Oratorical Piece: Dirty Hands


I’m proud of my dirty hands.  Yes, they are dirty.  And they are  rough and knobby and calloused.  And I’m proud of the dirt and the knobs and the calluses.  I didn’t get them that way by playing bridge or drinking afternoon tea out of dainty cups, or playing the well-advertised Good Samaritan at charity balls.

I got them that way by working with them, and I’m proud of the work and the dirt.  Why shouldn’t I feel proud of the work they do – these dirty hands of mine?

My hands are the hands of plumbers, of truck drivers and street cleaners; of carpenters; engineers, machinists and workers in steel.

They are not pretty hands, they are dirty and knobby and calloused. But they are strong hands, hands that make so much that the world must have or die.

Someday, I think, the world should go down on its knees and kiss all the dirty hands of the working world, as in the days long past, armored knights would kiss the hands of ladies fair.  I’m proud of my dirty hands.  The world has kissed such hands.  The world will always kiss such hands.  Men and women put reverent lips to the hands of Him who held the hammer and the saw and the plane.  His weren’t pretty hands either when they chopped trees, dragged rough lumber, and wielded carpenter’s tools. They were workingman’s hands – strong, capable proud hands.  And weren’t pretty hands when the executioners got through them.  They were torn right clean through by ugly nails, and the blood was running from them, and the edges of the wounds were raw and dirty and swollen; and the joints were crooked and the fingers were horribly bent in a mute appeal for love.

They weren’t pretty hands then, but, Oh God, they were beautiful – those hands of the Savior.  I’m proud of those dirty hands, hands of my Savior, hands of God.

And I’m proud of my hands too, dirty hands, like the hands of my Savior, the Hands of my God!


by John P. Delaney S.J.

39 Responses to Oratorical Piece: Dirty Hands

  1. XDXD music9603 says:

    like this oration!! :DD heeyy wish me luck tomorrow/ the day after tomorrow. i’ll be reciting this! 😀

  2. XDXD music9603 says:

    WEE!~~ DiRTY HANDS is very difficult to memorize especially when it comes to the 5th paragraph which starts with “Someday….”

  3. XDXD music9603 says:


  4. XDXD music9603 says:


  5. achiever707 says:

    goodluck to you…..i’m still having a hard time here finding the best oration speech for me…….hope i can find as soon as possible^_^!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. john says:

    ara david oh…very short oration..nice pa..

  7. john says:

    hey david!try that one!so short and so nice!hehe

  8. john says:

    it really reflects on ur personality david!hahahaha

  9. I’m proud also of my dirty hands!

  10. almira says:

    ang hirp irecite mhaba pero kkyanin ko 2 buks…

  11. i reli like the message of this piece….

  12. urgh…..i think memorizing and reciting this in front of my classmates would be hard but i’ll try my very very best!pls. pray for meh!

  13. kristeldelrio says:

    who is the author of this??

  14. Edmar says:

    It is a very beautiful piece when i was only in grade 5 i join declamation contest and this is the topic i won 1st runner up

  15. shelbeth says:

    gudluck to my oration…. i like it!!!! muwwah!!!!!!!!!

  16. kariz wyll says:

    whew! may oration na rin ako sa wajas!

  17. darwin says:

    nice piece..this is our final exam which is the oratorical piece..i hope i can do it..

  18. Angel says:

    Help me and also pray for me 😀
    I will also recite this ..

  19. annekoh says:

    can you make one for me??/

  20. Jino says:

    I might use this…

  21. kimmy says:

    i got 7days to look 4 a beautiful oratorical
    piece..ned help

  22. earl says:

    can you please make one for me about english language?

  23. thirdz says:

    i will recite this tommorrow for our final exam T__T..please pray for me guys!

  24. DanielColdHeart says:

    Good Luck to me! I hope I can do it!

  25. _cuterose says:

    and i’m proud of my dirty hands toooooo…..

  26. James says:

    Pwede ba tong declamation?

  27. akazumi says:

    oration ba to?

  28. yuki-chan says:

    ang haba pero kailangan ko itong kakayanin para may oration ako sa wednesday..

    ang ganda ng oration huh?..

    Pero.. baka sasawayin sa kaklase mo na eww.. proud ka pala sa marumi mong kamay? eww..

  29. noemae oreas says:

    i love that …..
    its very nice…..
    the meaning of each words ….
    the whole words use in it….

  30. Julie says:

    Good Luck to me! Thank God i’m done memorizing this wonderful Piece.

  31. yaszy me says:

    Whew! Ipapa orate co to sa BOYFRIEND (kaibigana lalaki)co .nice kase ee :)

  32. james says:

    sa FRIDAY na recitation namin!

  33. norie says:

    can i have this oration piece of yours ? just for my presentation for the class.. n
    thanks .. !!

  34. biyakuya009 says:

    hset goodluck sakin :( hirap amp!

  35. jshdjdjdii says:

    pang high school po b itong declamtion piece na t?

  36. jshdjdjdii says:

    pang high school po b itong declamtion piece na t?

  37. hey this is the one I’ve been looking for in the oratorical in school this is also the oratorical of my cousin awesome

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