In Memory of Jimmy Buffett. Yes, I was sad when I heard Jimmy Buffett died this past weekend. Not only because I enjoyed his music, but because we loved the same places: Chicago's Wrigley Field (where he performed multiple concerts and sang "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" and The National Anthem) and Key West. If you watch the parade Conchs held in his honor Sunday, you'll see a Cub W flag. Warms my heart. He was one of us.
And so this week I celebrate him with a countdown of my 13 favorite Jimmy Buffett songs. Thank you, Jimmy. Putting this list together was fun, and fun is important.
13. Mele Kalikimaka. Hawaiian for Merry Christmas. It makes me smile because my friend Kathleen loves to sing along with it. This was her late father's favorite Christmas record. Jimmy created happy memories. (And let's say a prayer for our fellow citizens in Maui.)
12. Barefoot Children. There's something magic about summer storms. I love that line, "The sound of the weather is Heaven's ragtime band." If my dad were here, he'd grumble and say I talk like someone without a yard who doesn't have to pick up the leaves and big branches after a storm. My late father was in no way a Parrothead.
11. Son of a Son of a Sailor. "Read dozens of books about heroes and crooks and I learned much from both of their styles." Love that because Jimmy the Beach Bum was also Jimmy the Author, Jimmy the Environmentalist, and Jimmy the Businessman. There were many facets to this Renaissance man.
10. Changes in Latitude, Changes in Attitude. "If we couldn't laugh we'd just all go insane." I am grateful that I find most things funny. To the extent that I am, indeed, sane, I credit my sense of humor.
9. Boat Drinks. "20º and the hockey game's on." Sometimes in the dead of winter -- on those days when 20º feels warm! -- it helps to order a tall drink in a funny glass filled with rum and coconut.
8. Grapefruit - Juicy Fruit. I love songs that sound happy but have melancholy lyrics. This one reminds me of when I was in a long-distance relationship. The agony of parting and knowing we wouldn't be together again for weeks. "It's so damn lonely when you're on a plane alone ..."
7. Wonderful Christmastime. I heard this the first time in the Margaritaville gift shop in Key West. I was far from home and my mom had recently died, but it was sunny and I had Sir Paul and Jimmy Buffett and my dear friend Henry so I could still have Christmas.
6. Pencil Thin Mustache. I adore the romance and honky tonk nostalgia, and movie geek in me loves the shout outs to Erroll Flynn, Boston Blackie and Andy Devine.
5. Why Don't We Get Drunk and Screw? "I really do appreciate the fact that you're sitting here." What a great closing time pick up line! This song cracks me up, and it takes me back to a more innocent time when this was considered naughty.
4. Come Monday. Jimmy didn't do many straight up love songs, but this is a good one. It's so authentic and relatable. (It helps that I don't much care for Los Angeles and glitter rock and roll, either.)
3. Fins. This is how it felt when I was cute and partying at the bars. "Can't you feel them circling, honey? Can't you feel schooling around? You've got fins to the left, fins to the right, and you're the only bait in town."
2. Margaritaville. Of course. But why do I love this one? Because it's more than a celebration of Key West life. It's the story of a man who has had his heart broken, which is a painful and confusing experience for all of us.
1. Cheeseburger in Paradise. Because it's freaking awesome. It just is. I love that when my nephew was a little boy he chose to perform this on his first karaoke night while on vacation. Blood will tell.
Please join us for THURSDAY THIRTEEN. Click here to play along, and to see other interesting compilations of 13 things.