The road is long
With many a winding turn
That leads us to who knows where
Who knows where
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 the 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, he ain't heavy


Lyrics submitted by pablo

He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother Lyrics as written by Bobby Scott Bob Russell

Lyrics © MUSIC SALES CORPORATION

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He Ain't Heavy He's My Brother song meanings
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  • +6
    General CommentOriginally I thought like many this was a song about caring for a disabled or lost brother, but that doesn't make sense looking at the lyrics in context.

    "While we're on our way to there, why not share" "his welfare is my concern."
    - These lines speak of social conscience and selfless love and service to those less fortunate than us. We are all siblings sharing this earth for the brief time we get here.
    Rannugon February 19, 2013   Link
  • +5
    General CommentI heard this song many times over the years and always thought it was about close friendship or family, until today I heard it in a whole different way while watching a great documentary about the band. First of all, it was released after Graham Nash left the group and he was worried how they would get on without him. Then they brought out this, their first number 1 single.

    I think the song is about the way we treat each other and is offering the idea of 'brotherly love' as an alternative. The brother is you, me, everyone. The key is the third verse . If the whole song is viewed through that lens it works.

    If that's the correct interpretation, what a great song of universal love. It should be an anthem for peace.
    NWNmoonon January 24, 2013   Link
  • +3
    General CommentWhereever the title came from,i think that they're referring to the "brother" in a metaphorical sense.Its a song about friendship, about helping a friend in need, and doing it for love of that person rather than obligation i dont think it is neccessarily about a brother. Terrific song
    mike_81on August 27, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General Commentnot knowing squat about the hollies, I'm still fairly sure this great song is about carrying eachother in a more universal sense

    it's a call to everyone to care more for eachother, help eachother and offer our strength to those who lack theirs
    twittyon May 21, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General Commentcan't remember exactly but i think this song was inspired by a quote from a soldier (possilbe written on a war memorial) where one man was carrying a wounded comrade, the quote obviously being

    "He ain't heavy, he's my brother "
    bongoon October 27, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General CommentIt's a fantastic song.
    dd59714on January 17, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General Commentthis song and "bridge over troubled water" are two of the best songs ever written about friendship. they both perfectly capture what it is to be as selfless as humanly possible towards someone you deeply care for.
    boiledgooseon February 18, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI get goosebumps when I hear this song. I cant imagine anyone not liking it, the music and lyrics are perfect and universal.
    sarrakon March 19, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentSince first time I heard this song (by that country group Osmond Brothers) I think it's about carrying a brother's coffin.
    Rattu123on October 01, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAll nice ideas, they sound good, but sorry to say they are wrong, want proof?

    The title came from the motto for Boys Town, a community formed in 1917 by a Catholic priest named Father Edward Flanagan. Located in Omaha, Nebraska, it was a place where troubled or homeless boys could come for help. In 1941, Father Flanagan was looking at a magazine called The Messenger when he came across a drawing of a boy carrying a younger boy on his back, with the caption, "He ain't heavy Mr., he's my brother." Father Flanagan thought the image and phrase captured the spirit of Boys Town, so he got permission and commissioned a statue of the drawing with the inscription, "He ain't heavy Father, he's my brother." The statue and phrase became the logo for Boys Town.

    Don't beleive me? Well you could go on the net and look it up I promise you'll find this, or you could just trust a 61 year old who happened to be alive when this stuff was going on.
    jdog40on August 09, 2005   Link

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