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Don’t Forget the Songs-365: Mach Dos: Day 102
Fri. April 20, 2012

“Easy Skanking”
Bob Marley & The Wailers
1978

“♫ Excuse me while I light my spliff/ Oh God I gotta take a lift/ from reality I just can’t drift/ that’s why I am staying with this riff […] ♫”

On this unofficial holiday celebrating the highs of cannabis culture, we honor one of Ganja’s most famous smokers—Bob Marley.

[For the record, I believe Marijuana should be legal. I say tax the herb and use the money to fund our schools and infrastructure. Think of all the good that money from weed could do for our country’s future?] Now back to the music!

“Easy Skanking” comes from Marley’s 1978 Kaya album. (BTW, “Kaya” is Jamaican for Ganja). You could say that Kaya is Marley’s ode to the herb. Why did Marley smoke so much herb? Marley once famously said—“Music and herb go together. It’s been a long time now I smoke herb. From 1960s, when I first start singing.”

For Marley, Ganja was more than just a recreational high, Marley smoked for enlightenment and inspiration. Bob said it best while waxing philosophical saying—“When you smoke the herb, it reveals you to yourself […] herb teach ya to be someone right.” Interesting perspective. But for most the music is high enough. If Marley wasn’t such a lyrical and musical genius, he’d just be another casualty of the stoned and dethroned. Wouldn’t you agree because Marley was one the greatest artists ever— his words carry more integrity and influence?

Did you know that, according to Maureen Sheridan‘s Bob Marley: The Stories Behind Every Song—“Skanking is a slow dance best done stoned. And for a time, in the late Seventies, it seems like the whole island was skanking in steady and in unison?” I’m sure the influence of Marley and reggae music had something to do with popularity of skanking rising in the 1970s.

If you’re part of the culture, enjoy the high life on Cloud City today. If not, light up some of Bob’s rhythms are equally uplifting, inspiring and joyous –Marley’s guaranteed to raise your spirits. Happy 420! All praise be to Bob!

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