A new video shows Robbie Robertson and Ringo Starr leading musicians from 10 different countries through a version of the Band’s classic song “The Weight.”

The performances were arranged by the Playing for Change Foundation to honor a song it said “transcends time and space.” The song and video feature artists in the U.S., Italy, Japan, DR Congo, Bahrain, Spain, Hawaii, Argentina, Nepal and Jamaica.

You can watch it below.

“We’re excited to share our newest Song Around the World, ‘The Weight,’ featuring musicians performing together across five continents,” Playing for Change said in a statement. “Great songs can travel everywhere, bridging what divides us and inspiring us to see how easily we all get along when the music plays.”

The organization added that its “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. … Through these efforts, we aim to create hope and inspiration for the future of our planet.”

Taken from the Band’s debut 1968 album Music From Big Pink, “The Weight” became a classic, even though it reached only No. 68 when released as a single. In 1991, Robertson explained that his lyrics had been inspired by the movies of Luis Bunuel, who was known for applying Biblical storylines to nonreligious characters.

“In Bunuel, there were these people trying to be good, and it's impossible to be good,” Robertson said. “In ‘The Weight,’ it was this very simple thing. Someone says, ‘Listen, would you do me this favor? When you get there will you say “hello” to somebody or will you give somebody this or will you pick up one of these for me?’ … So the guy goes and one thing leads to another and it's like, ‘Holy shit, what's this turned into? I've only come here to say “hello” for somebody, and I've got myself in this incredible predicament.' It was very Bunuelish to me at the time.”

 

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