Time to play the High Fidelty game. Except its almost impossible to do the top 5 songs about anything general like Death, or Love, or any crap like that. It pays to be specific. So, these are my favourite songs not about even drugs in general but specifically about certain drugs. Done without aid of my iTunes library or reference to the internet so I reserve the right to smack my head and say "Well obviously I should have included X" at a later date.
1. Heroin - Very challenging category; struggles with heroin have inspired many great songs. I'm giving to Perfect Day by Lou Reed. Edges out Golden Brown by The Stranglers. Honorable mention for an Australian award - To Her Door by Paul Kelly.
2. Ice - Semi Charmed Life, by Third Eye Blind. No contest, one because I don't know of any other songs about Ice, and two because even if I did I guarantee this would still be my favourite. I hate that such a good song somewhat glamorises such an awful substance but thats rock music for you.
3. Cocaine - Mr Tambourine Man by Bob Dylan. I never would have picked this song to even be about drugs - the lyrics are trippy but far from specific. But according to some no doubt well researched writing I once read on the Net, Tambourine Man was slang for Cocaine dealer back when Bob was writing this. So there you go. One of my absolute favourite songs of all time, and again about a drug that seems to have especially horrible effects on people.
4. LSD - too damn obvious to mention.
5. Alcohol - there are too many songs about booze to come up with a good candidate here. I'm just going to go with Take Me Home by Concrete Blonde, and accept its probably the "wrong choice", which doesn't matter because it kicks serious butt.
6. Caffine - can't think of anything. Wow. Maybe because its such a day-to-day part of life songwriters are less motivated to write songs about it (as opposed to mentioning coffee in passing in a song)
7. Nicotine - See 6.
8. Should prescription psychiatric drugs form a single category? Lithium by Nirvana. I have never been able to ascertain if Kurt Cobain ever took it, or was even told he maybe should take it, which seems odd; but surely that's the only explanation, given all the speculation about his possible mental illness, the fact that Lithium was and still is the gold standard treatment for Bipolar Disorder, and the title and lyrics of the song?
9. Pot - Drawing a blank. Which is frustrating, because there has to be a good song about it that I know and like, I just can't think of it.
10. Ecstacy - another blank. Too many gaps on this list. The temptation to cheat is overwhelming.
Novocaine for the Soul is of course a great song, but its not about Novocaine, so it doesn't count. Special K by Placebo is a little bit about Special K and is a good song, so would probably win that category if I'd bothered to list it, but I choose not to. I could of course do other drugs but 10 seems like a nice round number.
Why am I always blogging about drugs when I'm not really a fan or a user? I guess I find it a fascinating topic for a wide range of reasons.
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