The Weight History, Lyrics, Chords, Harmonica Tabs, and Gear and Setup
The Weight – A Quick History
The Weight, from The Band’s 1968 album, “Music From Big Pink”. Big Pink being the pink house on an isolated mountaintop in West Saugerties, New York where the album was recorded.
– one of the group’s best known songs and among the most popular songs of the late 1960s listed at #41 of Rolling Stone Magazine’s Greatest Songs of All Time.
– The song’s first line references the town of Nazareth. Years later, the rock band Nazareth took their name from this line. Nazareth is also the home town of the great guitar manufacturer, C.F. Martin and Company.
The Band Bandmembers and Instruments on the Studio Recording
Rick Danko – Bass guitar, backing vocal, lead vocal on fourth verse
Levon Helm – Drums, lead vocals
Garth Hudson – Piano
Richard Manuel – Hammond organ (mixed low), backing vocal
Robbie Robertson – Acoustic guitar
The Band – The Weight Lyrics, Guitar Chords, and Harmonica Tabs
In the video, I’m playing an original harmonica intro over the chord progression G G/F# Em D C.
The Weight music and lyrics are property and copyright of their owners and provided for educational purposes and personal use only.
If you want the real thing, use the links above.
This is my rendition, transcription, envision of an all time awesome song.
This is my own transcription and interpretation. This doesn’t necessarily exactly match the original.
Harmonica Intro and Fills – use a G harmonica
7 7 7 7 -8 8 7 6 -6 7
7 7 7 7 -8 8 7 6 -6 6 5 -6 6 5
G Bm C G
I pulled into Nazareth, was feelin’ about half past dead
7 7 7 7 8 8 8 8 8 -8 7 7 7 7 7
G Bm C G
I just need some place where I can lay my head.
7 7 8 8 8 8 -8 7 7 7 -10 9
G Bm C G
“Hey, mister, can you tell me where a man might find a bed?”
-10 -10 9 9 9 -10 8 8 8 -8 7 7 7 7
G Bm C G
He just grinned and shook my hand, and “No!”, was all he said.
7 7 7 7 8 8 8 8 -8 7 7 7 7
G G/F# C G G/F# C
Take a load off Fanny, take a load for free
9 9 9 -10 7 7 9 9 -10 7 8
G G/F# C
Take a load off Fanny, And you can put the load right on me.
9 9 9 -10 7 7 7 78 789 7 7 7 7 8 8 8 7
G G/F# Em D C
(Chords and Harmonica continue in same manner – trust your ear)
I picked up my bag, I went looking for a place to hide
When I saw Carmen and the Devil walking side by side.
I said, “Hey, Carmen, come on, let’s go downtown.”
She said, “I gotta go, but my friend can stick around.”
Go down, Miss Moses, there’s nothin’ you can say
It’s just ol’ Luke, and Luke’s waiting on the Judgement 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?”
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, to take me down the line
My bag is sinking 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.
Setup and Gear
In the video, I am playing my
Takamine Acoustic-Electric Guitar Natural very similar to the picture to the left.
I bought this guitar in Charlotte, NC about 10 years ago at a great price. I had heard alot of good things about Takamine guitars and had tried a couple which I really liked so when I needed an affordable stage setup, I bought the guitar, hard-shell case, fender deluxe 90 amp, and an assortment of accessories for under a thousand bucks.
I like the rounded profile that is narrow at the waist and broad behind the bridge. This creates a soundboard with balanced frequency response – deep bass, clear treble, and a sweet, round midrange that projects well.
It includes 3-band graphic EQ and built-in tuner which is really handy.
From Takamine, “Built to Takamine designs in some of the most modern guitar shops in the world, G-series instruments are priced for every budget. The G-series guitar is every bit Takamine, from its acoustic performance to the latest in pickup and preamp design. These guitars are crafted from the finest handpicked tonewoods, hand-crafted by expert luthiers, all providing players with unmatched excellence and surprising affordability”
The Hohner Special 20 Harmonica has been my harmonica of choice for a long time. They are just easy to play, easy to bend and sound great. They are excellent harmonicas for someone just starting out but are also played by pros in all types of venues worldwide.
In The Weight, I am playing a
Hohner 560 Special 20 Harmonica G.
From Hohner, “The Special 20 is the go-to harp for harmonica players of any style, including blues, country, folk, or rock. The Special 20 delivers the coveted Marine Band sound and offers the benefits of its plastic comb: it doesn’t absorb moisture so it won’t swell, shrink, or crack; it lasts longer and is more airtight than wood combs that can become swollen, twisted, and warped; airtight construction provides increased responsiveness; plastic provides comfort and it’s smoother on the lips, preventing chafing”.
I made my first harmonica holder out of an old wire coat hanger. It wasn’t beautiful but it worked and put me on the road to earning my McGyver certificate at an early age.
For me now, a comfortable and properly fitting harmonica holder is a must for hands free harmonica playing. This Hohner Harmonica Neck Holder works great for me.
Another harmonica holder that you may want to try that has gotten great reviews is the
Lee Oskar Harmonica Holder. You can also check out other harmonica holders on my George’s Harp Shop page.
I hope you enjoyed the video. Please leave a comment below and tell a friend.
Here’s to more music. Cheers. Peace.