Song of the Week: “The Weight” by The Band

by Douglas Cowie on 20 July 2012

Each Friday I pick a song–new, old, borrowed, blue–that’s been on my mind and in my ears, and write a short post about it.

 

This week’s song is “The Weight” by The Band:

I’ve loved this song for years, and I’ve been listening to The Band quite a bit since Levon Helm’s recent death.  The thing I like the most of this song is the mystery of it: what is that load that if I take it off Fanny, I put the load (put the load) right on him (right on him)?  Where’s he come from? Where’s he headed?  Also, the music is fantastic.  Greil Marcus, in his brilliant book, Mystery Train, wrote especially brilliantly about this song.  That book, incidentally, remains the best book about rock music I’ve ever read, and the chapter on Elvis, written before Elvis died, still has more to say about Elvis’s legacy than most other Elvis writing put together.

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