Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville |Photo Credits: margaritavillelasvegas.com

About the Song

This is a song that hit in the late 1970s until the early 2000s because of its upbeat and vivacious rhythm, “Margaritaville” is a Gulf and Western style and a country rock released in 1977. It was penned by American singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett and later recorded and popularized it. Buffett’s friend American record producer and musician Norbert Putnam produced it under the ABC Records. The song was released on a Valentine’s Day, February 14, 1977. Moreover, it was included on Buffett’s seventh studio album,  Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes.

Jimmy Buffett |Photo Credits: aarp.org

Interestingly, “Margaritaville” was written about a drink. Buffett discovered it at  Lung’s Cocina del Sur restaurant in the city of Austin in Texas. Most of the lyrics of the song, he wrote during that night, and eventually finished it while spending some time in Key West in Florida.

Margaritaville” was a chart-topper when it was officially released. In fact, it entered nine music charts in 4 different countries in 1977. In the United States, the song was no. 1 on the Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks while no. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100. Additionally, it placed no. 13 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs and no. 7 on the Cash Box Top 100.

Moreover, it also penetrated the Canadian market. It notched the no. 1 spot on the RPM Adult Contemporary Tracks, no. 8 on the RPM Country Tracks, and no. 4 on the Top Singles. Also, the song reached as far as Australia where it peaked at no. 98, and New Zealand where it ranked 38th on the singles chart.

“Margaritaville”, Its Inspiration

The term “margaritaville” is obviously referring to the cocktail margarita, a kind of cocktail consisting of tequila, orange liqueur, and lime juice, and often served with salt on the rim of the glass. In addition, the lyrics of the song reflects a laid-back lifestyle in a tropical climate environment. “Margaritaville” has become the defining moment in Buffett’s music and career.

Most noteworthy, because of its cultural and historic relevance, the song has been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2016. With all these mentioned, “Margaritaville” remains the highest charting solo single of Jimmy Buffett.

The Story of the Song

This feel-good song of Buffett relays a narration of a man enjoying himself at a beach resort. The first part of the lyrics talks about what he does every day. To say, he passes his time by playing the guitar on the front porch while watching the tourists sunbathe themselves. At the same time, he is eating sponge cake and waiting for his pot of shrimp to boil. The song goes on describing his fun-filled vacation by the seashore.

Margaritaville |Photo Credits: margaritaville.com

The choruses then reveal that he is having his vacation in order to forget about his failed romance. In addition, his friends keep on reminding him that he is not at fault, rather his ex-girlfriend. Hence, the last line of the song draws toward a shift in attitude and says,

first “it’s nobody’s fault,” then “hell, it could be my fault,” and finally “it’s my own damn fault.”

Song Cover: Alan Jackson feat. Jimmy Buffett

Alan Jackson |Photo Credits: alanjackson.com

In 1999, American country singer and Georgian native Alan Jackson released a cover of the song and included it on his eighth studio album, Under the Influence. His cover featured the vocals of the original, Jimmy Buffett, where he sang the third and final verses. To note, Jackson’s version was well-received. Billboard ranked it 63rd after its official release on October 26, 1999.

Listen to Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffett’s duet of the 1977 hit “Margaritaville”:

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