

Ain't shady, baby, I'm hot like the prodigal son
Pick a petal, eenie meenie miney moe
And, flower, you're the chosen one

Well, your left hand's free (oh)
Well, my left hand's free (oh)
Well, my left hand's free (oh)




Well, my left hand's free (oh)
Well, my left hand's free (oh) oh, no

Overall Meaning

The lyrics of "Left Hand Free" by alt-J seem playful and nonsensical at first glance, but on deeper inspection, they reveal a darker meaning. The opening line, "Ain't shady, baby, I'm hot like the prodigal son," implies that the singer is confident and invincible, like the Biblical character who returned home triumphant. However, the use of the word "shady" suggests that the singer is less than trustworthy - he may be lying or hiding something. When the singer picks a petal with "eenie meenie miney moe" to choose his lover, it reinforces this theme of light-hearted superficiality masking something more sinister.


The second verse describes a physical altercation, and the line "watch his right hand slip towards his gun" reveals that the singer is participating in a violent confrontation. But the chorus remains upbeat and carefree, encouraging the listener to revel in the freedom of their left hand while ignoring the potential danger of their right.


The final verse introduces a new character, the "girl" who is the chosen one. The singer uses a series of internet acronyms ("N-E-O, O-M-G, gee whiz") to describe his attraction to her, but acknowledges that her current partner disagrees with his advances. The repeated phrase "well, my left hand's free" implies that the singer is ready and willing to fight for what he wants, no matter the cost.


Line by Line Meaning

Ain't shady, baby, I'm hot like the prodigal son
I'm not a shady character, baby, I've got an air of excitement about me like the prodigal son who returns home after being rebellious and going on adventures.


Pick a petal, eenie meenie miney moe
Choose a petal, do a game of chance, it doesn't matter how you decide.


And, flower, you're the chosen one
And now, flower, you're the one who's been selected/chosen.


Well, your left hand's free
You have one free hand and aren't fully restrained.


And your right's in a grip
Your right hand is being held/tightly gripped.


With another left hand
Another person/yourself (left-handed) has a free hand.


Watch his right hand slip
Be aware that he may attempt to draw his gun with his right hand despite being held.


Towards his gun, oh, no (oh)
He's going for his gun which is a dire situation, oh no!


I tackle, we tussle and, oh my days, we're rolling
I take him down, we're struggling and we're both wrestling on the ground.


My right hand's gripped on his Colt single-action army, oh no
I grabbed his Colt single-action army with my right hand, oh no!


N-E-O, O-M-G, gee whiz
I'm writing/saying nonsense to avoid swearing (NEO = new, OMG = oh my god, gee whiz = gosh).


Girl, you're the one for me
Girl, you're the one I want to be with.


Though your man's bigger than I am
Even though your significant other is physically larger than me.


Oh my days, he disagrees, oh, no (oh, speak easy)
Oh no, he doesn't approve and it's a dangerous (speak easy) situation.


Well, my left hand's free (oh)
My left hand is free and I am not fully restrained.


Well, my left hand's free (oh)
My left hand is still free and I am not fully restrained.


Well, my left hand's free (oh), oh no
My left hand is still free but it's still a tense situation.


Ain't shady, baby, I'm hot like the prodigal son
I am still not a shady character, baby, and I still feel like the prodigal son in terms of adventure.


Pick a petal, eenie meenie miney moe
Choose a petal, do a game of chance, it doesn't matter how you decide.


And, flower, you're the chosen one
And now, flower, you're the one who's been selected/chosen.


Well, your left hand's free (oh)
Your left hand continues to be free.


Well, my left hand's free (oh)
My left hand is still free.


Well, my left hand's free (oh)
My left hand is still free.


Well, my left hand's free (oh)
My left hand is still free.


Well, my left hand's free (oh) oh, no
My left hand is still free but the situation is still precarious.




Lyrics © O/B/O APRA AMCOS
Written by: AUGUSTUS UNGER HAMILTON, JOE NEWMAN, THOMAS GREEN

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
To comment on or correct specific content, highlight it

Genre not found
Artist not found
Album not found
Song not found
Most interesting comment from YouTube:

@kittythornton4472

The Outer Banks...
Paradise on Earth.

And that's me.
John Booker Routledge.
And this is where I live, it's the sort of place where you either have two jobs or two houses.
Two tribes, one island.

That's my crew. We're the working class who make a living busing tables, running charters... And our mission this summer is to have a good time all the time.

"guys, I think there's a boat down there..."

"this was my father's..."



"my dad is missing. You don't know what it's like to have the person closest to you vanish."


"you deserve to know the truth.



"I know this sounds crazy, okay... But I'm pretty sure he got away with 400 million in gold"


"we're gonna be filthy rich man."



"you guys ready to jack some loot?"

"woogity woogity woogity"



"you kids don't think you're the only ones after the Royal Merchant, now do you?"



"what are you, a fugitive, John B?"

"fugitive-adjacent... I'm on a treasure hunt."

Laughs "oh, you're serious."



"if they're willing to kill for the gold then it's gotta be out there, JJ"

"Have you lost your mind?! If you keep going down this road, you're going to end up just like your dad!"




"I know you have feelings for John B, but, sweetheart, he's dangerous."




"I can't pretend like this isn't real"


"you're in way over you're head"



Finding it... That's where you're fun ends.

That's where all your problems begin.



All comments from YouTube:

@averymae2290

“the outer banks, paradise on earth”

@robbie5021

and that’s me, john buccarellich

@avam4129

yeah i said it hahaha

@robbie5021

Samantha Kessens idek i just sounded it out like my second grade teacher told me

@sydneybooker5519

robbie lester I’m pretty sure it’s John Booker routledge idk tho no shade

@robbie5021

Sydney Booker waif that makes so much more sense your right

250 More Replies...

@paulamozolli

This song makes me want to live a badass adventure

@apexprofessionalhoning716

Paula Mozolli or get into a fight

@kelbipierce905

soooooo... obx?

@aidang670

cause of outer banks?

More Comments

More Versions