He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother

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.

Musing on another proverb I concluded we should:

  • Recognise the need – see our world as it is.
  • Take Responsibility for that need – not leave it to someone else
  • Respond to the need – take appropriate action

The song makes it personal. I am caring for my brother.

In 1884 James Wells, moderator of the Church of Scotland, told of a little girl carrying a baby boy. Seeing her struggling someone asked if she was tired. She replied, ‘No, he’s not heavy, he’s my brother.’

So on we go

His welfare is 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

Yesterday’s paper gave many examples. People had recognised, taken responsibility and responded to local needs.

Sam and the team at the Lowestoft foodbank have responded to the 112% increase in demand.

Jordan supported his friend George, whose mum had died of cancer. He raised £1,100 for a charity for bereaved children.

Galton, a Michelin starred chef, donated ingredients, prepared, cooked and served meals in a local hospital.

It is John Wesley’s rule for Christian living:

“Do All the Good You Can,

By All the Means You Can,

In All the Ways You Can,

In All the Places You Can,

At All the Times You Can,

To All the People You Can,

As long as Ever …

… You Can!”

It is the teaching and example of Jesus who recognised, took responsibility for, and responded to the needs around him.

And the load

Doesn’t weigh me down at all

He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother.


Based around Proverbs 24:11-12:

‘Rescue those being led away to death

Hold back those staggering towards slaughter

If you say, ‘But we know nothing about this.’

Does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?’

‘He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother’ by Bobby Scott and Bob Russell (1969)

Eastern Daily Press May 9th

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