HE AIN'T HEAVY, HE'S MY BROTHER
‘He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother’ (The Hollies - October ’69)
Possibly The Hollies most famous song. 'He ain't heavy, he's my brother,’
reached No.3 in the UK charts in Oct ’69 and featured a young Elton John on the piano.
It was composed by the American duo Bobby Scott & lyricist Bob Russell.
Russell alas was dying of lymphoma at the time and the two of them only met each other on three occasions,
but were able to complete this all time musical masterpiece.
The title stems from a book of 1884 by James Wells, Moderator of the United Free Church of Scotland
where he tells the story of a wee Scottish lass struggling down the street carrying as best she could a young lad almost her own size.
When inquired of if she was tired, she quickly replied... 'He's nay heavy, he's mi brither!’
A later 1918 publication called The Higher Powers of Mind and Spirit
by Ralph Waldo Trine also relates the very same tale.
It became a common theme in sermons for many Scottish churches in the early part
of the 20th Century.
So my picture features a young girl, a far from small brother, a church…
and lots of clues to the song!