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.
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.
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