This week's tune is "The Weight" by The Band, their second appearance on Issa's Sunday Service. The reason it is included here is the line "Go Down, Miss Moses" is an allusion to the old African American spiritual, "Go Down Moses," and was appropriated by William Faulkner for the title of his book of the same name. Though in some ways, "The Weight" seems something of a modern retelling of the Nativity scene from the Bible, the following details from the Wikipedia article on "The Weight" are very interesting, indeed:
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. ....
In Levon Helm's autobiography, This Wheel's on Fire, 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
This week's poem from the Lilliput archive is a piece of artwork from issue #87 by the always amazing Albert Huffstickler. It speaks for itself.
timing his death
translated by David G. Lanoue