February 14, 1977— The song Margaritaville was released by country-pop singer and songwriter Jimmy Buffett, as part of his album, Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes. Receiving warm reception during its initial release, the song peaked at number one on both the US Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks as well as on the Canadian RPM Adult Contemporary Tracks. It reached the 8th spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, while it emerged at number 13 on the Hot Country Songs chart. By the end of the year 1977, Margaritaville ranked 56th on the Canada RPM Top Singles, 14th on the US Billboard Hot 100, and 24th on the US Cash Box.
The song, which was written by Buffett overnight at his friend’s house in Austin, talks of a particular drink that the singer discovered at Lung’s Cocina del Sur restaurant on Anderson Lane in Austin, Texas. He was able to complete the song during his stay in Key West, Florida.
After touring around Texas and spending time enjoying a couple of Margaritas in a Mexican restaurant, he went back to Key West, sat at the Old Anchor Inn and watched the gridlock on the roads. That was when he was hit with the inspiration that led him to put his final touches on the song.
Margaritaville’s lyrics depict a very laid-back, carefree Carribean way of living. It describes the warmth of spending a vacation on an island with a tropical climate.
The man in the lyrics is described as one who is spending an entire season at a nice beach resort community, with three of the song’s verses depicting his day-to-day activities. He makes the most of his vacation as he plays guitar on his front porch, indulges on a delectable sponge cake and a pot of shrimp for boiling, and watches the tourists sunbathing. On the third verse, however, the man accidentally leaves out his flip-flop and ends up cutting his heel. He then heads back to his place to relieve his injury with a batch of fresh margaritas.
A parody of Margaritaville was released by Kenan Thompson in 2006. He performed it on Saturday Night Live, during the show’s Weekend Update segment.
To this day, the song remains to be Jimmy Buffett’s top-rating solo single.
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