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The award-winning student news site of Olympic Heights High School

The Torch

The award-winning student news site of Olympic Heights High School

The Torch

Jimmy Buffett’s Lyrical Legacy

Jimmy Buffetts Lyrical Legacy

Jimmy Buffett Influences Generations

A 50-year career, 40 tours worldwide, and more than 20 million albums sold all over the globe, Jimmy Buffett has had a monumental musical career. On September 1, 2023, a world renowned pop, country and folk music writer and singer was lost — a legend who left a lasting legacy of music.

Jimmy Buffett wrote and performed a large variety of music — from pop music to tropical rock, country, and even folk rock. He wrote music for over five decades, “with songs about the faces and places he’d seen during his lifetime.” Jimmy traveled to a multitude of tropical destinations, which allowed for his song inspiration. Buffett grew up in the Gulf Coast of Florida, which allowed for him to be inspired to work with country artist Kenny Chesney. Together, they created a song called “Trying to Reason with Hurricane Season,” which shares about how even when life gets as chaotic as a hurricane, it is simply unstoppable and you must get through it. Jimmy Buffett had also partnered with Alan Jackson in 2003 on their hit duo, “It’s 5 O’ Clock Somewhere,” which was number one on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs for eight weeks and won the Country Music Association Award for Vocal Event of the Year. The video for this hit was filmed locally in Jupiter at the Square Grouper Bar. Twenty years later, and that song is still sung by many Parrotheads around the world. In 1977, “Margaritaville” was released, topping Billboard charts for 22 weeks ranking number eight and creating a whole new world for Buffett.

Margaritaville: More than a Song

After Buffett’s song spread worldwide and he was known by just about everyone, he was able to create his own Margaritaville. The brand simply started from the song that talked about “eating sponge cake and watching the sun bake,” while transforming into a multibillion dollar company. In a 2017 FORBES article, his company contained “50 licensed categories that include 10 destination resorts across the Southeast U.S. and the Caribbean with more than 20 additional locations in active development, four gaming locations, apparel and footwear for men and women, home décor items and more than 60 restaurants, including Margaritaville Restaurant, the award-winning JWB Prime Steak and Seafood, 5 o’Clock Somewhere Bar & Grill and LandShark Bar & Grill. In total, more than 21 million travelers visit a Margaritaville destination each year.” The range of hotels, casinos, bars, restaurants, and even a cruise ship, allowed Jimmy Buffett to spread what he loves with others. All the way from the U.S. Virgin Islands to Mexico to Puerto Rico and the states themselves, Margaritaville was able to share its love and pride. 

Parrot Head Lifestyle

Jimmy Buffett’s tropical lifestyle also influenced his growing fanbase. His fans call themselves “Parrot Heads,” as a spin off from Grateful Dead fans who called themselves “Dead Heads.” Known for wearing tropical themed attire that typically included grass skirts, Hawaiian leis, tropical print shirts and straw hats, Parrot Heads create elaborate island style parking lot tailgates before his concerts to celebrate their love of Jimmy Buffett’s music and culture. His fanbase is like no other, as they would travel concert to concert and demographics included people of all ages and ethnic backgrounds. These fans have a strong love for his music and laid back lifestyle. There is even an international network of Parrot Head clubs.

What is your favorite Jimmy Buffet song?


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Newest Song Released After Passing

Jimmy Buffett was able to write several new songs before his passing. The first one released after his passing was “Bubbles Up,” a ballad rather than one of his typical tropical tunes. The title reflects “how sailors can follow the bubbles up to the water’s surface to escape drowning” from a capsized boat. The song’s lyrics reflect how you can always go back to your friends and family no matter how hard life may get. It is ironic in a sense, since many of his friends and family as well as fans would need comfort after his passing. Buffet had such a great impact on so many generations. This song is his way of saying that everything will be alright, just remember who loves you and cares for you. It is almost like he is holding his friends, family and fans close while telling them it will all be ok through a song.

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  • P

    Pam SteinhilberSep 28, 2023 at 2:33 pm

    I love listening to jimmy sing any of his songs but I have to say my best and favorite song is Come Monday I love the song,the video,and way the video was made simple and everything that he was apart of

  • P

    Pam SteinhilberSep 28, 2023 at 2:31 pm

    I love listening to jimmy sign any of his songs but I have to say my best and favorite song is Come Monday I love the song,the video,and way the video was made simple and everything that he was apart of

  • C

    cary GordonSep 26, 2023 at 8:42 pm

    Enjoyed the article, Jimmy Buffett will be missed: Party on Jimmy

  • E

    EthanSep 26, 2023 at 11:46 am

    Great article.

    • C

      Christine BarrSep 26, 2023 at 8:55 pm

      I just loved & so enjoyed Jimmy.