Friday, September 26, 2014

...With Many a Winding Turn


I never really gave this song much thought, but could remember the first few words and then hum along with the rest.  Being a young adult and seeing nothing but the hopes, love and life ahead, this song didn't mean much to me.


I know this song has been done in different ways, by different artists.  I believe the well-known version was done by Neil Diamond.  The recording and video below means more to me, at this stage of my life.



After writing You Just Write to Me and thinking about the sacrifices made in war and in daily life to carry those whom we love, this song resonated, taking on a deeper meaning.

The lyrics? Can you hear them?  Understand them?  Here they are:


The road is long/ with many a winding turn
That leads us to who knows where/who knows when.
But I’m strong/strong enough to carry him.
He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother.

So on we go/his welfare is of my concern.
No burden is he to bear/we’ll get there.
For I know/he would not encumber me.
He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother.

If I’m laden at all/I’m laden with sadness
That everyone’s heart/isn’t filled with gladness
Of love for one another.

It’s a long, long road/from which there is no return
While we’re on the way to there/why not share
And the load/doesn’t weigh me down at all.
He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother


He’s my brother…He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother...


Do you remember this song?  What were you doing when it first appeared (1970s)?  What does this song mean to you now? Have you ever "carried" someone?  Has someone ever "carried" you? 


24 comments:

  1. I've carried and been carried - we're supposed to do that for each other.

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  2. It's give and take on the long road....we are supposed to lift each other up.

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    1. I am so thankful when someone carries me. And I am privileged to carry someone else.

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  3. Many times along the road we'll be the carrier or the carry-ee

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    1. Life is a bumpy road. everyone will experience both.

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  4. Have to accept help and give it where we can

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    1. Sometimes it's hard to accept the help needed. Something about pride, perhaps.Giving is easier that receiving.

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  5. I DO remember that song but only the first line or two stuck in my head and I was only in grade school. The bliss of childhood meant I had no clue what it meant that "he ain't heavy , he's my brother" (and I had only sisters, so not even the sibling connection was relatable). But oh yes, I've been carried and I've carried many times, many people, many loads. Right now I am carrying my daughter as her current load is feeling like she'll end up a spinster when her heart's desire is to be married and have a family.

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    1. My prayers will be your daughter will meet the husband God has prepared for her.

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  6. This song has been a part of my consciousness and my ethos for as long as I can remember.
    I would rather carry than be carried - but both are a part of life. And walking together is the aim.

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    1. Being carried requires one to ask for help, to drop pride away.
      And you are correct:both are part of life. And walking together is the aim.

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    1. After I read the lyrics and watched these older musicians perform the song, I was weeping with you.

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  8. Dear Susan, I went back and read the two postings about the letter and Vincent. I'm wondering if you are in the midst of writing a novel about World War II. Are you? You surely have me wondering just what is in the letter the Ave Maria woman sings and what happened to the men Ben rescued.

    As to the song, I can't remember what I was doing when it was released but I always remembered that the idea came from Boys' Town in Omaha. When I was a child, Father Flanagan sent out stickers for Christmas from Boy's Town and on them was a boy of about ten with a younger child on his back. And the ten-year-old is saying, "He ain't heavy, Father. He's my brother." Even then I got tears in my eyes. Peace.

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    1. The song originated from Boys' Town? That makes so much sense.

      As I research more into my family's history, one person will pop up for me to find, and then another. WW2 affected my parents' generation, and finding out more helps me to understand my parents more.

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  9. I have a cousin who, many years ago, taught at Boys' Town. I went to visit and got a t-shirt with the "He ain't heavy" quote on the front.

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    1. I wonder, wonder. Where are those boys now? What has happened to them? Where are those compassionate teachers? What could they write about their time there?

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  10. I only know The Hollies version, I didn't know Neil Diamond had done one too.
    I've done my share of carrying, as for being carried, sometimes we are but don't recognise it for the support it is until later.

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    1. Looking back and putting pieces together we can see how much we were held & carried. God has the bigger picture, gives us what we need to follow the road.

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  11. I like the Hollies version the best. And I think it's one of the best songs ever written.

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    1. As do I! It has lasted 40 years, still is relative to all generations.

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  12. It was a woman who sang this when I first heard it. I believe it was Olivia Newton John. And yep, the lyrics are much more meaningful as an older adult than they were when I first heard them as a child.

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    1. The life experiences affirm the value of the song.

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Go ahead...it won' t hurt...I'd love to hear what you think!