Manana

Album: Son of a Son of a Sailor (1978)
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • Buffett: "I spent a year living on my boat in the British Virgin Islands. One night I was anchored in Jost Van Dyke in front of Foxy's Bar and was staring out at the lights of St. Thomas in the distance. All of a sudden the electricity went out and the stars were the only lights left. I imagined the panic at the power plant while the stars smugly shone on into the dawn, and the song became the chronicle of the things I had done and seen that week. Better than notes on a calendar." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Ken - LaSalle, Canada
  • Manana means "tomorrow" in Spanish. Many Americans use it to indicate a task that's not a top priority:

    When are you going to clean the garage?
    Manana
  • In the lyrics, Buffett explains how he was hanging out at a marina when he got a call from actor Steve Martin, "Singin' anybody there really want to get small." Martin had just released his hugely popular comedy album Let's Get Small, with the title track using "small" as a euphemism for "high." Right after the reference in Buffett's tune, the singer notes how there's not enough dope around for everyone to get high.
  • This also references Cane Garden Bay, a beach on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. It's also the home of the Callwood Rum Distillery, which is also mentioned in the lyrics.
  • The song closes with Buffett stating, "And I hope Anita Bryant never ever does one of my songs." Bryant was a pop singer, known for her 1960 hit "Paper Roses," but it wasn't her music that Buffett opposed - it was her stance as an anti-gay rights activist. In 1977, as Buffett was recording Son Of A Son Of A Sailor, Bryant was running a "Save Our Children" campaign to repeal gay rights legislation in Dade County, Florida.

Comments: 5

  • Brent Mundt from Metairie“And I hope Anita Bryant never ever does one of my songs” was music to the ear of a scared young Gay boy like me. She was one nasty Bible Bigot - bashing us scared folks. So, knowing we had straight allies like Jimmy made me a parrot head for life!
  • Brian from Boston, MaAwsome song one of Buffetts' best
  • Joel from Bucks County, PaI'm surprised that nobody made mention of the direct drug line (no pun intended) in this tune.
    There may also be a reference to cocain too.
  • Scott from St. Louis, Mo"Hangin' out at a marina when Steve Martin called
    Singin' anybody there really want to get small"
    I like to GET SMALL. It's a wild, wild drug. Very dangerous for kids though because they get REALLY small. I know I shouldn't get small when I'm driving, but I was driving around the other day and a cop pulls me over, and he goes "Hey, are you SMALL?" I said, "no, I'm tall, I'm tall." HE said "I'm gonna have to measure you." They have a test, it's a baloon, if you can get inside of it, they know you're SMALL.
  • Tom from St Thomas, Us Virgin Islands , United StatesBeing from St.Thomas,General Electric has nothing to do with the power plant. It is owned by the government and is called WAPA (Water and Power Authority) This is an inside joke for us locals when Jimmy lived in the islands. When tourists ask us when the lights will come back on, our reply maybe tomorrow mon.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Dean Friedman - "Ariel"

Dean Friedman - "Ariel"They're Playing My Song

Dean's saga began with "Ariel," a song about falling in love with a Jewish girl from New Jersey.

Emmylou Harris

Emmylou HarrisSongwriter Interviews

She thinks of herself as a "song interpreter," but back in the '80s another country star convinced Emmylou to take a crack at songwriting.

Danny Kortchmar

Danny KortchmarSongwriter Interviews

Danny played guitar on Sweet Baby James, Tapestry, and Running On Empty. He also co-wrote many hit songs, including "Dirty Laundry," "Sunset Grill" and "Tender Is The Night."

Who Wrote That Song?

Who Wrote That Song?Music Quiz

Do you know who wrote Patti Smith's biggest hit? How about the Grease theme song? See if you can match the song to the writer.

Bible Lyrics

Bible LyricsMusic Quiz

Rockers, rappers and pop stars have been known to quote the Bible in their songs. See if you match the artist to the biblical lyric.

Real or Spinal Tap

Real or Spinal TapMusic Quiz

They sang about pink torpedoes and rocking you tonight tonight, but some real lyrics are just as ridiculous. See if you can tell which lyrics are real and which are Spinal Tap in this lyrics quiz.