Wednesday, October 4, 2023

The Buffett Way (Not Warren)

Can I rightly claim the title "Parrothead"?  I suspect not, but I also suspect Jimmy Buffett would never have asked me or anyone to produce a membership card or state their case with evidence.  I have been a casual Buffett fan since high school.  Growing up in Greater Cincinnati, it was hard not to be.  Jimmy Buffett and The Coral Reefer Band visited Cincy's River Bend outdoor concert venue for multiple-night stands year after year.  I attended two of those River Bend concerts in the 90s and saw Buffett with my husband and some friends at Wrigley Field in 2005.  I've visited Key West on three occasions (not that I ran into Jimmy Buffett there, but I associate him with the place and its spirit).  I have a magnet purchased at a Cheeseburger in Paradise burger spot, but for the life of me, I can't recall when and where I sampled that famous burger.  I remember that I liked it, as is true for most of my cheeseburger encounters. 

I'm not a deep tracks Buffett fan, but every track on the album Songs You Know By Heart is ... a song I know by heart.  I'd probably be fine if I never heard "Margaritaville" again and I reached my max on "Cheeseburger in Paradise" a few summers ago when I introduced it to my kids and we ended up blasting it in the Odyssey almost daily.

I never thought about how I'd feel when Jimmy Buffett passed away, but turns out, I felt pretty sad and then, after days of listening to my favorite of the songs I know by heart, pretty grateful.  My forty-eight year old self couldn't help but marvel at the cleverness and wisdom of the lyrics.  My friend Kristin (who introduced me to Buffett because she had cool older siblings) and I have been texting about Buffett songs and it's been fun to connect about this music we both love, appreciate, and understand.  It's been over a month since his passing, and no one asked for my deep thoughts on Jimmy Buffett's life and work.  I don't know that I have many deep thoughts, except to reflect that if you've created music that has brought people joy and hope and fun and community and escape from everyday drudgery, you've made the world a better place.  I wanted to record the Buffett lyrics that mean the most to me in the hopes that I'll remember to press play on Buffett when I need him.  Here they are ...

From "Changes in Latitude"

If it suddenly ended tomorrow I could somehow adjust to the fall
Good times and riches and son-of-a-bitches I've seen more than I can recall 


Oh, yesterday's over my shoulder, so I can't look back for too long
There's just too much to see waiting in front of me and 
I know that I just can't go wrong

With these changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes
Nothing remains quite the same
With all of my running and all of my cunning
If I couldn't laugh I just would go insane
If we couldn't laugh we just would go insane
If we weren't all crazy we would go insane
From "Pirate Looks at Forty"

Mother, mother ocean, after all the years I've found
My occupational hazard being my occupation's just not around

From "Fins"

She came down from Cincinnati
It took her three days on a train
Looking for some peace and quiet
Hoped to see the sun again.

From "Come Monday"

I hope you're enjoying the scenery
I know that it's pretty up there
We can go hiking on Tuesday
With you I'd walk anywhere
California has worn me quite thin
I just can't wait to see you again

Come Monday, it'll be all right
Come Monday, I'll be holdin' you tight
From "Son of a Son of a Sailor"
As a dreamer of dreams and a travelin' man
I have chalked up many a mile
Read dozens of books about heroes and crooks
And I learned much from both of their styles
Haul the sheet in as we ride on the wind
That our forefathers harnessed before us
Hear the bells ring as the right rigging sings
It's a son of a gun of a chorus
Where it all ends I can't fathom my friends
If I knew I might toss out my anchor
So I cruise along always searchin' for songs
Not a lawyer a thief or a banker
And the moment that really choked me up from "He Went to Paris"

Now he lives in the island, fishes the pilin's
And drinks his green label each day
He's writing his memoirs and losing his hearing
But he don't care what most people say
Through 86 years of perpetual motion
If he likes you he'll smile and he'll say
Jimmy, some of it's magic, some of it's tragic
But I had a good life all the way
I hope I can say the same ... some of it's magic, some of it's tragic, but I had a good life all the way.