Praise the Lord and Pass the Weed

In its Sunday editions, our local newspaper prints the lyrics of pop songs, ostensibly so parents can know precisely what their kids are listening to. I can see the value of this, although I guess I’m glad it didn’t exist when I was a kid. I was 11 when I brought “Brown Sugar” home from the record store, and I am pretty sure that my parents would have objected to “hear him whip the women just around midnight” and “how come you taste so good/just like a black girl should.” But parents of the 1970s were programmed to think Mick was singing gibberish, so mine never knew.

(Honesty compels me to report, however, that I didn’t know what Mick was singing, either. I thought it was “hear him with the women” and “just like a fine girl should.” For years thereafter.)

The same week “Brown Sugar” blasted into the Hot 100 at Number 40, Brewer and Shipley’s “One Toke Over the Line” was at Number 14, sliding down from its Top-10 peak. I bought it on a 45 too, without the slightest inkling of what a toke was. The AM radio disc jockeys I was listening to certainly weren’t going to tell me. (The closest any of them got was the day on WLS when Fred Winston cracked, “Just how far is a toke, anyhow?”) Although the Nixon Administration got the reference, and later put Brewer and Shipley on its famous Enemies List, there were many, many more adults who weren’t hip to the lingo, and there was no Urban Dictionary to help them keep up.

It is with that history in mind that I present the first YouTube video I have ever embedded at this blog, which I stumbled across online this afternoon. It may be the most delightful thing I’ve ever seen at YouTube, and is powerful testimony to what you could get away with by using a country twang and throwing “sweet Jesus” around.

Bless you, Brewer and Shipley.

8 thoughts on “Praise the Lord and Pass the Weed

  1. Prodigal Son

    First album I bought was “Sticky Fingers” primarily because of “Brown Sugar”. I had to smuggle it into the house past my mother(inside a Gary Puckett jacket if I recall correctly) due to the infamous Warhol zipper cover. I ended up having to use this approach many times in the next couple years.

    I still have it and it is still one of my favorites. It took me a long time to figure out all the lyrics.

  2. Miles

    LMAO! I’m picturing all these older folks in front of their tvs tapping their feet and thinking, “What a wholesome couple and what a cute song to help spread the word of the gospel. We simply must ask the Reverend if we can sing it in church”. I wonder how long it was before they were clued in?

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