Reader Michael called my attention to this Playing for Change video which is not only a fantastic rendition of a famous song—a song that turns 51 this year (not 50, as the video notes state below)—but also shows how music can bring people together, at least for one song. I wish we could somehow leverage that to make people stop demonizing each other in general. The YouTube notes:
We’re excited to share our newest Song Around The World, “The Weight,” featuring musicians performing together across 5 continents. Great songs can travel everywhere bridging what divides us and inspiring us to see how easily we all get along when the music plays. Special thanks to our partner Cambria® for helping to make this possible and to Robbie Robertson, Ringo Starr and all the musicians for joining us in celebrating 50 years of this classic song.
Playing For Change is a movement created to inspire and connect the world through music, born from the shared belief that music has the power to break down boundaries and overcome distances between people. Our primary focus is to record and film musicians performing in their natural environments and combine their talents and cultural power in innovative videos we call Songs Around the World. Creating these videos motivated us to form the Playing For Change Band—a tangible, traveling representation of our mission, featuring musicians met along our journey; and establish the Playing For Change Foundation—a separate 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to building music and art schools for children around the world. Through these efforts, we aim to create hope and inspiration for the future of our planet. Learn more: http://playingforchange.com #iPlayForChange #SongAroundTheWorld
The song was written by Robbie Robertson of The Band, with percussion by Ringo Starr and then a whole lot of musicians from around the world joining in, playing instruments that include the oud, the piano, an electric ukulele, and the sitar. It’s not just a heartwarming act of cooperation, but also kickass music.
As for what the song means, well, go here—but it hardly matters. Note, though, that song has been up for two weeks and has only 830 views on YouTube? What gives? Go over and give it some love.