Jimmy Buffett and the Parrothead lifestyle

I am sitting here listening to a few Jimmy Buffett songs which I managed not to delete off my computer. I must admit that there’s a part of me which will always enjoy his music as it’s a fun, carefree music that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

I used to be a Parrothead (a.k.a. Jimmy Buffett fan, for those not in the know). I met a lot of great people when I went to Jimmy’s shows, and, of course, there are always local gatherings where fans find additional reason to party. And that’s an aspect of Buffett’s music that ultimately turns me away as someone who is trying to be a devoted Christian. I won’t say that most of Buffett’s songs are about getting drunk, but there’s definitely enough innuendo scattered throughout his repetoire to make even the least virtuous person just a bit worrisome, in my opinion.

Or maybe it’s just me. Maybe it’s my inability to listen to such music without somehow feeling “pressured” to live the life of the songs – relaxing on the beaches, enjoying more than my fair share of margaritas and beer, all the while admiring beautiful women in their bikinis.

What do you think?

All I know about him is his music and the stuff in his gift shop in Vegas, and my impression is that he is one of the world’s biggest promoters of sex, laziness, drugs, and drunkenness.

And I don’t like his music either, possibly because it invokes that sense of “this is all about being a worthless, high buffoon on a hammock”. :smiley:

I won’t deny you that – but I can’t help but sing along to “Margaritaville” when I hear it on the radio despite its lyrics which definitely promote such “high buffoon-ness.” Having been a Parrothead and owned most of his albums, it’s hard to get such catchy tunes out of your system, so to speak.

His lifestyle might not be a stellar example of moderation, but there’s a place for Jimmie Buffett and a drink or two once in awhile in a good Christian life.

I agree, and have to add that I get a little nervous when I hear any human being described as ‘worthless’.

That’s an understatement, isn’t it. :rolleyes:

You know, Buffet’s success just goes to show you that there is a definite market NEED for easy-going, smiling, have fun sounding music.

It’s not at all bad to want that. Buffet’s suggested methods of getting happy are problematic at best: I think we know the sex, drugs and rock and roll stuff doesn’t work and can lead to serious problems.

The Beach Boys have some fun-happy stuff. There are other groups, too.:slight_smile:

why would you be worried about innuendo?

the best music is about being human, having human weaknesses, falling in and out of love, growing old (e.g., A pirate looks at 40). if you find buffet worrisome, you probably really dislike sinatra.

I would agree with you that good secular music mirrors the human experience of suffering, weakness, etc., which is why I prefer pretty much everything that Bob Dylan has put out (with some exceptions) in addition to Springsteen and Mellencamp. Exulting and revelling in human weakness, though, as Buffett sings about is hardly the stuff that life is made of. For instance, you mention “A Pirate Looks At 40” – a song which contains lyrics such as:

But Ive done a bit of smugglin, Ive run my share of grass
Made enough money to buy miami, but I pissed it away so fast…


I have been drunk now for over two weeks,
Passed out and I rallied and I sprung a few leaks…


Now I go for younger women, lived with several awhile…

And, you’re right, I do take issue with some of Sinatra’s songs because it’s not like him being some old (now deceased) fogie makes him or some of his songs saintly in the popular music industry, but I think that could be said about most popular music. My issue with Buffett is that he’s allowed an entire industry to spring up around a contemporary Epicureanism.

Or a lot of country music.

well, Sinatra, CW and buffet didn’t start contemporary epicureanism …

those words shouldn’t even be used here. its fun music, or its introspective music. enjoy, remember being young, remember doing those things. sexual innuendo appears in virtually every popular song ever written. no one should listen to this kind of music looking to root out near occasions of sin, it can’t be mentally healthy.

And let’s not forget Buffet’s classic, “Let’s Get Drunk and ____”

Not exactly innuendo. :rolleyes: Nor is it about human weakness. It’s about self-indulgence, which is why his clothing line in his Vegas gift shop is full of “I don’t want to work” shirts and pictures of marijuana leaves on them. Real subtle, Jimmy.

I just don’t see the harm in song lyrics, titles, or shirt slogans. mind you, I’m not out looking for ways of being offended. *Why don’t we get drunk … *, I remember, was a crowd favorite.

I never knew anyone who took Buffet’s music seriously, even when we were younger and spent too much time drinking. I guess I was lucky that I didn’t know anyone who felt the need to emulate him. It always seemed sort of silly and now that we’re older, he seems sort of pathetic. But still, it was good background music for a party. I liked Dylan, but I came from that generation. (One of the best Christian rock songs I’ve ever heard is Third Day’s rendition of Dylan’s Saved by the Blood.)

I think the only two Jimmy Buffet songs I can recognize are “Margaritaville” and “Cheeseburger in Paradise.”

Music can affect people differently, so if you don’t like how it makes you feel, good for you for seeking out songs that you find more wholesome and uplifting.

As for how I’ve viewed “Margaritaville” as a single woman, I always pictured the “main character” in the song as having a good voice and likely being an interesting character with whom I could have a friendly conversation … But I also see him as being a self-made loser, and an example of why I tend to steer clear of bars. The parts in the song where such things as tattoos and stepping on pop tops (probably in bare feet so he ended up cutting himself and bleeding) are mentioned sound painful … So for me personally, this song does not serve as a temptation towards the beach bum kind of life.

Lately though, I’m finding myself keeping the radio turned off completely while I’m in the car, so I sort of know how you feel, Epistemes.

~~ the phoenix

Last month he was in concert in Chicago at Toyota Park. Traffic was backed up, I rolled down my window and got an awesome contact buzz from the tailgating Parrotheads in the parking lot - from that wonderful special plant MADE and KISSED BY GOD. :smiley:

I went for about a year without listening to anything in the car and kept finding myself drifting off and becoming less focused and alert. There’s very little on the radio I want to hear, so I started pretty much just carrying just one kind of music CD’s in the car. I love really English liturgical music & hymns, William Byrd, Thomas Tallis and some contemporary composers along those same lines. The guy who cuts me off in traffic never bothers me, i stay awake and calm (!) and feel prayerful. Ok, laugh if you want, but it works for me…

Have you guys forgotten about this one he sings:

My head hurts, My feet stink… and I don’t love Jesus.


Nope, Jimmy’s certainly not what I’d call religious. But that’s ok - I don’t look to him for spiritual guidance… Jimmy just makes me forget the daily grind and remember my carefree beachy days.

No, Jimmy’s not Christian, he’s not religious, he’s not particularly spiritual. But I like him, sometimes. I grew up listening to him. I think his song “Fruitcakes” probably gives a pretty good picture of his views along these lines. Note: He is a decent writer, certainly better than most of his contemporaries… not that that’s hard…


I LOVE Jimmy Buffett! He’s simply being (and has always been) irreverent in his music-or that’s my opinion anyhow. I can’t say I’m a parrothead but his concerts and the tailgating before them have some of the most relaxed and definitely most frinedly people you will ever meet on this earth…most “religions” should be jealous of that aspect. But I have always taken his music with a grain of salt (and I think he writes most of it that way). “My head hurts, my feet stink, and I don’t love Jesus” is FOLLOWED by the line “its that kind of MORNING”. And he has SAID that lets get drunk and _____ was written b/c so many (then) popular secular songs were suggesting just that so why not just SAY IT in the song…i.e. be honest about what the lyrics are about. Jimmy Buffett is still packing the stadiums this year (I went in Atlanta last month) at ? what 63? Don’t think he’s been “wasted” all that much REALLY as much as he sings about it or he wouldn’t be UP TO IT after all these years. Or up to surfing, flying a plane, navigating a sailboat, or keeping up with sold-out concerts all over the world. Look at his current pictures-he is the picture of health. Even if he disclaims it, LOL! Anyway, I wish all of us Christians DID treat each other and other people the way people are treated by the parrotheads at his concerts.
Verse from “The Christian”:

You were right there when the plate was passed last Sunday
That’s the second time you’ve been to church all year
Could you really call yourself a Christian
If charity cost half as much as beer

While I love Christian music, I also love many other kinds…and some of them I just consider Universal Truth. Changes in Lattitudes is one and most of what John Cougar Mellancamp (or whatever he is going by these days) is also…

Christian Buffett Fan,

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