Happy 4/20! What better way to celebrate the holiday than with 20 thematically-appropriate tunes, hand selected by the L4LM crew. From blues to hip hop to reggae to funk, musicians are no strangers to the “Wildwood Weed.” So sit back, roll up a joint, and enjoy some great tunes. You can also listen in playlist form below:
1. Bob Dylan – “Rainy Day Women #12 and 35”
This delightfully bawdy Dylan tune is an ode to “Rainy Day Women,” a not-so-subtle pseudonym for joints. It would be more subtle, were it not for the song’s chorus, “Everybody Must Get Stoned!”
2. Phish – “Makisupa Policeman”
This particular version of the oft-marijuana themed Phish tune is a fan favorite. On August 17, 2011 at the UIC Pavilion, the group made some eye-roll-worthy marijuana puns on artist names, including “Dank Sinatra” and “Harry Chronic Jr.” Enjoy!
3. Grateful Dead – “High Time”
We could have us a high time, living the good life.
4. Peter Tosh – “Legalize It”
There’s no denying what Tosh wants legalized…
5. Yonder Mountain String Band – “Two Hits And The Joint Turned Brown”
The John Hartford classic gets a whole new twist from Yonder Mountain String Band…
6. Traffic – “Light Up Or Leave Me Alone”
We think the ultimatum of this classic Traffic song pretty much speaks for itself.
7. Ray Charles – “Let’s Go Get Stoned”
Another essential 4/20 tune that actually hit #1 on the R&B charts when it debuted in 1966.
8. Sublime – “Smoke Two Joints”
She was living in a single room with three other individuals, one of them was a male, and the other two, well the other two were females. God only knows what they were up to in there, and furthermore Susan, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to learn that all four of them habitually smoked marijuana cigarettes….. reefers.
9. Galactic – “Sweet Leaf”
This Black Sabbath ode to the green gets the funk treatment from the NOLA royalty themselves, Galactic.
10. The Beatles – “Got To Get You In My Life”
Commonly assumed to be a love song, this Paul McCartney original was actually written as an ode to marijuana. The band had recently been introduced to the drug by Bob Dylan, opening up their songwriting and studio experimentation tremendously in the mid-1960s. A later quote from Macca in his 1997 biography: “‘Got to Get You into My Life’ was one I wrote when I had first been introduced to pot … So [it’s] really a song about that, it’s not to a person.”
11. Peter, Paul, and Mary – “Puff the Magic Dragon”
Are you a pothead, Fokker?
12. Cypress Hill – “Hits From The Bong”
Too many Cypress Hill songs to choose from.
13. Phish with Primus’ Les Claypool and Larry LaLonde – “Harpua” > “Wildwood Weed” > “Harpua”
On December 6, 1996, Phish were joined by Primus’ Les Claypool and Larry LaLonde for a particularly entertaining “Harpua” in Vegas. The band segued from “Harpua” into “Wildwood Weed,” sung by Claypool, loosely based on the original Jim Stafford country tune.
14. Ben Harper – “Burn One Down”
Now that Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals have reunited, we’re hoping to catch this 1995 hit at some summer festival sets.
15. Dr. Dre ft. Snoop Dogg – “The Next Episode”
Smoke weed every day.
16. People Under The Stairs – “Acid Raindrops”
Just a great, great song about Mary Jane.
17. Rick James – “Mary Jane”
One of the most sampled 70’s electrofunk tracks is this ballad to marijuana from Rick James.
18. Afroman – “Because I Got High”
Despite the artist’s recent on-stage altercation, there’s no denying that this is one of the most iconic marijuana songs. La da da da da da…
19. Willie Nelson ft. Kris Kristofferson, Jamey Johnson, Snoop Dogg – “Roll Me Up And Smoke Me When I Die”
Released on 4/20 in 2012, this relatively newer song written by Willie Nelson features vocal snippets from Kris Kristofferson, Jamey Johnson, and Snoop Dogg.
20. Bob Marley – “Easy Skanking”
Excuse me while I light my spliff…
There were so many songs to choose from… which 4/20 favorites of yours didn’t make the list?
[Originally published 4/20/16]