14 Songs about Smoking (or That Mention Cigarettes)

Smoking has long been a topic of discussion in popular culture, and music is no exception. Many musicians have written songs about smoking, either glorifying or condemning it. Some of the best songs about smoking capture the feeling of relaxation and escape that many smokers seek, while others highlight the health risks and addiction that can come with smoking.

One classic song about smoking is “Smoke on the Water” by Deep Purple. The song’s opening riff is instantly recognizable, and the lyrics describe a fire at a concert venue that creates a cloud of smoke. The song has become a classic of rock music and is often played at concerts and on classic rock radio stations.

Another well-known song about smoking is “The Joker” by Steve Miller Band. The song’s famous opening line, “Some people call me the space cowboy,” is followed by a chorus that celebrates smoking and the laid-back lifestyle it represents. The song’s popularity has endured since its release in 1973, and it remains a classic of rock and roll.

Other songs about smoking take a more critical view. “Smoke Two Joints” by Sublime, for example, highlights the addictive nature of smoking and its negative impact on the smoker’s life. Similarly, “Cigarettes and Alcohol” by Oasis reflects on the dangers of smoking and the toll it can take on a person’s health and well-being.

Overall, songs about smoking reflect the complicated relationship that many people have with this controversial habit. Whether they celebrate smoking as a form of rebellion and escape or condemn it as a dangerous addiction, these songs offer a window into the cultural significance of smoking and the different ways that people engage with it.

1. Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette) – Tex Williams and His Western Caravan

“Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette)” is a western swing classic by Tex Williams and His Western Caravan, released in 1947. The song tells the story of a man who is addicted to smoking, despite the negative effects it has on his health and relationships. With catchy lyrics and an upbeat tempo, the song captures the spirit of the post-World War II era and the popularity of smoking during that time. The song became an instant hit, reaching number one on the Billboard country chart and staying there for 16 weeks. “Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette)” remains a timeless classic in American music history.

2. I Can’t Forget – Leonard Cohen

“I Can’t Forget” is a hauntingly beautiful song by the legendary Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen. The song features Cohen’s trademark deep, gravelly voice and poetic lyrics that explore the themes of memory and regret. With its sparse instrumentation and melancholic melody, “I Can’t Forget” creates a sense of longing and nostalgia that is both poignant and timeless. The song’s chorus, “I can’t forget, but I don’t remember what,” captures the bittersweet nature of memory and the ways in which our recollections can both comfort and torment us. Overall, “I Can’t Forget” is a masterpiece of songwriting that showcases Cohen’s incredible talent and artistry.

3. Lipstick Traces on a Cigarette – The O’Jays

“Lipstick Traces on a Cigarette” is a soulful R&B song by the American group The O’Jays, released in 1965. The song tells the story of a man who discovers his lover’s infidelity through the traces of lipstick on a cigarette. The lyrics are delivered with emotional intensity, supported by a driving rhythm section and soaring vocal harmonies. The song’s production incorporates elements of Motown and doo-wop, with a catchy chorus that invites the listener to sing along. “Lipstick Traces on a Cigarette” became a hit for The O’Jays and remains a classic of the 1960s R&B genre.

4. Don’t Smoke in Bed – Nina Simone

“Don’t Smoke in Bed” is a poignant and melancholic ballad by the legendary American singer and pianist Nina Simone. Originally written by Willard Robison in 1948, Simone’s interpretation of the song is a haunting meditation on the pain and regret of lost love. With its slow tempo, sparse instrumentation, and Simone’s soulful vocals, “Don’t Smoke in Bed” creates a sense of intimacy and vulnerability that is both heartbreaking and cathartic. The song’s lyrics warn against the dangers of complacency in relationships and the devastating consequences of taking someone for granted. Overall, “Don’t Smoke in Bed” is a timeless classic that showcases Simone’s incredible talent and emotional depth.

5. Smoke Rings – Sam Cooke

“Smoke Rings” is a soulful and jazzy song by the legendary American singer Sam Cooke. Originally written by Gene Gifford in 1932, Cooke’s interpretation of the song features his smooth and silky vocals that capture the mood and atmosphere of a smoky jazz club. With its catchy melody, swinging rhythm, and Cooke’s effortless delivery, “Smoke Rings” is a playful and lighthearted song that celebrates the joys of living in the moment and letting go of one’s troubles. The song’s lyrics are filled with clever wordplay and metaphors that evoke the sights, sounds, and smells of a bygone era of music and entertainment. Overall, “Smoke Rings” is a classic of the jazz and pop music genres that showcases Cooke’s incredible talent and charisma as a performer.

6. Cigarettes and Coffee – Otis Redding

“Cigarettes and Coffee” is a soulful ballad by Otis Redding, released in 1966. The song tells the story of a man who is reflecting on his life over cigarettes and coffee. With raw, heartfelt vocals and a simple yet powerful melody, the song captures the melancholy mood of a late-night conversation. Redding’s voice conveys a deep sense of yearning and introspection, making “Cigarettes and Coffee” a poignant reflection on the human experience. The song has since become a beloved classic in soul music, showcasing Redding’s ability to connect with listeners on an emotional level.

7. I Hope That I Don’t Fall in Love With You – Tom Waits

“I Hope That I Don’t Fall in Love With You” is a melancholic ballad by the iconic American singer-songwriter Tom Waits. The song features Waits’ distinctive gravelly vocals and simple yet evocative lyrics that explore the complexities of love and desire. With its sparse instrumentation and haunting melody, “I Hope That I Don’t Fall in Love With You” creates a sense of yearning and vulnerability that is both intimate and universal. The song’s lyrics are filled with vivid imagery and introspective reflections on the joys and pitfalls of romantic attraction. Overall, “I Hope That I Don’t Fall in Love With You” is a masterpiece of songwriting that showcases Waits’ unique talent and artistry.

8. Sugar Mountain – Neil Young

“Sugar Mountain” is a nostalgic folk-rock ballad by Neil Young, released in 1968. The song tells the story of a young man who is coming of age and realizing that he can never go back to the innocence of his childhood. With its wistful lyrics and gentle melody, “Sugar Mountain” captures the bittersweet feeling of growing up and leaving behind the carefree days of youth. Young’s distinctive voice and acoustic guitar work create a haunting atmosphere, making the song a classic in his catalog. “Sugar Mountain” remains a beloved ode to the passage of time and the fleeting nature of youth.

9. Sunday Morning Comin’ Down – Johnny Cash

“Sunday Morning Comin’ Down” is a classic country song by Johnny Cash, released in 1970. The song tells the story of a man who wakes up on a Sunday morning feeling lost and alone, struggling with regret and the weight of the past. With Cash’s deep, resonant vocals and the somber melody, “Sunday Morning Comin’ Down” captures the loneliness and isolation that can come with a life of struggle and hardship. The song has become a timeless classic in country music, showcasing Cash’s ability to connect with listeners on an emotional level and explore the complexities of the human experience.

10. Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again – Bob Dylan

“Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again” is a song by Bob Dylan, released in 1966 on his album “Blonde on Blonde.” The song is a surrealistic journey through various scenes and characters, with Dylan’s signature enigmatic lyrics and distinctive nasal voice. The lyrics describe the narrator’s experiences in Mobile, Alabama, and Memphis, Tennessee, encountering a cast of strange and colorful characters, including a senator and a doctor who “ain’t nothing but a prescription pad.” The song’s infectious melody and catchy chorus make it one of Dylan’s most beloved and enduring works, capturing the essence of his unique style and poetic vision.

11. America – Simon & Garfunkel

“America” is a classic folk-rock song by Simon & Garfunkel, released in 1968. The song tells the story of a journey across America by two young lovers, exploring the landscapes and the complexities of the American dream. With its vivid lyrics and the iconic harmonies of Simon & Garfunkel, “America” captures the restlessness and uncertainty of a generation searching for meaning in a changing world. The song remains a timeless classic, reflecting the social and political tensions of the 1960s and offering a powerful meditation on the human condition and the search for a better life.

12. Jesus, Etc. – Wilco

“Jesus, Etc.” is a song by the American alternative rock band Wilco, released in 2002 on their album “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.” The song is a hauntingly beautiful meditation on life’s struggles and uncertainties, with a simple but affecting melody and Jeff Tweedy’s introspective vocals. The lyrics touch on themes of love, faith, and mortality, with a chorus that asks “Jesus, don’t cry / You can rely on me honey / You can combine anything you want.” The song’s sparse arrangement, featuring acoustic guitar, piano, and subtle electronic textures, creates a sense of intimacy and vulnerability, making it a standout track in Wilco’s extensive catalogue.

13. Cigarettes & Alcohol – Oasis

“Cigarettes & Alcohol” is a hard-hitting rock anthem by Oasis, released in 1994. The song tells the story of a young man who turns to cigarettes and alcohol as a way to escape the boredom and frustration of everyday life. With its aggressive guitar riffs and swaggering vocals, “Cigarettes & Alcohol” captures the rebellious spirit of youth culture and the desire to break free from the constraints of society. The song has become a beloved classic in British rock music, showcasing Oasis’s raw energy and the band’s ability to connect with a generation of disaffected youth.

14. Reefer Man – Baron Lee & the Blue Rhythm Band

“Reefer Man” is a classic jazz song originally recorded by Baron Lee and the Blue Rhythm Band in 1932. The song features a catchy, upbeat melody with lyrics that celebrate the joys of smoking marijuana. The lyrics are playful and humorous, with lines like “Have you ever met that funny reefer man? / A reefer man, a reefer man / Have you ever met that funny reefer man? / If he says he’s high-class, then you know he’s not.” The song’s infectious energy and sly humor made it a popular choice in the jazz scene of the 1930s, and it remains a beloved classic today.

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