Tuesday, March 12, 2013

"The Weight"--A Classic Already?

From the Huffington Post, all together now:
In 1968, "The Weight" was a rock song, but since then, Aretha Franklin and Duane Allman have shown us that it's an R&B song; Mavis Staples has shown us that it's a gospel song; Gillian Welch and Old Crow Medicine Show have shown us that it's a bluegrass song; Waylon Jennings has shown us that it's a country song; Weezer has shown us that it's an alternative song; Al Kooper and Mike Bloomfield have shown us that it's a blues song; and Cassandra Wilson has shown us that it's a jazz song. In the past 44 years, "The Weight" has lent itself to nearly every cultural context and musical genre in this country because it is infinitely singable. Like all great traditional songs, there's nothing so esoteric about "The Weight" that makes it unattainable to the audience, and it has a chorus that allows us to all sing our own small part in a much bigger song.

The beauty of countless versions of "The Weight" is what's shared among them: despite the musical form the song has taken, everybody in the audience sings along, and everybody sings along together.

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