Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Top 10 Rock & Reggae Marijuana Songs By Women


1. White Rabbit - Grace Slick
The bolero-inspired 60's anthem penned by Grace Slick brings back Alice in Wonderland with the lyric, "Tell 'em a hookah-smoking caterpillar has given you the call." The Great Society first recorded it with Grace's powerful vocals in November 1965, a year before the Jefferson Airplane version (also with Grace) hit the charts big time.



2.  Mary Jane - Janis Joplin
Slick's fellow rock goddess Janis Joplin wrote the blues-inspired "Mary Jane" and sang it in the style of her idol Bessie Smith. The song laments the high cost of pot: "When I bring home my hard earned pay / I spend my money all on Mary Jane." Sadly for Janis, heroin and Jack Daniels were cheaper.




3. Stoned Soul Picnic - Laura Nyro
Prolific songwriter and pot-smoker Laura Nyro penned this classic in 1968. It became a hit for The 5th Dimension and was also recorded by Barbra Streisand. "Let's not rush it, we'll take it slow."



4. One Draw - Rita Marley
Rita Marley's 1981 song remains avant garde even today: it features schoolchildren telling their teacher about smoking ganga on summer vacation. "Hey Rastaman, hey what you say / Give me some of your sensi."



5. Right Hand Man - Joan Osborne 
From Osborne's 1995 debut album Relish, which won multiple Grammy nominations, including best song for "One of Us" (parodied by Bob Rivers as, "What if God Smoked Cannabis.") "The sinsemilla salesman  / The cops on the block / They know what I been doin' / They see the way I walk."




6. If It Makes You Happy - Sheryl Crow 
This title track from Crow's 1996 album won Best Female Rock Vocal Performance at the 1997 Grammy Awards. “OK, I still get stoned / I’m not the kind of girl you take home.” Crow recently said at a concert that vinyl and weed would save the recording industry.




6. Legalise Me - Chrissie Hynde
This 1999 anthem by the righteous Ms. Hynde rocks out with Jeff Beck on guitar. "I'm just a farmer and I grow marijuana."




7. Stoned - Macy Gray 
In her uniquely wonderful voice, Gray produced a video where she smokes and watches Very Important Potheads on TV for this trippy 2014 track.



8. Flava - Megan Trainor / Tenelle - Flava 
Written by Megan "All About The Bass" Trainor and recorded in 2013 by Samoan/American singer-songwriter Tenelle, "Flava" celebrates marijuana's various strains. "I can take a taste of the Sour D / but you wake me up from that Blue Dream..."



9. New America - Halsey (2015)
"We are the New Americana / high on legal marijuana." The video is about witch burning, which shows Halsey gets it.




10. Faded by Design - Melissa Etheridge
"The legalization of plant medicine is ushering in a whole new era of understanding. 'Faded by Design' is a song celebrating that change," Etheridge told Rolling Stone.  "Don't call the doctor / the cure is in my mind."


HONORABLE MENTIONS

Sinsemilla - Joss Stone
Sinsemilla / Sending me love

Higher - Hirie 
"White smoke fills the air / you know I love the way you take me there."

High By the Beach - Lana Del Rey
This music video has 108 million YouTube views.

Rihanna - James Joint
"I'd rather be smoking weed / whenever we breathe."

I Love You More - Sarah Silverman 
"I love you more than my after-show monster bong hit."

You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome - Madeline Peroux
Cover of a Bob Dylan song I always thought was about pot. And don't get me started on those Rainy Day women.

What's Up - 4 Non Blondes (1991)
"And so I wake in the morning and I step outside and I take a deep breath and I get real high." This video, with dreadlocked leadsinger Linda Perry, comes in at 774 million views.

Pass That Dutch - Missy Elliott (2003)
"Come on, pass the dutch, baby! / Shake-shake shake ya stuff, ladies!"

Addicted - Amy Winehouse (2006)
"When you smoke all my weed man / You gots to call the green man."

"Why'd ya do it, she said, why'd you let that trash
Get a hold of your cock, get stoned on my hash?"

Dooo It - Miley Cyrus (2015)
"Feel like I am part of the universe / And it's part of me."

Lady Gaga - A-Yo (2016)
I don't really get it, but it has 22 million YouTube views.

Smoke the Weed - Sister Carol (2017)
From her weed-inspired CD, The Healing Cure.

Ooh LaLaLA - Hempress Sativa
The Real Thing

Dance Real Close - Jessie Payo (2019)
I first saw Payo perform this hauntingly beautiful tune as a busker in the 2019 movie The Last Laugh, in which Andie McDowell turns Chevy Chase onto pot, and shrooms. "Nobody's perfect / I know that I'm high as a kite."

Also see: Top 10 Marijuana Jazz Songs by Women 

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Top 10 Marijuana Jazz Tunes by Women



 

 1. Gimmie a Reefer
Seminal blues singer Besse Smith was "a living symbol of personal freedom" and "smoked 'reefers' throughout her career." (Buzzy Jackson, A Bad Woman Feeling Good.) In 1933 she recorded the Kid Wilson song "Gimme a Pigfoot" and in the last verse she belts out, "Gimme a Reefer," as only Bessie could.



2. Sweet Marihuana
Written by Arthur Johnston and Sam Conslow, this classic was originally sung by Gertrude Michael in the 1934 movie "Murder at the Vanities" in an elaborate dance number. Later, the lyric was often changed to "Sweet Lotus Blossom," (Julia Lee recorded it both ways in the 40s). The original lyric was brought back in the 1970s by Bette Midler, accompanied by her music director Barry Manilow on piano. She recorded it on her "Songs for a New Depression" album and performed it during her 1999 Divine Miss Millenium tour.



3. When I Get Low, I Get High
Written by vaudevillian actress and songwriter Marion Sunshine, this song was recorded in 1936 by Ella Fitzgerald, whose musical phrasing on the song's title alone is a knockout (as is all of Ella's singing). A music video cover of the song by The Speakeasy Three wearing shimmering green gowns has 15 million YouTube views.



4. Why Don't You Do Right?
Originally recorded as "Weed Smoker's Dream" in 1936 by the Harlem Hamfats, the original lyrics are about a man enjoining his girlfriend to sell weed. It was recorded by the sultry soprano Lil Green in 1941, and brought success to Peggy Lee when she sang it in the 1943 film "Stage Door Canteen," in an arrangement by Very Important Pothead Benny Goodman. The song was sung by Amy Irving as Jessica Rabbit in "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," and Lana Del Rey covered it during her Endless Summer Tour.




5. Roll 'em
Jazz composer and Tokin' Woman Mary Lou Williams wrote this tune for Goodman's 1937 album "When Buddha Smiles." Williams "found marijuana calming, useful for reflecting and relaxing at times" and liked to smoke backstage with Billie Holiday.




6. If You're a Viper
This Stuff Smith song made famous by Fats Waller in 1943 was recorded by blues singer Rosetta Howard with the Hamfats in 1937. A "viper" was slang for a marijuana smoker, as chronicled by VIP Mezz Mezzrow in Really the Blues.




7. Jack I'm Mellow
Blues singer and actress Trixie Smith recorded this Gundy & House tune in 1938 with Sidney Bechet on soprano sax. Smith also recorded under the name Trixie Smith and her Down Home Syncopators, which was often Fletcher Henderson and his Orchestra (where Louis Armstrong got turned on). In 2017, "Jack I'm Mellow" became the theme song for the comedy series Disjointed with Kathy Bates.




8. Knock Myself Out
In 1937, the hammer came down on gage, and this tune from 1941, recorded by Lil Green, takes a more moralistic tone than earlier, more celebratory recordings. After Peggy Lee's more uptempo, sweetened up version of "Do Right" eclipsed her own, Green tried to re-invent herself in a Billie Holiday style. She was signed by Atlantic Records in 1951 but died of pneumonia, at the (estimated) age of 35, three years later.



9. Twisted
British jazz singer Annie Ross penned the lyrics to "Twisted" in the bohemian year of 1952, and liked blowing gage with Sarah Vaughan. Ross dated Lenny Bruce and is shown here singing her song on Hugh Hefner's swingin' TV show. Joni Mitchell put the song on her "Court and Spark" album, complete with a cameo from Cheech & Chong).



10. Tea for Two
Jazz singer and convicted marijuana smoker Anita O'Day caused a sensation when she scatted her way through this classic at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1958, dressed like she was going to a tea party. As "tea" was slang for marijuana, one wonders what kind she was drinking. "You can swing, you'd better come with us," Goodman's drummer Gene Krupa told her when he asked her to join his band. He was so right.

Also see: Top 10 Rock & Reggae Marijuana Songs By Women