Not too long, just the right height So what is it that’s hiding By the garden edge It’s a different kind of flower And this is what is says I am a weed I grow from seed I am a weed W E E D I can cover the garden, given half the chance You’d better watch out, cause weeds are about To lead you a Merry dance The garden looks so pretty As the bumblebees fly by The borders neatly tended And everything looks so spry So what is it that’s hiding By the garden edge It’s a different kind of flower And this is what is says I am a weed I grow from seed I am a weed W E E D I can cover the garden, given half the chance You’d better watch out, cause weeds are about To lead you a Merry dance I am a weed I grow from seed I am a weed W E E D I can cover the garden, given half the chance You’d better watch out, cause weeds are about To lead you a Merry dance
An unapologetic ditching of typical romantic tropes, Ashley Monroe’s “Weed Instead of Roses” is an irreverent note to a long-time partner, hoping to spice up the relationship a bit. The artist takes a bold approach to a common real-life situation — getting stuck in a rut with your spouse or long-term significant other — and suggests trying some less conventional tactics. “Bring me weed instead of roses, whiskey instead of wine,” she sings. “I don’t need a card from Hallmark, box of chocolates, Heaven knows, bring me weed instead of roses, and let’s see where it goes.” The lighthearted, flirty tune has a traditional country spin, as does the video, which looks like it was filmed in the early '80s. “Let’s go call your no-good brother, we both know what he’s been growin’,” Monroe continues, unashamedly propositioning some Mary Jane to change up the routine. The song, co-written by Monroe, was released as the third single from her record Like a Rose in 2013.
Songs about weed have pervaded country music for decades, but it seems now more than ever there is a general acceptance of the use of the drug across the genre.
Jamey Johnson’s “High Cost of Living” is more of a cautionary tale about marijuana and other drugs than a celebratory one, telling a personal story about his struggle with addiction and eventually overcoming it. The song describes his life in a haze, with no real grasp on reality or what he was giving up by staying high all the time. “My life was just an old routine, every day the same damn thing, I couldn’t even tell I was alive,” Johnson sings of this time in his life. “The high cost of living ain’t nothing like the cost of living high,” he concludes. The song was Johnson’s second single off his third studio record released in 2008, titled The Lonesome Song. It was rated No. 38 on Rolling Stone’s list of the top 100 songs from that year, and peaked at No. 34 on the country charts.
“Weed With Willie”
Hank Williams, Jr. wrote this lament about a lost love for his 1990 album Lone Wolf, and its desperation still shines through the lyrics and Williams’ voice today. The narrator of “Stoned at the Jukebox" is left devastated by a girl who left, but manages to get by during the day. Unfortunately, the night eventually comes and he turns to vices to get him through, leaving him “stoned at the jukebox” listening to sad songs and wallowing in his pain. It doesn’t reveal whether marijuana helped him out at all, but it does imply it played a role in his recovery, for better or for worse. The song was not a single for Williams, but it’s got his trademark style and a focus on lighting up that earns it a slot in our Top 10.
A newer tune for both the iconic artists, this song was released on the duet record Django and Jimmie earlier in 2015, appropriately on April 20. Written by Buddy Cannon, Larry Shell and Jamey Johnson, it was the first single from the collaboration and advocates for the use of marijuana, clearly noted in the music video, which features the artists passing a joint back and forth during the recording process. It almost prophesies that the rest of the world is moving in a direction that will eventually advocate for it as well, even over more well-accepted vices like whiskey. Nelson has his own line of marijuana coming out soon, so this song reflects his personal beliefs. The upbeat, tongue-in-cheek song features a cameo by Johnson and reintroduced the world to the infamous country duo of Nelson and Merle Haggard, not to mention highlight their support of Mary Jane.
“Ready to Roll,” from Blake Shelton’s 2011 Red River Blue album, is a laid-back weekend tune with a Motown-style bass line and a dash of Jimmy Buffett flair. While it’s a bit more subtle than some of the other songs on our list, it’s clear Shelton has a specific experience in mind when he says, “let’s kick back and take a trip.” The song title’s double meaning is not lost in context as Shelton suggests how to unwind after a long week. The tune was co-written by Jim Beavers, Jonathan Singleton and three-time CMA winner Chris Stapleton, and though it wasn’t released as a single, it’s one of Shelton’s more memorable tunes.
Eric Church’s "Smoke a Little Smoke" is a blatant tribute to the feeling that comes with smoking weed from the first note, starting out longing to “turn the quiet up, turn the noise down, let this old world spin around.” The song appropriately has a bit of an outlaw sound, unashamedly noting in the bridge the desire to “dig down deep, find my stash, light it up, memory crash.” Church co-wrote “Smoke a Little Smoke,” the third single from his 2010 album Carolina, with Jeff Hyde and Driver Williams. Something about the tune must have resonated with country fans, because it reached No. 16 on the Billboard U.S. Hot Country Songs chart. It’s hard to deny this song is one of the most popular odes to lighting up.
Pot may still be illegal in much of the U.S., but it's referenced in plenty of country songs. So, for those readers who consider 4/20 a national holiday, The Boot has rounded up a solid playlist of country music tunes.
"Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die," from Nelson's 2012 record Heroes, has a slew of great collaborators and guest vocals. It was written by Nelson, Buddy Cannon, Rich Alves, John Colgin and Mike McQuerry and features vocals by Snoop Dogg, Kris Kristofferson and Jamey Johnson. It was fittingly released on 4/20 and was even supposed to be the album's title track . until it was decided that the title may be too controversial for some sales outlets. The lyrics are exactly what you would imagine: "Roll me up and smoke me when I die / And if anyone don't like it, just look 'em in the eye / I didn't come here, and I ain't leavin' / So don't sit around and cry / Just roll me up and smoke me when I die."
“They Call Me Cadillac”
This song doesn't just reference smoking once or twice; it's pretty much all about Mary Jane. It's a song for anyone who's bored with how mundane life can be — in this case, a mom who hates her husband and her job, but loves her kids. To get through those times when she misses the days of her youth, she sits down at the kitchen table to "roll herself a fat one." The chorus tells the downtrodden that sometimes the only way to get by is to get high. So, the mom in the song tucks her kids in at night and prays, saying, "Lord, help me accept what I cannot change / But until I learn to do that / Thanks for the Mary Jane."
Some girls like a bouquet of a dozen roses, a box of chocolates or a Hallmark card, but according to Monroe, if a lover wants to woo her, he doesn't need to call up the florist — he needs to go find a stash. This song may be a little . adventurous for country music, with references to teddys, whips and chains to go with a weed-smoking romantic night, but bravo to a girl who can sing "Give me weed instead of roses / Bring me whiskey instead of wine / Every puff, every shot / You're looking better all the time" with a straight face.
The title track of Houser's second studio album They Call Me Cadillac was co-written by the singer and Brice Long. Houser's nickname is Cadillac because he likes everything "real smooth" and laid back — and doesn't want anyone to mess with his good times. That's why the lyrics "I’ve been known to giggle on a joke / Mostly when I’m smokin’ on my smoke / And most folks know it’s time for gettin’ down" seem perfectly fitting.