WHEN you were young you thought music was about universal stuff like love, getting dumped or cars, not whatever the musician was high on. These songs make it obvious:
Gold Dust Woman – Fleetwood Mac
This can’t be about drugs, because your dad used to have it on in the Ford Mondeo when he picked you up from swimming. Except lines like ‘Take your silver spoon and dig your grave’ make this unignorably about doing shitloads of cocaine while recording adult-oriented rock.
White Rabbit – Jefferson Airplane
Pop music is awash with references to classic works of literature, so why wouldn’t a freaked-out 60s act write a jaunty tune about Alice in Wonderland and all the crazy adventures she has there? In retrospect, ‘pill’ is in the first line. You should’ve spotted this.
Addicted to Love – Robert Palmer
‘Your heart sweats, your body shakes’? ‘Oblivion is all you crave’? Go with your first instinct. In any song written between the seventies and the present day referencing love, substitute ‘drugs’ and it’ll still make sense.
Semi Charmed Life – Third Eye Blind
A 90s classic rare in the drug song genre because first it’s about crystal meth instead of the usual weed or acid, and second it actually makes the drugs sound bad instead of some amazing rock star shit you must get on immediately even though you’re 15. Still, great tune.
And She Was – Talking Heads
David Byrne’s kind of an art-school dude, so when you heard this as an innocent you assumed maybe he did know a woman who floated up into the sky and could hear a highway breathing. Well, turns out he did know a woman, and she was high as f**k.
Can’t Feel My Face – The Weeknd
Obviously you know this is about coke. Your kids, who sing along to the jaunty pop melody in the back seat? No idea. But in a decade or two they’ll succumb to peer pressure, do a line, be all ‘Wow, I can’t feel my face OH MY GOD’ and realise. The wheel comes full circle.