This week I was stumped to find something to fit the prompts for Song Lyric Sunday, hosted by Jim Adams. They are Cinnamon, Mint, Parsley, Pepper, Rosemary, Sage, Salt and Thyme. You know the most obvious song will be Scarborough Fair by Simon and Garfunkel and everyone will either choose it or avoid it like me! So what is left? Well I found a few but nothing that particularly excited me. So I am going with one that I couldn’t get out of my head because of its reference to “a shaker of salt”. What else but Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville.
As I live in Florida I can attest that Margaritaville is like the state song. Everyone knows, plays it, sings it, lives it and you hear it everywhere! Isn’t it amazing how Jimmy Buffet made a fortune based on a lifestyle of laid back drunkenness? 😊
Buffett wrote this song in Key West, Florida, after he finished a tour with his group, the Coral Reefer Band. They had just toured Texas, and Buffett spent some time drinking margaritas in a Mexican restaurant with a friend before going back to Key West. When he got there, he sat at the Old Anchor Inn watching gridlock on the roads – and used it as inspiration as he composed the song.
He recorded this song at Criteria Studios in Miami with producer Norbert Putnam. Buffett and Putnam met in Nashville, which is where each did most of their work. When Buffett asked Putnam to work on an album of songs about a carefree lifestyle by the water, Putnam told him that he needed to be near the water when recording it if he was going to pull it off, so Miami it was. Putnam said in Sound On Sound: “One day in the studio, he comes in and starts telling me about a day he had in Key West. He was coming home from a bar and he lost one of his flip-flops and he stepped on a beer can top and he couldn’t find the salt for his Margarita. He says he’s writing lyrics to it and I say ‘That’s a terrible idea for a song.’ He comes back in a few days later with ‘Wasted Away Again In Margaritaville’ and plays it and right then everyone knows it’s a hit song. Hell, it wasn’t a song – it was a movie.”
Regarding the success of this song, Buffett said: “I was lucky enough to get my thumb on the pulse beat of what people perceived the tropics to be.”
“Margaritaville” has come to symbolize a carefree Caribbean lifestyle – what some in Key West call “Keys disease.” For many, the only time they experience this way of living is on vacations or at Jimmy Buffett concerts. Buffett has a lot of fans who work very hard, make a lot of money, and use his music as an escape. Courtesy of Songfacts
Lyrics Nibblin' on sponge cake Watchin' the sun bake All of those tourists covered with oil Strummin' my six string on my front porch swing Smell those shrimp they're beginnin' to boil Wastin' away again in Margaritaville Searchin' for my long lost shaker of salt Some people claim that there's a woman to blame But I know it's nobody's fault Don't know the reason Stayed here all season Nothing to show but this brand new tattoo But it's a real beauty A Mexican cutie How it got here I haven't a clue Wastin' away again in Margaritaville Searchin' for my lost shaker of salt Some people claim that there's a woman to blame Now I think hell it could be my fault I blew out my flip flop Stepped on a pop top Cut my heel had to cruise on back home But there's booze in the blender And soon it will render That frozen concoction that helps me hang on Wastin' away again in Margaritaville Searchin' for my lost shaker of salt Some people claim that there's a woman to blame But I know it's my own damn fault Yes and some people claim that there's a woman to blame And I know it's my own damn fault Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind