Band ( The ) - Rag Mama Rag

First performance: 30/05/2006


Bruce covered the song 13 times:
During the Seeger sessions tour in 2006. The song was also soundchecked.
2006-10-08 PalaMaggiò, Caserta, Italy
2006-10-05 Arena Di Verona, Verona, Italy
2006-10-02 PalaIsozaki, Turin, Italy
2006-06-20 Tweeter Center At The Waterfront, Camden, NJ
2006-06-17 DTE Energy Music Theatre, Clarkston, MI
2006-06-16 Blossom Music Center, Cuyahoga Falls, OH
2006-06-14 Bradley Center, Milwaukee, WI
2006-06-11 Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul, MN
2006-06-10 Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines, IA
2006-06-06 Sleep Train Pavilion, Concord, CA
2006-06-03 Glendale Arena, Glendale, AZ
2006-05-31 Verizon Wireless Music Center, Noblesville, IN
2006-05-30 Germain Amphitheater, Columbus, OH


"Rag Mama Rag" is a song by The Band which was first released on their 1969 album The Band. It was also released as a single. "Rag Mama Rag" is credited solely to Robbie Robertson. However, Levon Helm claimed years later that the song was a group effort.The song has an improvised feel. The Band initially attempted to record the song in a straightforward manner, but it didn't sound right to Robertson. So drummer Levon Helm moved to play mandolin, pianist Richard Manuel played drums, bassist Rick Danko played fiddle and producer John Simon played tuba, while organist Garth Hudson played upright acoustic piano in a ragtime fashion. Helm also sang the lead vocals.

Other cover versions

Levon Helm, Max Weinberg, Garry Tallent, the Delevantes perform "Rag Mama Rag" at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame's 2nd Annual Music Masters honoring Jimmie Rodgers on Sunday, September 21, 1997 at Severance Hall in Cleveland, Ohio.

Bruce on the artist

Bruce and The Band : 10 video's
2023-08-11 Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL 
Bruce dedicated 'I'll see you in my dreams' to Robbie Robertson who passed away earlier that week. (09/08/2023)
Bruce on Levon Helm from "The Band " : 
After the passing of Levon Helm, Bruce did tribute to Helm by covering " the weight " telling how he influenced him, joking that when he auditioned drummer Max Weinberg that he made him sing. "He was one of the greatest, greatest voices in country, rockabilly and rock & roll," Bruce said of Helm. "Levon's voice and drumming was so incredibly versatile. He had a feel on the drums ... it comes out of a certain place in the past and you can't replicate it."
Bruce also partipated in the documentary  'Once Were Brothers' saying:  
"There is no band that emphasizes becoming greater than the sum of its parts than the Band," Springsteen says in the trailer. "Simply their name: the Band. That was it." 
The documentary provides the Band’s history, from their days backing Bob Dylan to their breakout debut album, Music From Big Pink to that all-star farewell concert. The film itself, out February 21st 2020, employs rare archival footage, photographs from the era, the Band’s music, and interviews with Robertson, as well as Springsteen, Clapton, Scorsese, Van Morrison, and others.
In a 1974 interview , Springsteen says that Hazy Davy's character out of 'Spirit in the night' was partly inspired by Little John, the character of ' the moon struck one' by The Band.


Rag Mama rag, I can't believe its true
Rag Mama rag, what did you do?
I crawled up to the railroad track
Let the 4:19 scratch my back

Sag Mama sag, what's come over you
Rag Mama rag, I'm pullin' out your gag
Gonna turn you loose like an old caboose
Got a tail I need to drag
I ask about your turtle
And you ask about the weather
I can't jump a hurdle and
We can't get together
We could be relaxin'
In my sleepin' bag
But all you want to do for me, Mama, is

Rag Mama rag, there's no where to go
Rag mama rag, come on, rosin up the bow

Rag Mama rag, where do you roam
Rag Mama rag, bring your skinny little body back home
It's dog eat dog and cat eat mouse
You can rag Mama rag all over my house

Hailstones beatin' on the roof
The bourbon is a hundred proof
And you and me and the telephone
Our destiny is quite well known
We don't need to sit and brag
All we gotta do is rag, Mama, rag, Mama, rag

Rag Mama rag, where do you roam
Rag Mama rag, bring your skinny little body back home