The Band - The Weight - Live 1970

The Band - The Weight - Live 1970


The Band performing live at the Syria Mosque, Pittsburgh, PA. on November 1st 1970.



"The Weight" is one of The Band's best known songs, gaining considerable album-oriented rock airplay even though it was not a significant hit single for the group in the U.S., peaking at only No. 63. After it was released, the record debuted just six days later on KHJ's "'Boss 30' records" and peaked at No. 3 there three weeks later. The Band's recording also fared well in Canada and the UK – in those countries, the single was a top 40 hit, peaking at No. 35 in Canada and No. 21 in the UK in 1968.


The inspiration for and influences affecting the composition of "The Weight" came from the music of the American South, the life experiences of band members, particularly Levon Helm, and movies of filmmakers Ingmar Bergman and Luis Buñuel.


The original members of The Band performed "The Weight" as an American Southern folk song with country music (vocals, guitars and drums) and gospel music (piano and organ) elements. The lyrics, written in the first-person, are about a traveler's experiences arriving, visiting, and departing a town called Nazareth. According to Robertson, this is based on Nazareth, Pennsylvania, because it was the home of Martin Guitars. He wrote the guitar parts on a 1951 Martin D-28. The singers, led by Helm, vocalize the traveler's encounters with people in the town from the perspective of a Bible Belt American Southerner, like Helm himself, a native of rural Arkansas.





Lyrics


I pulled into Nazareth, was feelin' about half past dead

I just need some place where I can lay my head

"Hey, mister, can you tell me where a man might find a bed?"

He just grinned and shook my hand, "no" was all he said


Take a load off Fanny

Take a load for free

Take a load off Fanny

And (and, and) you put the load right on me

(You put the load right on me)


I picked up my bag, I went lookin' for a place to hide

When I saw Carmen and the Devil walkin' side by side

I said, "Hey, Carmen, come on let's go downtown."

She said, "I gotta go but my friend can stick around."


Take a load off Fanny

Take a load for free

Take a load off Fanny

And (and, and) you put the load right on me

(You put the load right on me)


Go down, Miss Moses, there's nothin' you can say

It's just old Luke and Luke's waitin' on the Judgment Day

"Well, Luke, my friend, what about young Anna Lee?"

He said, "Do me a favor, son, won't you stay and keep Anna Lee company?"


Take a load off Fanny

Take a load for free

Take a load off Fanny

And (and, and) you put the load right on me

(You put the load right on me)


Crazy Chester followed me and he caught me in the fog

He said, "I will fix your rack if you take Jack, my dog."

I said, "Wait a minute, Chester, you know I'm a peaceful man."

He said, "That's OK, boy, won't you feed him when you can?"


Yeah, take a load off Fanny

Take a load for free

Take a load off Fanny

And (and, and) you put the load right on me

(You put the load right on me)


Catch a cannon ball now to take me down the line

My bag is sinkin' low and I do believe it's time

To get back to Miss Fanny, you know she's the only one

Who sent me here with her regards for everyone


Take a load off Fanny

Take a load for free

Take a load off Fanny

And (and, and) you put the load right on me

(You put the load right on me)



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