This week’s Rockin’ Friday is bittersweet. The Weight is one of my all time favorite songs, but this week it has extra meaning. Robbie Robertson wrote it in 1968 and it was a highlight of The Band's debut album "Music From Big Pink". Since then it has been covered countless times by artists as diverse as Aretha Franklin to the Grateful Dead, and appeared in myriad movies and TV shows.
The Weight is the tale of a man traveling around Nazareth, PA and the interesting characters he encounters in his travels like Crazy Chester, Luke and even the Devil. The song is written in a very folky style with great harmonizing on the choruses. Makes a perfect sing-along for me and my Little Dude.
This song is especially timely with yesterday’s passing of The Band’s legendary drummer Levon Helm. Levon sang lead on this song and one of my favorite lines that he sang is even timelier now:
I gotta go, but my friends can stick around
I was fortunate to see Levon in concert a year and a half ago and it was a stellar performance, especially considering that he’d battled cancer and other ailments for many years.
Levon and his giant grin will be missed.
Check out The Weight from The Band’s farewell concert “The Last Waltz”:
What does The Weight mean to you?