Marijuana Music -Southern Style – Songs About Weed
Marijuana Music – Southern Style – Songs About Weed
The American South has a long history of songs about weed, here are a few. This is not meant to be an in-depth scholarly report. Marijuana songs have popped up in music by Southern musicians as praises to the pleasure and warnings to the path.
Below is a small sample of some Southern songs about weed:
Up first is Muddy Waters’ “Champagne and Reefer” with the Rolling Stones.
McKinley Morganfield was raised in Rolling Fork, Mississippi. Morganfield was first recorded by Alan Lomax for the Library of Congress in 1941. He moved to Chicago in 1943. The song’s lyrics include the lines “Bring me champagne when I’m thisty, bring me reefer when I want to get high. And you know when I’m lonely, bring my woman set her right here by my side.” Go on Muddy Waters! This video includes a couple of Rolling Stones on the song.
Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers: “You Don’t Know How it Feels”
With the words “Lemme get to the point, let’s roll another joint…” T.P. will always have a song in marijuana song lists. Many people don’t know that Tom Petty is from Gainesville, Florida and liked to consider himself a Southern Rocker. Rock on T.P.!
Staying in Florida our next song is:
Lynyrd Skynyrd “That Smell”
This song is more of a warning to the dangers of drugs than a song praising weed. The opening lines goes…”Whiskey bottles and brand new cars, oak tree are in my way. There’s too much coke and too much smoke. Look what’s going on inside you.” Here is a rare video in that it shows Lynyrd Skynyrd live in concert playing “That Smell” only a few months before their plane crash.
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Hank Williams, Jr. “Family Tradition”
Bocephus was just carrying on an old family tradition as he shared about how “people wanna know Hank, why do you drink? Hank, why do you roll smoke? As the years have gone by this song has become a call and response tune with Hank’s fan screaming back ‘to get stoned!”
Let’s go back for more from The Heartbreakers
Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers “Last Dance with Mary Jane”
Here’s T.P. again with a song about weed. The title includes one of the many slang terms for marijuana and within the song he sings “hit my last number, walked to the road.”
Most people don’t think of Funk Music as Southern, but it doesn’t getting any more Southern than..
The Meters “Fire On The Bayou” Straight Outta New Orleans.
The Meters came out of Allen Toussaint’s studio and to Funk Legend. Here Art Neville, later of the Neville Brothers, sings a few lines about joints and wine.
Let’s move on up to Tennessee.
The Charlie Daniels Band : “Uneasy Rider”
I was just a young boy when I heard this song in 1973, but the pot culture was so prevalent in South Alabama that I knew what the CDB meant they sang of ‘tokin’ on a number and diggin’ on the radio.” Radio is to P.C. now-a-days to play this song because of a few words that have since gone out of style. You can choose to listen or skip it.
Growing up in the South in the 1970s, you were sure to hear a lot of great music from our region.
The CDB, The Charlie Daniels Band : “Long Haired Country Boy”
This song was a staple on the radio and at backyard parties. Charlie’s bravado statement of “If you don’t like the way I’m livin’, just leave this long haired country boy alone.” set well with Southerners’ proud traditions.
Next is Rosetta Howard & The Harlem Hamfats 1937 ode to reefer, “If You’re a Viper.”
Howard, from Woodruff County, Arkansas open the song with the lyrics “Dreamin’ about a reefer five feet long…” after that you know you are in for a wild ride.
John Hartford and The Dillards “Two Hits and the Joint Turned Brown”.
You probably remember the Dillards as the Darlings from the Andy Griffith Show. Here they back up John Hartford for a bluegrass song about grass.
Sticking with the Andy Griffith theme (motif, not the whistling song) we bring you
BR549’s song “Me and Opie Down by the Duck Pond”.
Ronnie Howard played Richie Cunningham as a teenager, but this song clues you in about Opie’s teenage years. The lyrics start out with “Don’t tell Andy, don’t tell Aunt Bea, they’ll come lookin’ for Opie and me.”
Certainly one of the most successful marijuana songs is
Jim Stafford’s “Wildwood Weed”.
A pop and country hit in 1974 about two brothers and a weed that grew on their farm and an encounter with a DEA agent who killed all of the weeds, “Then he drove away. We just smiled and waved, sittin’ on that sack of seeds.”
Those crazy boys from New Orleans leave nothing to the imagination with this one:
Dash Rip Rock : “Let’s Go Smoke Some Pot”
Though there is no specific mention of marijuana or weed, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Secon Helping album includes marijuana leaves on the cover.