The Weight

Lyrics: Robbie Robertson
Music: Robbie Robertson

Played frequently by the Grateful Dead in the early 90s, nearly always as an encore with different band members taking each verse (note 1). Revived by The Dead in 2004, with Bob Weir and Warren Haynes sharing vocals.

I pulled in to Nazareth, was feeling 'bout 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 Fanny
Take a load for free
Take a load off Fanny
And ... you put the load right on me

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 down town
She said I got to go, but my friend can stick around (note 2)


Go down Miss Moses, there's nothing you can say
It's just old Luke, and Luke's waiting for the judgement day
Well Luke my friend what about young Anna Lee (note 3)
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 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


Catch a cannonball 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

(1) when I saw the Dead play this in London on 30 Oct 1990, Jerry sang the first verse, Bruce (?or Vince) sang the second, Phil the third, Bobby the fourth, with all singing the last verse. I'm not sure how much this varied in other performances.
(2) sometimes "... can stay around" in the Dead's version
(3) Phil sang "... Miss Anna Lee" on at least some occasions. In the next line, he sometimes sang "... do me a favor, boy."

Grateful Dead Recordings
     Date Album
     28 Mar 1990 Spring 1990 (The Other One)
      2 Apr 1990 Spring 1990
     18 Jul 1990 Dave's Picks Volume 40
     17 Jun 1991 Giants Stadium 1987, 1989, 1991 Boxed Set (CD and DVD)
     25 Jun 1993 (official YouTube video only)
Other Dead-related Recordings
     Date Album Recorded By
     14 Oct 1969 Dawn Of The New Riders Of The Purple Sage New Riders Of The Purple Sage
      5 Jun 1970 Dawn Of The New Riders Of The Purple Sage New Riders Of The Purple Sage
      2 Jul 1971 NRPS New Riders Of The Purple Sage
     30 Oct 1971 Glendale Train New Riders Of The Purple Sage
     2017 Blackberry Smoke with Bob Weir: An Evening at TRI Blackberry Smoke

For an interesting commentary on the lyrics, see Peter Viney's article.

Further Information
For more information on recordings see Matt Schofield's Grateful Dead Family Discography
For online chords and TAB see


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