Black Sabbath – Sweet Leaf…Drug Reference Week

Not a big surprise here…this song is about marijuana, and makes little attempt to disguise it. The band did a lot of marijuana and many other drugs around this time.

The sound at the beginning is Tony Iommi coughing after inhaling marijuana smoke from a bong and it was looped.

They got the name from a pack of Irish Cigarettes that said “It’s the sweet leaf.” They thought that Sweet Leaf was a great description of marijuana, and the entire band wrote the song together.

The song was on Master of Reality. The album peaked at #8 in the Billboard Album Chart, #5 in the UK, and #6 in Canada.


From Songfacts

The guitar riff was taken from Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention’s “Hungry Freaks, Daddy.” This riff can also be heard at the end of the Red Hot Chili Peppers song “Give It Away” and is the basis for the song “Rhymin’ and Stealin'” by The Beastie Boys. 

A Sabbath tribute band from Denmark is named Sweet Leaf.

This has been covered by Next Step Up, Stock Mojo, Garbage, Ancient, Ugly Kid Joe, Butthole Surfers, Mogwai, Stereolab, Agent Steel, Pimpadelic, Cadaver, and Widespread Panic. 

Sweet Leaf

Alright now
Won’t you listen?

When I first met you, didn’t realize
I can’t forget you, for your surprise
You introduced me, to my mind
And left me wanting, you and your kind, oh yeah

I love you, oh you know it

My life was empty, forever on a down
Until you took me, showed me around
My life is free now, my life is clear
I love you sweet leaf, though you can’t hear, oh yeah

Come on now, try it out

Straight people don’t know, what you’re about
They put you down and shut you out
You gave to me a new belief
And soon the world will love you sweet leaf, oh yeah baby

Come on now, oh yeah
Try me out baby, alright, oh yeah
I want you part of this sweet leaf, oh yeah
Alright, yeah, yeah, yeah, oh try me out
I love you sweet leaf, oh

Author: Badfinger (Max)

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

30 thoughts on “Black Sabbath – Sweet Leaf…Drug Reference Week”

    1. I like it because it’s raw…not some processed sounding guitar…turn it to 11 and play….the same the Beatles did on Helter Skelter.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Ha! This was a big song for us back in the day! Funny…I didn’t know that the main riff was taken from Zappa. Cool. I never really got into Frank Zappa that much, but he and his band were great musicians. Zappa is a fantastic guitarist. In fact, he plays beaucoup instruments.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Have you ever heard Ozzy’s version on his live album Speak of the Devil from 82? Ozz sounds nuts!!
        Keep on Smoking it! he hollers at the

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I haven’t heard this in years (I think I had the album… but goes back a way!) Not actually much in it that’s druggy, could be about a girl, too…

    Liked by 1 person

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