10 Best Stoner Anthems
Psssst! Hey you. Yes, you. This is your captain speaking. The puff-puff-pass rule is in effect. Over and out. At least it is for the time it takes you to read this list of the 10 Best Stoner Songs — classic odes to your sticky green friend with the pungent smoke that makes your body feel mighty funny. Reading our picks, you may come up with 10 toker tunes you like better, but we can almost guarantee you’ll forget them by the time you reach the bottom of the page. Because, well, you know…
Steve Miller Band
“I’m a joker / I’m a smoker / I’m a midnight toker.” Every time this line comes on the radio, those words “smoker” and “toker” seem a little more than redundant. Then we remember — i.e. dig through the catacombs of our mind — that a major stoner wrote the song. Steve Miller, you’re off the hook. Go back to toking and smoking all you like.
Another song everybody seems to put on their stoner-anthem lists is Neil Young’s ‘Roll Another Number (For the Road),’ which is, of course, about joint rolling — something the rocker was doing a lot of during the recording of ‘Tonight’s the Night.’ We enjoy Wilco’s version more — which nods to Young’s classic while referencing drinking and driving. Basically, it’s a warning: You don’t ever want to find yourself in the passenger side of your best friend’s ride (to quote TLC) while he or she is smoking a skinny J and drinking. Ever.
Appearing on Paul Simon’s 1972 self-titled solo album, ‘Paranoia Blues’ would fit nicely on a compilation album called ‘Songs in the Key of Green.’ It’s a near-perfect representation of the panic some people suffer whilst smoking grass. The best verse in the song finds Simon at JFK Airport in New York City, worrying that he’s going to get a possession charge handed down by a customs officer. The question “Whose side are you on?” has never been used in a better way.
The lead guitar riff in Weezer’s ‘Hash Pipe’ — not at all surprisingly found on the ‘Green Album’ — sounds a lot like the theme from ‘Jaws.’ It drives and drives and drives until lead singer Rivers Cuomo sort of blurts out that he’s “got [his] hash pipe.” Here’s hoping there’s no sharks in the bong water.
Green Day’s ‘Basket Case,’ next on our list of the Best Stoner Songs, asks the deep age-old question: “Am I just paranoid [or] am I just stoned?” If you think about it, it’s one of those chicken-or-the-egg-type scenarios. Does smoking bring on paranoia, or are you just a paranoid person who happens to be smoking? It begs the follow-up question: If a tree falls on a stoner in the forest, and no one is around, does it make the stoner paranoid, or does it just hurt really bad?
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers’
Everybody cites ‘You Don’t Know How It Feels’ as the top Tom Petty stoner song, but they’re forgetting an even better one: ‘Mary Jane’s Last Dance.’ Not only is ‘Mary Jane’ a much better song, but it is also a really great metaphor. Without coming out and blatantly saying, “Let’s roll another joint,” as Petty does in ‘You Don’t Know How It Feels,’ he sings an entire song about weed as if it were a woman. That’s just brilliant.
Fraternity of Man
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know “to Bogart” is an actual verb in the dictionary meaning “to use or consume without sharing.” Hence that line in Fraternity of Man’s most famous tune — you know, the one that goes, “Don’t Bogart that joint, my friend / pass it over to me.” It’s the ultimate so-stoned-I’m-getting-snippy anthem, and the singer enunciates the line in the exact right manner: like a total puss-faced pill.
Let’s get this out of the way up front: Queens of the Stone Age rule. And this little ditty from the band’s second album, ‘Rated R,’ might be the greatest non-stoner stoner anthem of all time. There’s a good possibility this one is tongue-in-cheek, as the Queens have been called “stoner rock” for years, but they don’t see it that way. They probably wanted to stick a big, calloused middle finger up at all the pigeonholers. The song has every drug you can imagine in it — and more! Take your pick.
‘Weed Party,’ No. 2 on the list of the Best Stoner Songs, is one of the most upbeat pot anthems in recent history. From Band of Horses’ incredible debut, 2006’s ‘Everything All the Time,’ the tune is all about being young, having fun, drinking wine and partying. Singer Ben Bridwell goes the whole song without mentioning the titular “weed” a single time (except for right before the intro guitars come in), so we’re guessing he’s the paranoid type.
This passes our test as the top stoner anthem of all time because it makes no bones about its subject. There’s no hinting at the presence of marijuana, like in the Band of Horses song. And singer Brad Nowell doesn’t go all inside his head, like Paul Simon does. Nor does he act like a dick and Bogart the spliff. Sublime’s cover of the 1983 Toyes obscurity opens with bong-hit sounds and includes the greatest stoner lines ever written: “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.” It’s genius, even if the math doesn’t quite add up.