Cheeseburger in Paradise

Album: Son of a Son of a Sailor (1978)
Charted: 32
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  • Buffett said of this song: "The myth of the cheeseburger in paradise goes back to a long trip on my first boat, the Euphoria. We had run into some very rough weather crossing the Mona Passage between Hispanola and Puerto Rico, and broke our new bowsprit. The ice in our box had melted, and we were doing the canned-food-and-peanut-butter diet. The vision of a piping hot cheeseburger kept popping into my mind. We limped up the Sir Francis Drake Channel and into Roadtown on the island of Tortola, where a brand new marina and bar sat on the end of the dock like a mirage. We secured the boat, kissed the ground, and headed for the restaurant. To our amazement, we were offered a menu that featured an American cheeseburger and piña coladas. Now, these were the days when supplies were scarce - when horsemeat was more plentiful than ground beef in the tiny stores of the Third World. Anyway, we gave particular instructions to the waiter on how we wanted them cooked, and what we wanted on them - to which very little attention was paid. It didn't matter. The overdone burgers on the burned, toast buns tasted like manna from Heaven, for, they were the realization of my fantasy burgers on the trip. That's the true story. I've heard other people and places claim that I stopped or cooked in their restaurants, but that is the way it happened." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Ken - LaSalle, Canada
  • The trademark for the name "cheeseburger" was originally awarded to Louis Ballast of the Humpty Dumpty Drive-In, in Denver, Colorado in 1935. (From the book Food for Thought: Extraordinary Little Chronicles of the World by Ed Pearce)
  • In this song, Buffett wants his burger "medium rare with muenster," meaning he likes muenster cheese on his burger. The line is often misheard as "medium rare with mustard."
  • This inspired the Buffett-theme restaurant chain Cheeseburger In Paradise, which at it's peak had more than 30 locations throughout the US and one in Australia. By 2018, however, just one remained in Secaucus, New Jersey. Buffett also has a burger named after the tune at his Margaritaville Cafes.
  • This was used in the 2004 documentary Super Size Me, which examines the physical and psychological effects of a fast-food diet.
  • This opens Buffett's 1985 greatest hits compilation, Songs You Know By Heart.

Comments: 20

  • Malcolm Boyes from Tortola Bvi/sonoma Ca.I met Jimmy back in 1984 after returning from my first trip to the BVI's..staying on Cane Garden Bay. I was invited to Jimmy's launch of his , then, Caribbean Soul clothing line. Jimmy put on a small show and then we got to meet and talk. Jimmy told me that he wrote " Cheeseburger in Paradise" after sailing into Cane Garden Bay and dining at " Stanley's Welcome Bar" right there on the sand. He told me how he rented the house at the West End of Cane..a place recently owned by baseball legend Sandy Koufax and his wife. Another friend told me he ran into Jimmy at Stanley's when he was jamming with Peter Tosh and he told him the same story ..that Stanley's was where it was written. I always wonder why Jimmy has changed the story. BTW..STanley's was changed to Tony's and then blown completely away in Hurricane Irma..After meeting Jimmy I returned to Tortols and bought my beachfront home there in 1989..
  • Dj from Key WestDennis's Pharmacy
  • Reyos from Windsor, OnLosing weight without speed likely refers to an early use of amphetamines as a diet aid.
  • Chuck from South Deerfield, Ma, MaAlways one of the highlights of his live shows, lots of crowd participation
  • Brian from Boston, MaI relize I went on an Anti pot law rant but I digress.This is an awsome song.I have been a fan of Buffett for about 10 years now.It is however only recently that I have fimiliarized myself with Jimmys' less than popular sons.I realize of course that this is on of his most popular so to those that enjoy this song I suggest listening to all of his music .I really enjoy Buffett.He never tries to anything but what he is
  • Brian from Boston, MaTo me I always felt this song was written while Jimmy was high on weed .Jimmy smoked a lot of pot he will tell you so himself.When a person smokes weed they get what is known as the 'Munchies" wich is an increased appitite.The mere fact that weed increases ones appitite should be an indication of how harmless it is .As far back as 1969 scientists appointed by the Nixon administration concluded in a study that marijuana was"relativly harmless" Nixon however ignored these findings and declared war on pot considering it as dangerous as heroin and LSD.Which was all part of Nixons paranoia.He associated those that smoked pot with the anti war movement.This is rather ironic when you consider the fact that the original reason why pot was made illegal in the first place was also due to prejudice.Smoking pot was most commonly associated with Mexicans in the early 20th century when it was first made illegal.Making weed illegal was another way the goverment could harrass and arrest Mexicans.I was never a heavy pot smoker myself.I do not smoke it anymore because of the possibilitie of being drug tested at my job.I would smoke pot on only some occasions wich is perhaps why I enjoyed it so much I considered it a treat.I liked smoking it on vacation down Cape Cod before I went to the beach.Or perhaps before seeing a movie.Who is this hurting? If however I drank to excess on a particular weekend then I would have nothing to worry about.This law is ridiculous people.
  • Sean from Altoona, WiI am going to see Jimmy Buffett in East Troy, WI on August 29th (Tomorrow). It is the same day as my birthday. I have never seen Jimmy Buffett before. It should be a great concert!!
  • Thomas from Somerville, AlAnnabelles friend Richard is an IDIOT! Who in the H*ll would put Heinz 57 on a girl? Just when I thought I had heard all the stupidity there is to be heard in this world, somebody like Richard shows up and takes the cake.
  • Michaela from Brooklyn, NyHey Jim;me too.Make that a double cheeseburger!:D
  • Michaela from Brooklyn, NyI remember the first time I heard this song.on the radio.2003.I was listening to this song and I laughed.I said to myself,I can't believe someone made a song about cheeseburgers!This song is funny.
  • Jim from Denver, CoJust reading the lyrics has giving me the craving for that cheeseburger. As soon as the local Pub opens I will be there.
  • Maggie from Waynesville, OhRalph, its not about appeal but freedom and dreams. Its a nice escape.

    I like this song. I think its funny and upbeat. I fell better when i hear it.
  • Ralph from Newton, MaI don't get the appeal of this guy at all.
  • Alex from Loveland, CoI like this song. I think it might mean something else. . .
  • Zack from Buffalo, Nythis is one of my favorite songs I sing it so often. Plus its unique what other songs are there about cheeseburgers! I haven't come across another one
  • Geno from Peoria, IlCan't count how many times I've sung:
    "I like mine with lettuce and tomato
    Heinz 57 and french fried potatoes
    Big kosher pickle and a cold draft beer
    Well good God almighty which way do I steer for my..."

  • Mark from Outside Kc, KsI agree Jen... see "Why Don't We Get Drunk" for an illustration of his hidden sexual meanings. Richard needs a girlfriend.
  • Jen from Boulder, CoOh come on, your friend Richard is just a pervert. Jimmy would've made it much, much more direct had that been the truth.
  • Annabelle from Eugene, OrI don't know if this is true, but my best friend Richard once told me that "Cheeseburger In Paradise" meant, a boy is eating out a girl! Filthy, Dirty, Dirty, nasty, dirty interpretation!
  • Paul from Memphis, TnKen, it couldn't have been said better! That is a quote included with the new Buffet cd "License to Chill".
    paul g., memphis
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