The Top Ten Jimmy Buffett Songs

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The Top Ten Jimmy Buffett Songs

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Before (and even after) Jimmy became a half-billionaire through expert marketing of his country/Caribbean/good-time state of mind thing, he was a magnificent performer, entertainer, and songwriter. Dismissed by the intelligentsia as yahoo-oriented redneck garbage (a charge it's often hard to defend against, believe me), there lies still a body of work behind the crowd-pleasing radio staples that should not be dismissed. Plus, it's music that times like these need; coming from the heart, but maintaining a link to the mind with a nod and a wink to suggest that there's no reason to take any of it that seriously. The most important music of our time.

Here now, are my my top ten Jimmy Buffett songs. A couple you may have heard, most you haven't. Margaritaville is a great (and surprisingly sad, compared to the rest of his work) song, but it's not in this list. Hopefully this will give you a glimpse into a body of work you may have overlooked.

He can't sing for shit, but once you enter his world, it's hard to get out, and you'll never want to.

#10: Breathe In, Breathe Out, Move On
On the surface, a reverberation from the devastating effects of Katrina on the gulf coast, but deeper, a calling to remain present in the face of whatever comes your way. I got this played on KHUM by DJ Larry. Didn't go over well.



#9: The Weather is Here, Wish You Were Beautiful
The one pure "fun" song on this list. Jimmy at his sardonic best, echoing thoughts we've all had about just getting away from it all, with the best guitar riff in the library.



#8: Chanson Pour Les Petits Enfants
Mystical lyrics, beautiful music. Truly a song for the world.



#7: He Went to Paris
Epic storytelling spanning an entire lifetime in three and a half minutes. Possibly the greatest example of pure songwriting any of you will ever hear. Should probably be higher on this list, but I have my own favorites.



#6: Jolly Mon Sing
A perennial favorite of mine, even "The Jew" from the Don Rogers Show loves singing along with this, and he hates Jimmy Buffett. How can anyone not love this?



#5: Son of a Son of a Sailor
You might have even heard this one before. It was the title track of an album. It will always be fantastic. Autobiographical, wistful, wonderful.



#4: False Echoes
You have never heard this song. If anyone ever tells you Jimmy Buffett is just for redneck party douchebags, send them this link and tell them to fuck off. Shattering.



#3: Death of an Unpopular Poet
Bob Dylan is on record mentioning this song as evidence that JB is one of the the great songwriters. I used to tear up every time I heard it. I don't anymore. At least not quite as often. Holy shit.



#2: One Particular Harbour
Exotic, inspiring, timeless, and speaks to everyone on a metaphorical level. Ia ora te natura E mea arofa teie ao nei indeed.



#1: Remittance Man
Nobody ever mentions this one, and for me it's the obvious choice for the best ever. The perfect collision of musical beauty and that special blend of melancholic yet hopeful lyrical magic for which I treasure Jimmy Buffett.

Last edited by pinback on Fri Jun 26, 2020 7:18 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: The Top Ten Jimmy Buffett Songs

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Special Mention:

This song mentions Cincinnati and Nashville, the last two places I lived, and also has "fuck" in it. Five out of five:

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Re: The Top Ten Jimmy Buffett Songs

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the dark and gritty...Ice Cream Jonsey!

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Re: The Top Ten Jimmy Buffett Songs

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I have to deal with this every day. Bring it on, fuckers.
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Re: The Top Ten Jimmy Buffett Songs

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There's a time when you're out fishing for a week or two, sitting around a campfire and slugging back beers with friends and family. When the camper is only used to power those strings of rainbow lights they only sell at camper stores and the stereo is blasting Jimmy Buffett that is absolutely surreal. Otherworldly. I can't name a single one of his songs, besides his most famous, but I can recognize his music from a mile away. That is what I imagine Heaven is like: drink in hand, shorts and crocs, walking towards the light with God blasting Jimmy Buffet.

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Re: The Top Ten Jimmy Buffett Songs

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pinback wrote: Fri Jun 26, 2020 7:37 pm I have to deal with this every day. Bring it on, fuckers.
You know what? There is already too much strife in the world. So I'm just gonna leave that video there because it is funny and I am not going to take shots at Mr Buffet. He's a hardworking person that made a lot of music that made a lot of people happy, and then he has these DEEP CUTS. I like deep cuts. We did a deep cut thing with Crowded House a few months (?) ago and I believe your reply was, "I wouldn't immediately boil my radio if that came on." You didn't, like, post the video of Howard Stern making fun of the drummer in Crowded House when he killed himself, like Howard did.

This is a mellow thread now. This thread is now mellow.
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Re: The Top Ten Jimmy Buffett Songs

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Billy Mays wrote: Fri Jun 26, 2020 7:49 pm That is what I imagine Heaven is like: drink in hand, shorts and crocs, walking towards the light with God blasting Jimmy Buffet.
Crocs, huh.
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Re: The Top Ten Jimmy Buffett Songs

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Ice Cream Jonsey wrote: Fri Jun 26, 2020 8:29 pmCrocs, huh.
Yes, and when combined with socks they make the ideal footwear for fishing, especially when you want to wade out into the water.

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Re: The Top Ten Jimmy Buffett Songs

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Billy Mays wrote: Fri Jun 26, 2020 8:43 pm
Ice Cream Jonsey wrote: Fri Jun 26, 2020 8:29 pmCrocs, huh.
Yes, and when combined with socks they make the ideal footwear for fishing, especially when you want to wade out into the water.
Okay, no prob. This is a judgment free zone. Please don't use this information to doxx Garth's Equipment Shoppe.
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Re: The Top Ten Jimmy Buffett Songs

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Ice Cream Jonsey wrote: Fri Jun 26, 2020 9:11 pm
Billy Mays wrote: Fri Jun 26, 2020 8:43 pm
Ice Cream Jonsey wrote: Fri Jun 26, 2020 8:29 pmCrocs, huh.
Yes, and when combined with socks they make the ideal footwear for fishing, especially when you want to wade out into the water.
Okay, no prob. This is a judgment free zone. Please don't use this information to doxx Garth's Equipment Shoppe.
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Re: The Top Ten Jimmy Buffett Songs

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Thanks, Ben -- these are indeed some worthwhile songs, and I hadn't listened to most of them before. I think I was most surprised by the shout out to Ballyhoo in False Echoes. If both Roody Yogurt and Jimmy Buffett recommend it, I guess I really do have to play that freaking game.

I wouldn't say Jimmy's deep cuts are utterly far removed from his hits musically speaking...it's just that they have more intelligent lyrics and Jimmy lets himself experiment a bit more. It is testament to the perversity of my nature that I still prefer my favorite of his hits, Changes In Latitudes, Changes In Attitudes, to all of the thought-provoking, moving, and catchy tunes that Ben decided to share with us. I'm pretty sure I can't post videos here, but what the hell:

While we're talking Jimmy B, I would be curious to know if Paul prefers Fins or Cheeseburger in Paradise. Gang rape vs tasty food...that's got to be a tough choice for the Commander!

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Re: The Top Ten Jimmy Buffett Songs

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In retrospect, The Weather is Here should probably have been Quietly Making Noise instead, due to the latter song's interesting musical nature, in which it quickly shifts styles right before the chorus. However, I just love it too much. "The beer is too cold, the daquiri's too fruitiful"? C'mon.
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Re: The Top Ten Jimmy Buffett Songs

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bryanb wrote: Sun Jun 28, 2020 5:26 am While we're talking Jimmy B, I would be curious to know if Paul prefers Fins or Cheeseburger in Paradise.
If I have one complaint about Jimmy, it is this:

Everyone thinks the lyrics to Cheeseburger go "medium rare with mustard'd be nice." But the line is "medium rare with muenster'd be nice." Now, you can go to one of the many "Margaritaville" restaurants scattered around the country, and under "Burgers", of course, the first item is "Cheeseburger in Paradise". With your choice of cheese.

Do you know which cheese is not available, though?

Mother fucking muenster. What the fuck, Jimbo?
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Re: The Top Ten Jimmy Buffett Songs

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pinback wrote: Sun Jun 28, 2020 5:51 amEveryone thinks the lyrics to Cheeseburger go "medium rare with mustard'd be nice."
I never thought that, I always knew he was saying muenster and thought it was just one of the wacky things he sang about...But now that I'm thinking about it now it doesn't sound wacky at all but pretty appetizing.

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Re: The Top Ten Jimmy Buffett Songs

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It is! I made a pure CiP a couple weeks ago, muenster and all, and it was the best burger I'd had in ages. It was also the only actual food I'd eaten in months, but still.
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Re: The Top Ten Jimmy Buffett Songs

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pinback wrote: Sun Jun 28, 2020 7:15 pm It is!
So let me know if I have this correct since I believe I just made a tiny breakthrough on my Jimmy Buffett understanding. The music presents itself somewhere between Caribbean-Bohemian and HillJack-Carefree which means it hits that commercial sweet spot for mass appeal but also means it doesn't get taken as seriously as it should considering how much wisdom and truth is underlying all of it?

Also, going off on a complete tangent, if you press the play button on all of the songs you posted here at once the sound it makes is absolutely terrifying. It must be what RR hears in his head all of the time?

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Re: The Top Ten Jimmy Buffett Songs

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pinback wrote: Fri Jun 26, 2020 7:11 pm Special Mention:

This song mentions Cincinnati and Nashville, the last two places I lived, and also has "fuck" in it. Five out of five:
I don't fuckin' believe it! He fuckin' took a goddam perfectly good fuckin' song and stuck a motherfuckin' "fuck" in it. An abso-fuckin'-lutely unnecessary and fuckin' useless "fuck" which is so fuckin' obvious they can't fuckin' play the fuckin' song on the fuckin' radio! What the fuck kind of bullshit is this? Don't you just fuckin hate it when fuckin' fucks fucking fuck up like this? Really, don't you fuckin agree, fuckin' people shouldn't fucking be fuckin' putttin' unnecessary fuck usage in things?
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Re: The Top Ten Jimmy Buffett Songs

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ugh
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Re: The Top Ten Jimmy Buffett Songs

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I had a co-worker that used to play this version of margarittaville live with George Strait.

At one point it gets to the chorus and Buffett goes:

"and I know.. it's all GEORGE STRAIT'S fault!"

Wanted to shoot the boombox every time.

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