“The Weight”

To say medical school was stressful was an understatement. It was compounded by the youth of those of us who suffered through much of it. The amount of work, the first direct exposure in one’s life to the death of the critically ill and the mayhem of emergency work were our obstacles to peace of mind.

On the other hand, “Music has charms to soothe a savage breast.” The verse was spoken by a character in William Congreve’s 1697 play, “The Mourning Bride.” Even those with Alzheimer’s seem to be helped by music. Time in the outdoors soothes as well.

That is why the Florida Folk Festival which began in 1952 was such a grand relief for me in the early 70s, while in school. It was in a beautiful wooded area bordering the Suwannee River in Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park

I remember, distinctly, as I sat in those beautiful woods, listening oh so peacefully to The Weight. Today, I prefer the version by The Band and the Staple Singers viewed by 4,300,000 on YouTube. The song was composed by a member of the The Band, Robbie Robertson. Maybe you too remember his line, “Take a load off Annie…”