"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 single to top the UK charts and kept George Harrison's "Got My Mind Set on You" from hitting the top spot. In 2015, the power ballad 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 its source material. 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 Rogers' 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.
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 midway between B-Flat and B Major.
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