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Song Details
Duration: 6:32 
Release Date: 1978  (sav-man) 
Lyrics By: Shel Silverstein (sav-man) 
Music By: Shel Silverstein (sav-man) 
Produced By:
Released By: Parachute Records (sav-man) 
Published By: Evil Eye Music Inc. (Stavro Arrgolus) 
Licensing: BMI  #1360406 
  • First appeared as a poem in Playboy (CapSuper)
  • Funny story-song skewering the pot-smoking culture. From Shelby's 1978 album SONGS & STORIES. (sav-man)
  • Song Lyrics:
    Now, in the laid-back California town of sunny San Rafael
    Lived a girl named Pearly Sweetcake - you probably knew her well
    She was stoned 15 of her 18 years, and her story was widely told
    That she could smoke 'em faster than anyone could roll

    Well, her legend finally reached New York, that Grove Street walk-up flat
    Where dwelt the Calistoga Kid, a beatnik from the past
    He'd been rollin' dope since time began, now he took a cultured toke
    And said, "Jim, I can roll 'em faster than any CHICK can smoke"

    So a note gets sent to San Rafael for the championship of the world
    The Kid demands a smoke-off; "Well bring him on!" says Pearl
    "I'll grind his fingers off his hands! He'll roll until he drops!"
    Says Calistog, "I'll smoke that chick till she blows up and pops".

    So they rent out Yankee Stadium, and the word is quickly spread
    Come one, come all, who walk or crawl, tickets just two lids a head
    And from every town and hamlet, over land and sea they speed
    The world's greatest dopers, with the world's greatest weed.

    Hashishers from Morocco, hemp smokers from Peru
    And the Shashniks from Bagun (who smoke the deadly Pu-ga-ru)
    And those who call it "light of life"
    And those that call it "boo".

    See the dealers and their ladies, wearing turquoise lace and leather
    See the narcos and the closet smokers, puffing all together
    From the teenies who smoke legal, to the ones who've done some time
    To the old man who smoked "reefer", back before it was a crime.

    And the grand old House That Ruth Built is filled with the smokes and cries
    Of 50,000 screaming heads, all stoned out of their minds
    And they play the national anthem, and the crowd lets out a roar
    As the spotlight hits the kid and Pearl, ready for their smoking war.

    At a table piled up high with grass, as high as a mountain peak
    Just tops and buds of the rarest flowers, not one stem, branch or seed
    I mean, Maui Wowie, Panama Red, Acapulco Gold
    Kif from East Afghanistan, and that rare Alaska Cold

    And there's sticks from Thailand, ganj from the island,
    And Bangkok's blooming best
    (and some of that wet imported s**t
    That capsized off Key West).

    There's Oaxacan tops and Kenya bhang, and Riviera fleurs
    And that rare Manhattan Silver, that grows down in the New York sewers.
    And there's bubblin' ice cold lemonade, and sweet grapes by the bunches
    And there's Hershey bars and Oreos (in case anybody gets the munches)

    And the Calistoga Kid, he smiles,
    And Pearly, she just grins
    And the drums roll low, and the crowd yells "GO GO GO!!"
    And the world's first smoke-off begins.

    Well, the kid he flicks his fingers once, and ZAP that first joint's rolled
    Pearl takes one toke with her famous lungs, and WHOOSH that roach is cold
    Then the kid he rolls his super-bomb, that would paralyze a moose
    And Pearl takes one mighty hit, and ...... that bomb's defused

    And then he rolls three in just ten seconds, and she smokes them up in nine
    And everybody sits back and says, "Hey.... this just might take some time"

    See the blur of flying fingers, see the red coal burning bright
    As the night turns into mornin', and the mornin' fades to night
    And the autumn turns to summer, and a whole damn year is gone
    And the two still sit, on that roach-filled stage, smokin', and rollin'...on

    With tremblin' hands he rolls his jays, with fingers blue and stiff
    She coughs and stares with bloodshot gaze, and puffs through blistered lips
    And as she reaches out her hand for another stick of gold
    The Kid, he gasps, "Damn it, b***h! There's nothin' left to roll!"


    And she reaches 'cross the table and grabs his bony sleeves
    And crumbles his body between her hands, like dried and brittle leaves
    Flicking out his teeth and bones like useless stems and seeds
    And then she rolls him in a zig-zag, and lights him like a roach
    And the fastest man, with the fastest hands, goes up in a puff of smoke.

    In the laid-back California town of sunny San Rafael
    Lives a girl named Pearly Sweetcake - you probably know her well
    She been stoned 21 of her 24 years, and her story is still widely told
    How she still can smoke 'em faster than any dude can roll

    While, off in New York City, on a street that has no name
    There's the hands of the Calistoga kid, in the Viper Hall of Fame
    And underneath his fingers, there's a little golden scroll
    That says, "Beware of bein' the roller
    When there's nothin' left to roll".
    (Sonic SBL)
    Current Rating 8.7 (9 votes)
    Played on 122 shows:
    04-20-19, #AOTA-19042012-29-96, #96-52
    04-27-18, #WOTR_8009-22-96, #96-38
    04-21-18, #AOTA-18042107-14-96, #96-28
    11-09-16, #ISGD-16-4606-16-96, #96-24
    01-09-16, #AOTA-16010912-31-95, #95-53
    11-14-15, #15-4610-08-95, #95-41
    11-07-15, #AOTA-15110705-07-95, #95-19
    12-26-13, #ISGD-13-5601-08-95, #95-02
    11-14-13, #ISGD-13-4809-18-94, #94-38
    04-20-13, #AOTA-13042012-29-91, #KLSX-91-52
    12-29-12, #12-5212-30-90, #KLSX-90-52
    12-27-12, #ISGD-12-5401-07-90, #KLSX-90-01
    11-16-12, #ISGD-12-4701-01-89, #KLSX-89-01
    09-07-12, #MMDT20_12-3612-28-86, #KMET-86-52
    07-28-12, #AOTA-12072804-20-86, #KMET-86-16
    07-17-12, #BWR-12-07-1702-02-86, #KMET-86-05
    04-17-12, #BWR-12-04-1701-05-86, #KMET-86-01
    02-25-12, #12-0810-06-85, #KMET-85-40
    01-06-12, #MMDT20_12-0108-25-85, #KMET-85-34
    12-10-11, #MMCZ-11-5006-02-85, #KMET-85-22
    11-12-11, #11-4606-03-84, #84-23
    07-09-11, #AOTA-11070901-08-84, #84-02
    06-18-11, #MMCZ-11-2512-04-83, #83-49
    02-26-11, #MMS-14305-08-83, #83-19
    01-29-11, #11-0501-30-83, #83-05
    11-15-09, #09-4601-02-83, #KMET-83-01
    04-26-09, #09-1701-17-82, #82-03
    04-19-09, #MMS-12412-27-81, #KMET-81-52
    01-17-09, #ROTP_23012-27-81, #81-52
    12-28-08, #08-5208-16-81, #81-33
    11-30-08, #08-4807-12-81, #81-28
    03-30-08, #08-1304-26-81, #81-17
    01-07-07, #MMS-6101-18-81, #81-03
    01-07-07, #07-0112-28-80, #KMET-80-52
    03-05-06, #06-1012-28-80, #80-52
    11-06-05, #MMS-311-16-80, #80-46
    08-14-05, #05-3310-19-80, #KMET-08-42
    11-28-04, #04-4810-12-80, #80-41
    10-17-04, #XM-7308-17-80, #80-33
    06-06-04, #XM-5407-06-80, #80-27
    05-16-04, #04-2004-13-80, #80-15
    01-19-03, #03-0302-17-80, #80-07
    08-18-02, #02-3301-13-80, #80-02
    03-10-02, #02-1012-30-79, #KSAN-79-52
    12-30-01, #01-5212-30-79, #79-52
    09-16-01, #01-3712-30-79, #KMET-79-52
    05-13-01, #01-1911-11-79, #79-45
    02-11-01, #01-0609-16-79, #79-37
    12-31-00, #00-5306-17-79, #79-24
    10-15-00, #00-4205-20-79, #79-20
    06-11-00, #00-2404-22-79, #79-16
    03-19-00, #00-1204-01-79, #79-13
    12-26-99, #99-5202-18-79, #79-07
    07-11-99, #99-2801-21-79, #79-03
    05-30-99, #99-2201-07-79, #79-01
    03-21-99, #99-1212-31-78, #KMET-78-52
    11-15-98, #98-4611-19-78, #78-40
    05-31-98, #98-2210-15-78, #78-35
    03-01-98, #98-0909-17-78, #78-31
    11-30-97, #97-4808-27-78, #78-27
    12-29-96, #KSCA-96-5208-06-78, #78-24
    = Show you can listen to online
    Messages about the song: "The Smoke-Off"
    Tozz   Offline  -  Member  -  02-17-09 08:48 PM  -  15 years ago
    Remembering Shel, I sometimes do
    And so these words I write to you
    Although he's passed
    I still get gassed
    And so should you. :)

    Tozz in Nashville
    PNuttButta   Offline  -  Member  -  09-29-07 09:36 AM  -  16 years ago
    Thanx 4 the rip from the past
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