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Cigar Culture

Our Favorite Songs About Cigars, Tobacco & Smoking

Shane K. K's picture

Shane K.

Kicking back with some tunes on the jukebox is one of the best ways to savor a great cigar. If you haven’t got a sound system hooked up in your man cave, you’re missing out. It’s about as important as cold beer. And what better way to spark up your next smoke than by listening to some of our favorite songs about tobacco? Pop some batteries in the boom box and crank up the volume when you’re ready to rock out to some classic songs about cigars.

Brad Paisley – “The Cigar Song”

Country music star Brad Paisley tells a comical tale of buying an expensive box of Cuban cigars. He gets them insured against fire and theft, then smokes them “one by one” before turning in an insurance claim over “a series of small fires” so he can get a check to buy another box. The moral of the story doesn’t go exactly as planned, but this is a must-listen for all cigar lovers. Find it on Paisley’s Mud on the Tires album from 2003.

Pink Floyd – “Have a Cigar”

In one of only two Pink Floyd songs to feature a guest singer (Roy Harper) on lead vocals, “Have a Cigar” is an instantly recognizable track thanks to its plodding rhythm and funky effects-driven keyboards. Composed by Roger Waters, it’s the third track on Pink Floyd’s seminal Wish You Were Here album and is aimed as a critique of the greedy record label executives the band confronted.

Johnny Cash – “Folsom Prison Blues”

Written by Johnny Cash in 1951 and recorded in 1953, “Folsom Prison Blues” resonates with The Man in Black’s thumping signature and dark rockabilly mystique. Inspired by the 1951 film, Inside the Walls of Folsom Prison, Cash addressed consequences that would lead one to get locked up for life. In the song’s narrative, a train whistle blows and upon hearing it from inside Folsom Prison, a prisoner imagines wealthy folks riding in the train’s dining car “…drinkin’ coffee / And smokin’ big cigars” in a now-classic lyrical portrayal of life on the inside. Cash earned his first of four Grammys for his performance of “Folsom Prison Blues” at the 1969 Grammy Awards, taking home Best Country Vocal Performance for a male.

Cream – “N.S.U.”

Legendary British trio Cream kicked off the UK release of their 1966 debut studio album Fresh Cream with the track, “N.S.U.” Who can ignore a band stacked with Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, and Ginger Baker and opening lyrics that read “Driving in my car, smoking my cigar / The only time I’m happy’s when I play my guitar.” All three musicians occupy a substantial presence in rock music history, both for their time in Cream as well as their illustrious solo careers.

Jethro Tull – “A Small Cigar”

Perhaps a bit noodling or meandering, “A Small Cigar” by Jethro Tull appears on a 2002 remastered version of the band’s 1976 album, Too Old to Rock ‘n’ Roll: Too Young to Die! – not the group’s strongest effort, considering the depth in their musical catalog. However, songwriter Ian Anderson delivers a touching homage on how small cigars “can change the world.”

Nas – “Nasty”

Rapper Nas comes out swinging on “Nasty” with a bottle of “…Rémy Martin / And some good-ass cigars.” It’s the first track on his eleventh studio album, Life is Good. Originally released as an iTunes single in August of 2011, “Nasty” traces the rapper’s path from his chart-topping fortunes back to his humble, impoverished roots in the Queensbridge neighborhood in the New York borough of Queens. In the song’s video, Nas fires up a fat cigar in the back of a Rolls Royce flanked by a pair of fawning ladies. Making it as a star in the rap world is an easy cause for celebrating.

The Walkmen – “Four Provinces”

Throw a catchy indie rock tune from The Walkmen onto your playlist with “Four Provinces,” the ninth track on the band’s 2008 release You & Me. Crooning lead vocalist Hamilton Leithauser howls about meeting up at “...Sophia’s place” for “Gin and cigars.” Sounds like a “good time” to us. The band has gained a cult following with a combination of softer and more frenetic songs over the course of seven studio album releases between 2002 and 2012.

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