I don’t know if you’ve ever been there.
Well, I really don’t know exactly where, but somehow I know I go to the same places (if only vicariously) to which Jimmy Buffett goes. You know, Margaritaville, Havana Daydreaming, experiencing being drunk a little more than would receive sober, social sanction and enjoying that experience.
I can’t claim to be a Parrothead, the name which rabid Jimmy Buffett fans affect, but I’ve heard many of his songs and I can say that their contained-irreverence speaks to me in ways I can’t completely explain, but with which I can identify.
Buffett was literally the ‘son of a son of a sailor,’ as he so claims in one of his moving, autobiographical songs. Another such biographical family song worth hearing is “He went to Paris.” This link however contains the song, “A pirate looks at forty,” and “Margaritaville.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i40DDI7Hplc
To fully enjoy Buffett’s music, I suppose you have to have a certain disdain for the tight-assed social fabric that expresses hypocritical outrage when Janet Jackson has a garment malfunction during the half-time show at the Superbowl. You know – you have to be a real person! I mean really! Why does anyone watch Janet Jackson in the first place? Because she’s sexy and talented. So try to be a little more honest about it! Tone down the outrage – puh-lease!
Buffett sings what he calls “Drunken Carribean Rock ’n’ Roll,” or some such description. His songs are irreverent. His songs might have made my third grade teacher cringe if she had ever had to describe them to her class. (Then she would have gone home to put on her dominatrix ensemble before entertaining her gentleman caller.) Buffet’s songs make claims of enjoying drunken times, high times, irascible behaviours of all kinds as he makes his way among ‘heroes and crooks.’ Yet at the same time he reassures us that he is not “…a lawyer, a thief or a banker.” And, according to his songs, though he spends some of his time “wasting away again in Margaritaville,” and being unable to account for his “brand new tattoo,” he still manages to go on concert tours, record songs in studios and entertain millions of enthusiastic “Parrothead” fans, as well as supporting “Save the Manatee” campaigns. Not exactly a write-off as a person.
Florida has never especially appealed to me. I sunburn in moments.
Sailing has never appealed to me. I am subject to motion sickness.
But the Carribean sailor/songwriter who claims to have, “…run [his] share of grass,” (even though I haven’t used cannabis for more than three decades), sings to me about responsible freedom from convention and that resonates with me. As long as he hurts no one, my heart and soul are with him. I’ve even considered visiting the Florida Keys as a close-to-Carribean, land-based, there-must-be-some-shade-there, place to veg out with an ever-present Margarita or at least a glass of wine, more fresh fish than I can contemplate and a view of an impossibly turquoise sea.
Maybe some day, Jimmy. Maybe someday. I admit, the Keys are calling.