Monday, September 8, 2014

bubbly melody

Last Friday evening, typing here, I was thinking about the song, "Margaritaville," by Jimmy Buffett:  what was it made that song so great?  I'm not sure, but I remember when I heard it toward the end of my senior year in high school I said (to myself, in my head), "That is a great song."

I didn't understand exactly what everything in it meant -- was unfamiliar with the Margarita cocktail -- but the listener could understand all the words.  The meandering, beguiling melody; and Jimmy Buffett's vocal delivery - just so "right on" with a style naturally married to the lyrics, and a marriage made in heaven it was, or maybe made in Margaritaville...

Riding in a pickup with a friend, I eagerly directed that the volume be turned up, when this song came on -- and he looked at me in, I don't know, uptight surprise, like -- What was so important about a song?  He looked at me like I was a mysterious, puzzling person, to want that song turned up...(I don't believe I was so unusual; that song was a rather large hit, and it didn't get that way just from me alone getting psyched and turning it up...)

And I did not need anyone else to tell me that was a great song, or that it was a hit -- it didn't have to be cool with other kids in school; pronouncements from other teens were not necessary to me:  I knew.

Wasting away again in Margaritaville,

Searching for my lost shaker of salt...


21st-Century listeners "Comment" on the song:
-- It's a very sophisticated and dark story song, treated with a catchy tune and making fun of the depression.
-- The phrase "lost shaker of salt" has always bothered me..."
-- Man, you guys know how to dissect a song to its worst, and affect your own malapropism...It's simply a sailor's tune, or a dirge of limerickism, much like the Beach Boys, sloop John B.

-- (P.S. "lost shaker of salt" is very clever.)


-- [One commenter used to think it said, "outlaw shaker of salt" ...]

-- I've been a fan of Jimmy's since A White Sports Coat and a Pink Crustacean.

-- Great song.  A classic.  The sad-sack lyrics certainly undercut the bubbly melody.


(Or -- could it be the other way around??)


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