Humble Pie – 30 Days In The Hole… Drug Reference Week

This week we have songs that are about drugs or reference drugs in the song. I’m starting off with 30 Days In The Hole released in 1972.

Lisa did this once a week for a while so I thought I would make a week of it.

I don’t usually do repeats of songs (except for Christmas and other Holidays) but with this one song, I will make an exception. It will mostly be a new writeup.

Humble Pie tried something different than most hard rock bands at the time. Steve Marriott combined hard rock with a gospel feel. This is one of the nastiest songs you will hear. It’s as sleazy as you can get but it rocks.

There are several drug and alcohol references in this song: “Red Lebanese” and “Black Napalese” are forms of hashish, “Chicago Green” is pot, and New Castle Brown is a kind of heroin…not to be confused with Newcastle Brown which is ale.

Written by Humble Pie lead singer Steve Marriott, this song is about getting busted for drugs and getting sent to jail. Marriott got the idea after playing a show in Kentucky, where he learned that getting caught with drugs earned you 30 days in jail. He was also thinking about a friend of the band’s who had been sent to jail for having a joint.

From Songfacts

Marriott was making the point that drugs were a part of culture (just as alcohol was a generation earlier) and there was nothing wrong with it. In many ways, the song is a call for legalization.

Marriott has said that inspiration for the title came from a Humphrey Bogart/James Cagney movie he saw on TV, where Bogart plays a prisoner who gets sent to “30 days in the hole.”

Marriott may have been referring to the 1938 movie Angels With Dirty Faces, although that line is never uttered in the film. It’s also possible that the film was Somebody Up There Likes Me, a 1956 movie where Paul Newman is threatened with the “30 days in the hole.”

This wasn’t released as a single in the group’s native England. It was only released in the US a year after the album came out, and it didn’t chart.

Dave Clempson, formerly of Colosseum, had recently joined the band as guitarist. This was one of the first Humble Pie songs he contributed to.

 

Thirty Days In The Hole

Roll my tape
Ooh, ooh, ooh

Thirty days,
Anyone doin’ that one?
I’m doin’ that one

30 days in the hole
30 days in the hole
30 days in the hole

All right all right all right all right, yeah

Chicago Green, talkin’ ’bout Black Lebanese
A dirty room and a silver coke spoon
Give me my release, come on
Black Nepalese, it’s got you weak in your knees
Sneeze some dust that you got buzzed on
You know it’s hard to believe

30 days in the hole
30 days in the hole
30 days in the hole
That’s what they give you
30 days in the hole
I know

Newcastle Brown, I’m tellin’ you, it can sure smack you down
Take a greasy whore and a rollin’ dance floor
It’s got your head spinnin’ round
If you live on the road, well there’s a new highway code
You take the urban noise with some dirt with poison
It’s gonna lessen your load

30 days in the hole
That’s what they give you now
30 days in the hole
Oh, yeah
30 days in the hole
All right, all right
30 days in the hole

What you doin’ boy?
You here for 30 days
Get, get, get your long hair cut
And cut out your ways

Black Nepalese, it got you weak in your knees
Gonna sneeze some dust that you got busted on
You know it’s so hard to please
Newcastle Brown can sure smack you down
You take a greasy whore and a rollin’ dance floor
You know you’re jailhouse-bound

30 days in the hole
30 days in the hole
30 days in the hole
Oh, yeah
30 days in the hole
30 days, 30 days in the hole
30 days in the hole
30 days in the hole
30 days in the hole
30 days in the hole
30 days in the hole
30 days in the hole
30 days in the hole
30 days in the hole

Author: badfinger20 (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

19 thoughts on “Humble Pie – 30 Days In The Hole… Drug Reference Week”

  1. shows how far removed from it all I am- when I read Newcastle Brown, I automatically thought “British ale”, not heroin! I think my brother was into Humble Pie but I can’t remember hearing him play their records back then.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I never heard of that paticular slang before…I have heard of Chicago Green. Newcastle Brown I’ve heard of as an ale but this is three separate words…New Castle Brown

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Probably my favorite Humble Pie song. I like the feel, the rhythm. Great vocal performance. The subject matter? It is what it is. So many lives lost to the drug culture. I don’t like material that glamorizes drugs and this song has a sleazy celebratory vibe, but that’s the way it was in those days.

    Liked by 2 people

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