by Kevin

We’ve been doing this for a while, so we’re just gonna get right into it. You wanna read the first four parts, click here: Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five. Don’t worry, they’re not like superhero movies, you can read them in any order you want. 

Anyway, here’s the final list. There are actually a hell of a lot more weed songs out there, but if we went any farther we’d just be repeating ourselves. 

  1. Mexico by Jefferson Airplane. Here’s the history: Jefferson Airplane became Jefferson Starship and then Jefferson Starship became just plain Starship. Here’s the rule: Every Jefferson Airplane song is about weed or LSD, every Jefferson Starship song is about cocaine and those thin cigarettes they marketed to women in the 80s, and every Starship song is about appetizers at TGIFridays. Released as a single in 1970 and later included on the 2400 Fulton Street compilation, “Mexico” is a political jeremiad against Richard Nixon’s (largely failed and poorly implemented) efforts to cap the flow of marijuana coming into the United States from Mexico. It was banned in a few states, and isn’t one of their more popular song, but one listen reveals it to be classic Airplane. There’s no mistaking Grace Slick, even though she would go on to sing “We Built This City” and the song from Mannequin.
  1. A Passage To Bangkok by Rush. The word “Rush” doesn’t appear at all on Wikipedia’s explainer on Stoner Rock, but there’s no denying everyone’s favorite gang of numerically exacting Canadian objectivists is perfect for getting stoned to. “A Passage To Bangkok” isn’t among Rush’s best work, nor does it really age well – at about two minutes and forty seconds in, Alex Lifeson does that “Oriental riff” like in the beginning of “Kung Fu Fighting” by Carl Douglas – but even a just-okay Rush song is still pretty excellent by most musical standards. And the song is an absolute freaking ode to Mary Jane, recounting the tale of an around-the-world adventure to smoke weed in just about every cool intrepid location on the planet – Colombia, Jamaica, Lebanon, Kathmandu, and of course Thailand’s capital and most populous city. Oh, and please don’t confuse this song with “One Night In Bangkok” by Murray Head, which is about a trip through the city’s underworld told from the point of view of an asexual chess savant. Oh, and it’s part of a musical that’s also about chess. Oh, and it’s written by one of the guys from Abba. SO maybe “One Night In Bangkok “ IS a good song for getting stoned. 
  1. Marihuana Boogie by Lalo Guerrero. Look, we could do a whole ‘nother set of these articles focusing only on Spanish-language songs about weed. There are, at last count, approximately twelve million good ones. And who knows if “Marihuana Boogie” is the best? It’s definitely damn good. Lalo Guerrero had a pretty massive influence on a lot of current Latin musical artists, and has been declared a “national folk treasure” by the Smithsonian. As a cultural ambassador from a nation whose immigrants have had more than their fair share of hardships upon crossing the border into the US, Guerrero also has enjoyed a strong following among political and labor activists and feminists. He wrote many songs about Cesar Chavez, the community organizer and workers’ rights leader, as well as other farm workers. Chavez later said of Guerrero, “Lalo has chronicled the events of the Hispanic in this country a lot better than anyone.” “Marijuana Boogie” itself is a fairly anodyne tune designed to get asses out of seats and onto the dance floor, but given the time of its release (1949) and the fact that white American authorities specifically used the word “marijuana” to scare white suburbanites into being terrified of brown people, recording the song at all was a pretty brave move. 
  1. Smoke Two Joints by The Toyes. This is a song about smoking two joints. The lyrics are pretty straightforward”

I smoke two joints in the morning, I smoke two joints at night
I smoke two joints in the afternoon, it makes me feel alright
I smoke two joints in time of peace, and two in time of war
I smoke two joints before I smoke two joints, and then I smoke two more

The Toyes have a pretty strong career, but as far as popularity goes, they’re pretty much a one-hit wonder, and this is the hit. They’ve recorded other songs about weed as well, and have emerged as ardent legalization activists. 

  1. Might As Well Get Stoned by Chris Stapleton. A pretty substantial chunk of modern country music is moderately awful – flavorless focus-grouped corporate nonsense about trucks and flags, geared mostly to wine moms in the Dallas suburbs. But there’s a lot of good stuff coming out of Nashville too, and man oh man is Chris Stapleton on the freakin’ vanguard of it all. The top comment on the YouTube page for this song is “I don’t always listen to Chris Stapleton, but when I do, the whole block does too.” You just can’t play this guy without feeling it in your bones, which is why he might be one of the perfect musicians to be singing songs about the feeling of cool relaxation we all feel when that THC hits our cannabinoid receptors. 
  1. Jack, I’m Mellow by Trixie Smith. We’ll round out the series on another one of those many cool songs from the 1930s where vocalists just openly sang about smoking weed. Smith sings about “smoking gage,” a common slang term for getting high in the late Jazz Age. She doesn’t mean “high” here to indicate drunkenness, like a lot of other songs of the time; here it means exactly what it’s supposed to. “The world seems light,” she sings, “and I’m so right. Jack, I’m mellow.”

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