Miscellaneous Rumbles

Songs About Drugs

27

The Association's "Along Comes Mary" was thought at the time to refer to Mary J Juana.

IIRC someone from the group confirmed this.

28

Chris Whitley's Narcotic Prayer, and Poison Girl, two of my favorite songs, by my favorite artist...

29

the entire career of Jefferson Airplane was built on drugs songs. from the first album--which RCA censored because "Running "Round This World" said "the times i've been with you have been fantastic trips"--to "White Rabbit" and the out-and-out LSD anthems on Baxter's:

when your head is feeling fine

you can ride inside our car

I will give you caps of blue and

silver sunlight for your hair

and all that soon will be

is what you need to see, my love

and all the way to Long John Silver, whose cover controversially folded into a stash box complete with Colombian buds printed on the inside panel. They even had a protest song about Nixon's paraquat chemical warfare against weed in Central America called "Mexico." they pushed LSD more explicitly in their songs than any other band i can think of, even the other SF psychedelic bands. whether that's a good thing or a bad thing i'm not in a position to judge, but it was definitely a thing.

30

and then there's Lemmy. and Hawkwind.

Mark E. Smith of The Fall was notoriously fond of amphetamines, and wrote several songs in that vein the best of which is "Totally Wired," generally tipped as their best single.

Little Feat maestro Lowell George was a veritable cocaine-song factory. this one is the most explicit:

"don't want no speedballs cos i ain't got the time/throw me a line, throw me a dime"

31

Seeds & Stems . . . performed by Bill Kirchen:

32

Several Little Feat songs. Fraternity of Man, "Don't Bogart That Joint".

Did we really forget JJ Cale's "Cocaine"? Maybe it was a bit overplayed...

33

and let's not forget The Move. d'you think a song called "I Can Hear The Grass Grow" might be drug-related?

34

sascha good catch on The Ramones. I also was thinking “China Rocks” also

36

This is a "modern spiritual"; It is NOT about drugs in any way whatsoever!

37

The fact that The Lawrence Welk Show covered Brewer & Shipley's weed tune cracks me up to no end.

38

Did we really forget JJ Cale's "Cocaine"?

I've been trying to.

39

The entire career of Jefferson Airplane was built on drug songs.

There were indeed a lot of them. Drugs were an essential part of the band's mythos of hippie solidarity, rebellion, insurrection, secession, interstellar escape, and transcendence.

From Blows Against the Empire, arguably the fullest statement of the mythos:

  • "Mau Mau - Amerkon": Rabid lover-feelin' the starch in your grin / Callin' for acid cocaine and grass / And receiving your homemade gin

  • "Hijack": The summer was dry like your nose when you've been / behind coke for a day and a season / We sail out into the grasshopper nite and we seek the righteous poison...
    C'mon anybody-now fill my pipe / to the park, to the forest and move
    And our babes'll wander naked thru the cities of the universe / Cmon / free minds, free bodies, free dope, free music / the day is on its way the day is ours

  • "Starship": The melting acid fever streakin' through my mind / Makes it oh so difficult to see you / And oh so easy to touch you / I melt with you / Feel with you / Make love for you / At you, around you / I love you
    Mankind gone from the cage / All the years gone from your age / At first I was irridescent / Then I became transparent / Finally I was absent

That about says it, I guess.

40

Grateful Dead---"Casey Jones"

Beatles---"Happiness Is A Warm Gun"

"Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds"

Amboy Dukes---"Journey To The Center Of Your Mind"

Little Feet (and Linda Ronstadt)---"Willin'"

– wabash slim

"Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" is (initials notwithstanding) NOT a drug song. It was based on a drawing made by a young Julian Lennon about a classmate of his named Lucy, and when papa John asked his son what it was, Julian announced, "It's Lucy in the sky with diamonds."

41

The New Riders of the Purple Sage's "Henry" is about smuggling rather than the actual use of the substance being smuggled, but I think it qualifies.

42

Country Joe and the Fish recorded a commercial jingle for LSD --- strangely prescient in these times of billboards advertising pot dispensaries, no?

43

Sound man and chemist extraordinaire Augustus Owsley Stanley (aka Bear) is the subject of at least three songs --- Steely Dan's "Kid Charlemagne," the Dead's "Alice D. Millionaire" (pronounced "LSD Millionaire") and the Airplane's "Bear Melt," which was a spontaneous group improvisation that didn't so much chronicle Owsley's products as simulate a dose.

44

Donovan's "Fat Angel" was written after seeing the Airplane at the Fillmore while high on acid and references them. His song "The Trip" is also a famous drug tune. On the other hand, his song "Mellow Yellow" included a line about an "electrical banana" which at the time was thought to reference smoking banana peels, but Donovan later 'fessed up that it was actually a reference to a vibrator. Maybe Steely Dan got the idea from him.

By the way, Donovan's backing band on this album included one Jimmy Page on guitar and John Paul Jones on bass and keyboards. So despite Mr. Leitch' s reputation as a fey flower child, he was backed by half of Led freakin' Zeppelin.

45

Moby Grape's "Hey Grandma" was an ode to the young girls in the Haight Ashbury wearing long granny dresses, and includes the lyrics, "Well I got high this time pow pow pow" and also includes a reference to recreational use of Robitussin.

"Robitussin makes me feel so fine
Robitussin and elderberry wine."

49

Buffy Sainte-Marie's immortal "Cod'ine" is an early example. Here she is singing it at Newport in 1963.

And Quicksilver Messenger Service did it justice too:


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