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Music And Drugs Essay, Research Paper

Music is a very prominent social voice in contemporary times. Many Americans obtain a great deal on many current social and political views through music itself, or music bands, radio stations, television stations, and organizations. The use of drugs as a recreational pastime is one of these issues. Throughout the history of modern music, many bands have spoken out on the legalization of drugs as well as the justification of the recreational use of drugs. Although there are many warnings and censors placed on this type of music, some of the music may pass along its message in a less obvious way. No matter how the message is conveyed, the message in readily absorbed by those listeners that want to be influenced and moved by music. Some of these bands include Pink Floyd, Cypress Hill, The Doors, The Grateful Dead, and even Eric Clapton.

Pink Floyd was probably the most influential band throughout the 1970’s. Pink Floyd combined the sound of classic rock with developing technology in music distortion to give a new sound that had never been heard before. This particular group was comprised of four men form England that were a late generation of the Beatles who were know for rebelling against the monarchy and traditional lifestyles of England. One of these traditional lifestyles that they rebelled against was that of a drug free society and a drug free lifestyle. Pink Floyd can be seen as quite the opposite. While touring for their album, The Wall, lead singer Roger Walters had a near death experience with an overdose of heroin. Other members of the band had also had encounters with the law from use of drugs. One of Roger Walter s songs, Comfortably Numb , gives the audience his interpretation of his life while he was on heroin.

There is no pain you are receding/ A distant ship; smoke on the horizon/ You are only coming through in waves/ Your lips move but I can t hear what your saying/ When I was a child I had a fever/ My hands felt just like two balloons/ Now I ve got that feeling once again/ I can t explain, you would not understand/ This is not how I am/ I have become comfortably numb!/ O.K./ Just a little pin prick/ There ll be no more aaaaaah!/ But you may feel a little sick/ Can you stand up?

In this refrain from the song Comfortably Numb , Roger Walters is most certainly relating to the listeners how he feels when he is on heroin. He describes how he is feeling no more pain, wether that pain be physical or mental. He describes how disoriented the drug has made him and how people who are not on the drug would not understand how he feels. He also talks about a pin prick. This is a hint that he is talking about heroin because heroin is usually injected into the body through a syringe. Roger Walters shows how great heroin is in his song, a song that was on one of the greatest selling albums ever.

Cypress Hill is a frequently listed to rap group whose songs deal mostly with smoking marijuana and legalizing marijuana. Cypress Hill is a group that revolves around the topic of marijuana, which makes them a popular band to many experimental marijuana users. Cypress Hill sends the message of how rich they are, how well they have done for themselves, and how marijuana has not slowed them down at all. Their song, I Wanna Get High , shows this attitude towards a need and want for marijuana.

I want to get high, so high. . ./

Yes I smoke /

Straight off the roach clip/

I roll /

Fold the blunt/

At once/

To approach it/

Forward motion/

Make you sway like the ocean/

The herb is more then just a powerful potion. . ./

I want to get high, so high

This band comes out and confesses their love an appreciation of marijuana to legions of young listeners on almost all of their albums and their songs.

Eric Clapton may not be a associated with drug use as much as Pink Floyd or Cypress Hill, but he has defiantly promoted the use of cocaine in his songs before.

If you got bad news/

You want to shake them blues/


When your day is done/

And you want to run/


If your date is gone/

And you want to ride on/

Cocaine/ Don t forget this fact/

You can t get him back/


Lost my house, lost my wife, lost my car/


Clapton defiantly went through some hardships in his life. He was kicked out of college, divorced, his son died as a child, and his music career has many up and down times in it. The basic message we get from Eric Clapton in this song is that cocaine seems to be the answer to almost all of his, and the listener s, problems. Bad news, lost wife, death of a son, all seemed to have the same cure, cocaine.

The 2 groups and 1 artist mentioned are all very influential bands with a very large gathering of fans. Fans usually tend to admire the icon that they are a fan of, and then in turn want to be just like them. If these songs deal with how great drug use is, how it heals our pains, and won t affect us in society or accomplishments, then they are sending those exact message to all of the impressionable listeners. Many young people who face the question of trying a drug in their young age, or walking away from may rely on the role set by their favorite artist or group.


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