Baby Can I Hold You

"Baby Can I Hold You"
Single by Tracy Chapman
from the album Tracy Chapman
B-side "Across The Lines"
"If Not Now..."
"Mountains O' Things" (Live)
Released October 1, 1988
Genre Contemporary folk
Length 3:14
Label Elektra/Asylum Records
Writer(s) Tracy Chapman
Producer(s) David Kershenbaum
Tracy Chapman singles chronology
"Talkin' 'bout a Revolution"
"Baby Can I Hold You"

"Baby Can I Hold You" is the third single released by the American contemporary folk artist Tracy Chapman, released in late 1988. The song reached the top fifty in the United States, unlike its predecessor, "Talkin' 'bout a Revolution", but it failed to become Chapman's second top forty hit, peaking at #48. It did, however, give her a second chart entry on the US Adult Contemporary charts, peaking at #19 in early 1989. (Her first adult contemporary hit was "Fast Car", which reached #7 on the AC charts.) Given the commercial decline Chapman suffered following the release of her second album Crossroads, "Baby Can I Hold You" also became her last top fifty hit until 1996's "Give Me One Reason".

Neil Diamond recorded the song for his 1989 album, The Best Years of Our Lives, and became the first of many artists to cover the song.[1] Chapman subsequently re-recorded the song as a duet with Luciano Pavarotti for the CD Pavarotti and Friends for Cambodia and Tibet. And it was re-released as a single in promotion of the hits package Collection which reached #3 in the United Kingdom in 2001. In 1989 the song was notably covered by Jamaican reggae singer Sanchez, and the version became a staple in dance clubs internationally and is still widely played on America urban radio stations.


Chart (1988/1989)[2] Peak
US Billboard Hot 100 48
US Adult Contemporary 19
Australia (ARIA)[3] 68

Boyzone version

"Baby Can I Hold You" / "Shooting Star"
Single by Boyzone
from the album Where We Belong
Released November 24, 1997
Genre Pop
Label Polydor
Writer(s) Tracy Chapman
Producer(s) Stephen Lipson
Boyzone singles chronology
"Picture of You"
"Baby Can I Hold You"
"All That I Need"

In 1997, the Irish boy band Boyzone released a cover of "Baby Can I Hold You" as a double A-side with the non-album track "Shooting Star". "Baby Can I Hold You" thus became their second single from their third studio album, Where We Belong. The single, like "Picture of You" before it, peaked at #2 on the official UK singles chart and stayed in the top 75 for fourteen weeks. The song was the 26th best selling single of 1997 in the United Kingdom. The song was the 9th biggest selling boyband single of the 90's in the United Kingdom. The song has received a Gold sales status certification for sales of over 400,000 copies in the United Kingdom and has appeared on compilations of Boyzone's work. The song reappeared on lead singer Ronan Keating's greatest-hits compilation 10 Years of Hits.

Track listing

  1. "Baby Can I Hold You" (7" Edit) – 3:16
  2. "Shooting Star" – 4:13
  3. "Mystical Experience" – 4:10
  4. "Mystical Experience" (Remix) – 4:36
CD2 (In Limited Edition Digipak)
  1. "Baby Can I Hold You" (7" Edit) – 3:16
  2. "Shooting Star" (Radio Edit) – 4:11
  3. "Words" (Spanglish Version) – 4:04
  4. "From Here To Eternity" – 3:54


Chart (1997) Peak
Danish Singles Chart[4] 2
Irish Singles Chart[5] 2
Scottish Singles Chart[6] 2
UK Singles Chart[7] 2
Finnish Singles Chart[4] 15
Chart (1998) Peak
New Zealand Singles Chart[4] 11
Swedish Singles Chart[4] 12
Swiss Singles Chart[4] 17
French Singles Chart[4] 26
Belgian (Flanders) Singles Chart[4] 31
Austrian Singles Chart[4] 39
Dutch Singles Chart[4] 43
Australian Singles Chart[4] 56
German Singles Chart[8] 80

End of year charts

End of year chart (1997) Position
UK Singles Chart 26

Ronan Keating version

"Baby Can I Hold You"
Single by Ronan Keating
from the album 10 Years of Hits
Released July 11, 2005
Format CD single, digital download
Recorded 2004
Genre Pop
Length 3:14
Label Polydor Records
Writer(s) Tracy Chapman
Producer(s) Steve Mac
Ronan Keating singles chronology
"Father and Son"
"Baby Can I Hold You"
"All Over Again"

In 2005, Boyzone frontman Ronan Keating released his own cover of "Baby Can I Hold You" as the third and final single from his greatest hits compilation, 10 Years of Hits. It became the second song that he originally recorded with Boyzone to be re-released for his own solo career. In the United Kingdom, the single was only released via digital download and thus it failed to chart. In Germany, the single received a full-scale release and peaked at #42 on the German Singles Chart.

Track listing

Digital download
  1. "Baby Can I Hold You" – 3:14
German CD single[9]
  1. "Baby Can I Hold You" (German Radio Mix) – 3:10
  2. "Baby Can I Hold You" (Live & Acoustic) – 3:09
  3. "This Is Your Song" (Live At Wembley Arena) – 4:38
  4. "Life Is A Rollercoaster" (Live & Acoustic) – 3:47


Chart (2005) Peak
German Singles Chart[10] 42


  1. "Baby Can I Hold You" from SecondHandSongs
  2. Artist Chart History:
  3. "25 Years Ago This Week: February 26, 1989". Retrieved 2015-09-22.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Steffen Hung. "Boyzone - Baby Can I Hold You". Archived from the original on 2012-10-24. Retrieved 2012-07-24.
  5. "" Archived July 21, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.. Note: User must define search parameter as "Boyzone". (Retrieved August 5, 2013)
  6. Scottish Singles Chart (Retrieved August 25, 2008)
  7. UK Singles Chart (Retrieved August 25, 2008)
  8. "Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts, News, Neuerscheinungen, Tickets, Genres, Genresuche, Genrelexikon, Künstler-Suche, Musik-Suche, Track-Suche, Ticket-Suche". Retrieved 2012-07-24.
  9. "Baby Can I Hold You: Musik". 1970-01-01. Retrieved 2012-07-24.
  10. "". Retrieved 2012-07-24.
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