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Tobacco's But An Indian Weed
author unknown

(I am not certain of the origin or author of this poem. I have heard it may originally have been titled "On the Religious Use of Tobacco" and was ghost-written by King James I. The following version was taken from "The Burl Ives Songbook.")

The sentiments expressed in this song are so similar to the Bach piece elsewhere on this site, that I think it is simply a rewording of Bach's song so that it rhymes in English, with new music written for it as well. But that's just my opinion. If not that, then it must have surely at least been inspired by the Bach piece.


If you would like to hear a midi version of this song, just click on the "play" button above.


Tobacco's but an Indian weed,
Grows green at morn, cut down at eve.
It shows our decay;
We are but clay;
Think of this, when you smoke tobacco.

The pipe that is so lily-white,
Wherein so many take delight,
Gone with a touch;
Man's life is such;
Think on this, when you smoke tobacco.

The pipe that is so foul within,
Shews how the soul is stained with sin;
It doth require
The purging fire.
Think on this, when you smoke tobacco.

The ashes that are left behind,
Do serve to put us all in mind,
That unto dust,
Return we must.
Think on this, when you smoke tobacco.

The smoke that doth so high ascend,
Shews that our life must have an end;
The vapour's gone;
Man's life is done.
Think on this, when you smoke tobacco.