Burn One Down

Album: Fight For Your Mind (1995)
  • songfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • This is about marijuana. When Ben states "burn on from end to end," he is talking about a joint. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Sarah - Toronto, Canada
  • At many live gigs, Harper will tell stories about his songs. On a Live DVD he refers to people smoking the "Herb" and people "So uptight they need to take a hit" and other people "Who take too many, and lose sight of their dreams." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Dave - Ballarat, Australia
Please sign in or register to post comments.

Comments: 13

  • Skin from Fresno, Caopinions can exist with no previous knowledge or even thought...

    brendan from brisbane and everyone else listening to what others say about marijuana...before you go spreading the cancer that is misinformation...educate yourselves...

  • Ryan from Seattle, WaActually Brendan, marijuana has not been shown to cause schizophrenia. It has been proven that the people who get schizophrenia and smoke pot already had schizophrenia that just hadn't shown signs yet. There is no cause and effect relationship, it is purely coincidental. And no it does not physically alter the brain. That is absurd. It reacts with neuroreceptors in the brain that are specifically designed solely for reactions with cannabinoids (chemicals only found in marijuana). So therefore it does not physically effect any other parts of the brain. The studies that say both of those things are bogus and just claim that marijuana caused the schizophrenia when there is no relation. However, some scientists have speculated that there might be a slight correlation because the people who have schizophrenia might subconsciously use marijuana to self-medicate for their schizophrenia. This is just speculation though. But no it does not cause schizophrenia.
  • Nadine from Noordwijk, NetherlandsBen Harper played this song in Amsterdam, and told us he wrote the song for his percusionist who likes to light up every now and then, and also that he actually wrote the song in The Netherlands.. Yup, the pot-capital of the world.. :) Even though I dont smoke any substance, I can relate to the lyrics. I really think everyone should mind his or her own business when someone is doing something that doesn't harm you in any way. To conclude: 'Live and let live'!
  • Kyarie from Indianpolis, InJust like Ben Harper says "Try it first And you'll see its a blessing And it's not a curse"
    so go Burn one down!!! <3
    it's the greatest gift from the earth.
  • Simone from El Paso, TxThis song is down.....story of my life. all of us need a little MOTAvation every once in a while...
  • Mike from Warwick, Riand Brendan is right, whether it's pot, coco puffs or anything else for that matter, don't knock it and realize that moderation is a good thing.
  • Mike from Warwick, RiI was a pot smoker for 20+ years and have witnessed both ends of the preface to the song at his Hollywood Bowl concert - "some people are so uptight they need to take a hit" and "but you've got to know your own destiny...everyone's destiny is greatness...if your not where you need to be in life...you may need to put it down". He's right, sometimes you need a smoke, and other times you need to put it down. Love the song, love the herb, glad I put it down ;)
  • Lisa from YkThis is such a great song, I think Brendan hit the nail on the head. "So before you knock it try it first You'll see it's a blessing And not a curse". It's not just about pot, but about doing your own thing in life- and not criticizing others for their choices that aren't hurting you.
  • Brendan from Brisbane, AustraliaWhen Ben Harper sings Burn one down he is not implying that Marijuana is harmless. In fact, Marijuana has recently been found to CAUSE schizophrenia if its smoked regularly during the teen years, as it physically alters the development of the brain. Anyhoo. What Ben is really trying to say is 'What I do is my own business. If its not disrupting your life, then leave me be and I'll let you do what you want without complaining about it'. He uses Marijuana as a reference because it somethings he enjoys and that not everyone agrees on. He could be singing about coco-pops and the song would still have the same meaning... (well, perhaps if coco-pops were a little more contraversial)
  • Matthew from Indy, InOk this song clearly is about pot..but so was everybody must get stoned by bob dylan..and tom petty say "roll another joint"...but the song is about life..and who you are and who you choose to be..so..more or less this son doesnt get enough credit I believe...I play it all the time..I just won't if the other 3people that wrote in smoke pot?
  • Jon from Sugar Land, Txsure the songs clearly about pot but it is also about choosing your own path in life because "your choice is who you choose to be"
  • Kara from The Woodlands, TxWhen "Burn One Down" is played at Ben Harper's concert, everyone lights up and passes a joint around. its tight
  • Nick from Kirkland, WaBurn One Down is about smoking marijuana but also about the right to do it and the fact that it is harmless.
see more comments

Dwight TwilleySongwriter Interviews

Since his debut single "I'm On Fire" in 1975, Dwight has been providing Spinal-Tap moments and misadventure.

dUg Pinnick of King's XSongwriter Interviews

dUg dIgs into his King's X metal classics and his many side projects, including the one with Jeff Ament of Pearl Jam.

Director Wes Edwards ("Drunk on a Plane")Song Writing

Wes Edwards takes us behind the scenes of videos he shot for Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley and Chase Bryant. The train was real - the airplane was not.

Which Songs are About Drugs?Fact or Fiction

"25 or 6 to 4" to "Semi-Charmed Life" - see if you can spot the songs that are really about drugs.

Chris Frantz - "Genius of Love"They're Playing My Song

Chris and his wife Tina were the rhythm section for Talking Heads when they formed The Tom Tom Club. "Genius of Love" was their blockbuster, but David Byrne only mentioned it once.

Allen Toussaint - "Southern Nights"They're Playing My Song

A song he wrote and recorded from "sheer spiritual inspiration," Allen's didn't think "Southern Nights" had hit potential until Glen Campbell took it to #1 two years later.