1947: 'SMOKE! SMOKE! SMOKE! (THAT CIGARETTE)'


Written by Merle Travis for Tex Williams; the release not only saved Tex Williams' waning career, but also became Capitol Records' first million-seller. Travis later released his own version. These two are the most commonly heard versions, although Phil Harris also had a hit with the song.

From the New York Times, Oct. 13, 1985

:

Country-western songwriter and entertainer Sollie "Tex" Williams, a heavy smoker best known for his tune, "Smoke, Smoke, Smoke That Cigarette," died after a year-long battle with cancer, his daughter said. . . . her father, who was diagnosed a year ago as having cancer, smoked two packs of cigarettes a day, dropping to about a pack a day before he died. "He tried to quit, but he couldn't," she said.

Smoke! Smoke! Smoke!(That Cigarette)

Now I'm a fellow with a heart of gold
And the ways of a gentleman I've been told
Kind-of-a-guy that wouldn't even harm a flea

But if me and a certain character met
The guy that invented that cigarette
I'd murder that son-of-a gun in the first degree

It ain't cuz I don't smoke 'em myself
and i don't reckon that it'll hinder your health
I smoked 'em all my life and I ain't dead yet

But nicotine slaves are all the same
at a pettin' party or a poker game
Everything gotta stop while they have a cigarette

CHORUS

Smoke, smoke, smoke that cigarette
Puff, puff, puff until you smoke yourself to death.

Tell St. Peter at the Golden Gate
That you hate to make him wait,
But you just gotta have another cigarette.

In a game of chance the other night
Old dame fortune was good and right
The kings and queens they kept on comin' around

Aw, I was hittin' em good and bettin' 'em high
But my bluff didn't work on a certain guy
He kept callin' and layin' his money down

See, he'd raise me then I'd raise him
and I'd say to him buddy ya gotta sink or swim
Finally called me but didn't raise the bet!

--Hmmph! I said Aces Full Pal -- I got you!
He said, "I'll pay up in a minute or two
But right now, i just gotta have another cigarette."

CHORUS

Now the other night I had a date
with the cutest little gal in any state
A high-bred, uptown, fancy little dame

She said she loved me and it seemd to me
That things were sorta like they oughtta be
So hand in hand we strolled down lovers lane

She was a long way from a chunk of ice
And our pettin' party was goin' real nice
And I got an idea I might have been there yet

So I give her a kiss and a little squeeze
Then she said, "Travis, Excuse me Please
But I just gotta have a cigarette."

CHORUS


This document's URL is: http://www.tobacco.org/History/Smoke_Cigarette.html


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