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Bob Dylan The Weight Lyrics

Last updated: 05/10/2011 11:00:00 AM

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, and "No!", was all he said.

Take a load off Annie, take a load for free;
Take a load off Annie, And (and) (and) you can 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 m'friend can stick around."


Go down, Miss Moses, there's nothin' you can say
It's just ol' Luke, and Luke's waitin' on the Judgement Day.
"Well, Luke, my friend, what about young Anna Lee?"
He said, "Do me a favor, son, woncha stay an' keep Anna Lee company?"


Crazy Chester followed me, and he caught me in the fog.
He said, "I will fix your rack, if you'll take Jack, my dog."
I said, "Wait a minute, Chester, you know I'm a peaceful man."
He said, "That's okay, boy, won't you feed him when you can."


Catch a cannon ball now, t'take me down the line
My bag is sinkin' low and I do believe it's time.
To get back to Miss Annie, you know she's the only one.
Who sent me here with her regards for everyone.


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wiki 's explanation :) | Reviewer: cagestokerblog | 5/10/11

Song theme

"The Weight" takes the folk music motif of a traveler, who in the first line arrives in Nazareth in the Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania. Years later, the band Nazareth took its name from this line. Once there, he encounters various residents of the town, the song being a story of these encounters. Nazareth is the hometown of the guitar manufacturer C. F. Martin & Company.

The residents include a man who cannot direct the traveler to a hotel, Carmen and the Devil walking side by side, "Crazy Chester," who offers a bed in exchange for the traveler taking his dog, and Luke who is dying ("waiting on Judgment Day"), leaving his young bride behind and alone.

Musically, the song shows the blending of folk parlour song harmonies in the chorus where the voices come in on the ' put the load..'

In his autobiography This Wheel's on Fire, Levon Helm explains that the people mentioned in the song were based on real people The Band knew. The "Miss Anna Lee" mentioned in the lyric is Helm's longtime friend Anna Lee Amsden.[4][5]

On August 17, 1969, The Band played "The Weight" as the 10th song in their set at Woodstock.
Robertson on "The Weight"

According to songwriter Robertson, "The Weight" was inspired by the films of Luis Buñuel, about which Robertson once said:

(Buñuel) did so many films on the impossibility of sainthood. People trying to be good in Viridiana and Nazarin, people trying to do their thing. In ‘The Weight’ it’s the same thing. People like Buñuel would make films that had these religious connotations to them but it wasn’t necessarily a religious meaning. In Buñuel there were these people trying to be good and it’s impossible to be good. In "The Weight" it was this very simple thing. Someone says, "Listen, would you do me this favour? When you get there will you say 'hello' to somebody or will you give somebody this or will you pick up one of these for me? Oh? You’re going to Nazareth, that’s where the Martin guitar factory is. Do me a favour when you’re there." This is what it’s all about. So the guy goes and one thing leads to another and it’s like "Holy Shit, what’s this turned into? I’ve only come here to say 'hello' for somebody and I’ve got myself in this incredible predicament." It was very Buñuelish to me at the time.[6]

Film and commercial play

U idiots | Reviewer: Anonymous | 3/28/11

@notsoconfused thank you for clearing that up for these idiots. Bob Dylan did not write this one. Robbie Robertson and other members of The Band.

It tells the story of a guy who visits Nazareth, and is asked by his friend Annie to visit several of her friends. "The Weight" that is his load are all these strange people he promised he would check on. Robbie Robertson made a statement that he wrote the song modeled after the work of Luis Bunuel, a Mexican director who made some of the first movies dealing with surrealism. Robertson was intrigued by the characters in his films, who were often good people who did bad things. He loved how each person had a story to tell. Anyway it saddened me to see how u idiots mangled this song's lyrics, creditbility, and meaning. U GODDAMN IDIOTS!!!!!!!!

And u idiots got the lyrics wrong. It's take a load off fanny; not Annie.

WRITTEN BY ROBBIE ROBERTSON AND THE BAND...NOT DYLAN! | Reviewer: Notsoconfused | 2/5/11

I'm sure Bob can't remember why he wrote this one...BECAUSE HE DIDN"T! It was written by The Band who were his back-up band for a period. THeir guitarist Robbie Robertson gets the credit, (and the money) but they claim to have written it together. Bob did play, and record it, but the definitive version is from The Band's album "Music From Big Pink". What it's about is still an open question but I wouldn't trust the story your mom told you.

Annie is a hooker I read this in a book my mom had | Reviewer: JC | 8/21/10

Nazareth is in Texas Annie is the town prostitute and people are making him do favors for them and paying him in " Annie "!!!!!!! Annie is laying on her back, so she is not on her feet ,"So she is taking a load off", and the load for free is him (relieving himself from not getting any for a time)for FREE,,,, When he saw Her with Carmen was the first time he saw her..since he was a church going man he knew it was wrong .So he called her the devil. ms moses is her , Parting of her red sea and a nick name for her female anatomy, Luke is his male member that he is talking to as some guys have names for the wewe..
Chester is a roadie the rack is musical equipment ,amps recorders and mixers.
jack is a dog used in dog fighting wasn't illegal then , so he says i am a peaceful man!
The cannon ball is a train from texas
it can be interpreted as a trip on drugs . Either way he is hanging out with the guys, He is all pent up from no action!thats a sinking bag its full. he has to take a load off...... and he is in the midst of fellows that also know Annie so she says Hi!

Dixie Down | Reviewer: Trey | 8/14/10

I always thought it was another civil war song, like the night they drove old dixie down. About the problems living near the mason dixon line, and how they all were preparing for death, and life during wartime.

Wanderings Through Weird and Myserious America | Reviewer: Bob Dobbs | 6/5/10

Like any Dylan song, there is never a way to decipher the true meaning of the song. Even if Dylan wrote the song with purpose, he likely would not remember at this stage the precise meaning of the song it was so long ago.

But in exploring the period of Dylan and The Band around the time of the basement tapes there was a certain fascination of a mysterious essence embedded in early America and a spirit that lingers from the horrors of the Civil War era.

This song appears to be like many, constructed of a wandering through this weird and mysterious war-torn landscape and citing events along the way.

Up in Smoke | Reviewer: Franque Klaune | 4/11/10

If you smoke a whole bunch of action, then the whole thing makes perfect sense. Unfortunately when you sober up, you've forgotten it. Actually I think the song is about what happens while you're all zipped up.

Dylan lyrics | Reviewer: Chuck Turner | 2/27/10

Song is typical of Dylan. Hardly anything he wrote had any meaning to him.
He seems to take delight in playing us for the fool. Or, perhaps, his genius is in the myriad interpretations of everything he has written. (exception to "Blowing in the Wind".

The weight | Reviewer: tjdrummer13 | 12/19/09

the first verse makes me think of homelessness and i think the weight could symbolize financial weight, or it could be more literal and actually about jesus times.....or ive even heard the theory that the weight is a metaphor for an many theorys, you would have to talk to the band themselves to set it straight.

the weight/amphatmine | Reviewer: fast eddie | 12/18/09

it always sounded like this was about meth or something. the reference to tired and such and wanting to sleep sounds like it. "annie" a reference to speed back then and I think it was Canned Heat who wrote a song "Amphetamine Annie" cause she's always shovlin' snow ..