The Pegasus Awards

Madame Curie's Hands

Duane Elms

Pegasus Award

Award Year Category
1992 Best Tribute

This is a tribute not only to Mme. Curie, but to pioneers everywhere. Actually, I have no knowledge of the state of her hands, but it seemed reasonable that with limited knowledge of the dangers of radiation and constant handling of radioactives, something bad might happen. - Duane Elms

You can view other songs by Duane at his website at

Madame Curie's Hands

Copyright 1987 Duane Elms- All Rights Reserved
Lyrics posted by permission of the author
Tune: Leader of the Band, Dan Fogelberg

A young and headstrong lady, was Madame Marie Curie,
And radiation was the field she studied selflessly.
She didn't know the dangers, as she worked long nights alone,
And spent her health to open up the secrets of the stone.

Now nature has no honor and the gamma ray no soul,
They cut her hands to pieces as she labored toward her goal.
The skin was marked and blistered and the joints were stiff and sore,
And pain was something that she barely managed to ignore.

The lady never faltered as our ignorance gave ground
And never thought about herself as knowledge there she found.
If you would wish to know the cost the search for truth demands,
You only have to take a look at Madame Curie's hands.

A desperate muse she followed when she tracked the gamma glow,
Driven not by thought of gain, but an urgent need to know.
Her life was not a long one, though she served her master well.
Leukemia was her reward, along with two Nobels.

So many souls have followed in the path the lady led,
And some returned with victory while others came back dead.
The ones who rode the shuttle and the ones who never flew,
Each paid the price with honor for the knowledge we pursue.

So thanks to all who travel down this long and deadly road,
And thanks to all who take the risks and carry mankind's load.
The way is never easy and there are no promised lands,
For those who make the sacrifice of Madame Curie's hands.
For those who choose the sacrifice of Madame Curie's hands.


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