Margaritaville

Album: Changes In Latitudes, Changes In Attitudes (1977)
Charted: 8
  • songfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • Buffett wrote this song in Key West, Florida after he finished a tour with his group, the Coral Reefer Band. They had just toured Texas, and Buffett spent some time drinking Margaritas in a Mexican restaurant with a friend before going back to Key West. When he got there, he sat at the Old Anchor Inn watching gridlock on the roads - and used it as inspiration as he composed the song.
  • Buffett recorded this song at Criteria Studios in Miami with producer Norbert Putnam. Buffett and Putnam met in Nashville, which is where each did most of their work. When Buffett asked Putnam to work on an album of songs about a carefree lifestyle by the water, Putnam told him that he needed to be near the water when recording it if he was going to pull it off, so Miami it was. Putnam said in Sound On Sound: "One day in the studio, he comes in and starts telling me about a day he had in Key West. He was coming home from a bar and he lost one of his flip-flops and he stepped on a beer can top and he couldn't find the salt for his Margarita. He says he's writing lyrics to it and I say 'That's a terrible idea for a song.' He comes back in a few days later with 'Wasted Away Again In Margaritaville' and plays it and right then everyone knows it's a hit song. Hell, it wasn't a song - it was a movie."
  • Regarding the success of this song, Buffett said: "I was lucky enough to get my thumb on the pulse beat of what people perceived the tropics to be."
  • "Margaritaville" has come to symbolize a carefree Caribbean lifestyle - what some in Key West call "Keys disease." For many, the only time they experience this way of living is on vacations or at Jimmy Buffett concerts. Buffett has a lot of fans who work very hard, make a lot of money, and use his music as an escape.
  • Buffett was born in Mississippi and raised in Alabama. He didn't come to Key West, Florida until 1971, when he was 24 years old. As a transplant, he had a perspective on the area that natives don't, which helped him capture the ethos in this song.
  • Buffett has always loved sailing, and when this song became a hit, he was thrilled because he could buy his own boat. He has said that even if he was a one hit wonder, he would have been happy with his boat sailing around the islands.
  • When Buffett sings about how he "Stepped on a pop-top" and cut his heel, requiring a cruise back home to enjoy a margarita, he's referring to pull-off tops from soda and beer cans that caused a litany of minor injuries as they were often thrown on the ground and then stepped on by poor souls who blew out their flip-flops. In the late '70s, the pop-tops were replaced with much safer non-removable round "pop-down/pop-in" tabs. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Mike - Mountlake Terrace, Washington
  • Buffett owns Margaritaville stores in Key West, New Orleans, Jamaica, Charleston, and Orlando. They sell clothing and other items inspired by the song.
  • Former Van Halen vocalist Sammy Hagar covered this for his 2013 Sammy Hagar & Friends album. His version is a duet with Toby Keith. He told Rolling Stone that it took him a long time to figure out that the country star would be a good fit for his version. "He's like my closest friend," said Hagar, "in country, for sure, and one of the most typical Cabo Wabo heads. We've sat in Cabo Wabo and played 'Margaritaville' there 35 times, if not more. And to not realize until after I cut 'Margaritaville' that I should get Toby to do the duet on it?"

    This cover is also included as a bonus track on the Deluxe version of Toby Keith's Drinks After Work album.
Please sign in or register to post comments.

Comments: 41

  • Holly from Perry, GaI heard about a pit bull found in the establishment in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Now that I have read this, the lyrics make sense to me.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn March 27th 1977, "Margaritaville" by Jimmy Buffett entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #84; sixteen weeks later on July 17th, 1977 it would peak at #8 {for 2 weeks} and spent 22 weeks on the Top 100...
    And on May 22nd, 1977 it reached #1 {for 1 week} on Billboard's Adult Contemporary Tracks chart; also peaked at #1 on Canadian RPM Contemporary chart...
    Between 1974 and 1981 he had ten Top 100 records; after "Margaritaville" his next biggest hit was "Come Monday", it peaked at #30 in 1974 and was his debut record on the Top 100...
    Jimmy is a Christmas baby, and will celebrate his 69th birthday this coming December 25th {2015}.
  • Dt from Gulf Breeze, FlI could easily name a dozen other Buffett songs I like better, but is the one he will be remembered for. I'll give him credit, he did a great job in his music of selling a wonderful life style that most of would love if we didn't have responsibilities like family, job, a mortgage, etc. getting in the way of just being able to goof off and drink, fish, hang out at the beach, smoke dope, drink, listen to music at beach bars and chase skirts, drink-you get the idea. So we maybe get to do it a few weeks a year and the rest of the time listen to his music and drink. I'll pass on the margarita's though. Blue Hawaiians are good.
  • Bobby from Killen, AlSo, I've been a ParrotHead since they were calling us FinHeads (fromthe song Fins). When I was in High School in the 80's, I was dating a girl who presumably didn't like me very much. She concocted a story with her brother (a former marine) that Margaritaville was actually written about a Marine Base in California called Camp Marguarite. Apparently a common prank there was to steal salt shakers from the table in mess hall, hence the "lost shaker of salt." She also said that many of the Marines were there becuase some woman broke their heart , "...a woman to blame." Geeesh - the lengths some people will go to just to tell a story.
  • Giddyup Dave from Port Of Lexington, OhInteresting fact. Before Jimmy Buffett, the original Margaritaville is alive and well in Sandusky, Ohio near the shores of Lake Erie. They continue to have the rights to use the name Margaritaville.
  • Brian from Boston, MaCharles from Atlanta GA. I have never heard that story before but I like it. Is it really true?
  • Charles from Atlanta, GaThe story goes something like this: Jimmy B was in a bar or similar and had some coke on him. The police were coming in to raid the place. He dumped out a salt shaker and poured his coke into it. He left it on a table and calmly walked away. When the raid was over (and Jimmy was free to go), he returned for his "salt". The waitress had cleared the tables and he couldn't find it anywhere. Hence, the "lost shaker of salt".
  • Heather from Los Angeles, CaStrange that so many here think this song is a paen to easy living. I've always thought it was about the ruminations of an alcoholic on his wasted life. "But there's booze in the blender and soon it will render, that frozen concoction that helps me hang on.".
    A plain and simple song? Listen to the lyrics.
  • Brian from Boston, MaI enjoy Buffetts' music. I like to listen to it in the sun with an adult beverage{or 2 or 3] Buffett is amazing in that he really "created" this "escapism" music.The lifestyle he sings of has been a fantasy to all of us i'm sure at least one time or another in our lives. Who amongst us does not long for the easy going laid back beach life? I recently learned how to play this on guitar.The song is relativly simple to play. Basically strumming around 4 chords or so. I do however enjoy playing it. I like Jimmys' guitar playing and I think he has a nice voice.When it comes to music some times simple is good.
  • Paul from Detroit, MiMike: Come Monday might have been #1 in your record collection. It hit #30.
  • Bill from Indialantic, FlTo Mike in St. Louis, "Come Monday" never made it past the top 30 on the charts. Check your facts buddy. Like maybe on this site???
  • Ksa from Houston, TxFolks, please read through all the comments before posting---some of you are repeating previous information. In addition to the Margaritaville stores previously mentioned, Buffett has stores in Uncasville, CT; Las Vegas; Myrtle Beach, SC; Glendale, AZ; Waikiki (Honolulu), Hawaii; and Cancun, Mexico. He also has "cafes" in Key West; Orlando; New Orleans; Panama City, FL; Las Vegas; Uncasville, CT; Myrtle Beach, SC; Glendale, AZ; Jamaica; and Cancun, Mexico.
  • 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!! One of his most famous songs by far!!!
  • Chomper from Franjkin County, PaJimmy Buffett wrote other songs like "Coconut Telegraph" , "When Salome plays The Drums" ; and also wrote the book "We're Off To See the Lizards" . I his book , "Margaritaville" , Jimmy says that alot of people have asks him several times where is Margaritaville ; and he answered back that it isn't a real place on the map , but any place you wish it to be. One time while going out to eat at a Chi - Chi's restaurant in Allentown, Pa. back in the mid or late 80s ; I've noticed that they had a bar that served mexican drinks with your dinner. That bar's name was called "Margaritaville" , and the restaurant served "Strawberry Margaritas" in margarita glasses. We would sit at our table , enjoy our drinks ; and when we were finished with them , we would put the empty glasses under our coats and carried them out to our car without the waitress seeing us. We ripped off about 6 or 7 Margarita glasses in one day ; and the manager didn't stop us nor question onced about the glasses , and we still have them to this day . LOL !
  • Thomas from Somerville, AlBuffet rules. Margaritaville is a state of mind. Read the book.
  • Alec Thorp from Yorktown Heights, NyAlso, on "Jeff Dunham's Very Special Christmas Special" Walter (one of Dunham's puppets) says that if there were an all white holiday (Merry Caucasia) one of the Caucasia carols would be Margaritaville.
  • Alec Thorp from Yorktown Heights, NyOne of the newest episodes of South Park is titled "Margaritaville"
  • Thomas from Somerville, AlIf anybody ever took any time to read any of Buffetts books, one would find that Margaritaville is NOT a place but a State of Mind.
  • Coconut Pete from Tampa, FlI think you mean Pinacoladaburg...the song I wrote 7 f'in years before Margaritaville was even on the map!!!

    CP
  • Sailorbob from Orange Park, FlThis song is a therapeutic relationship from a person who denies responsibility for what has happened in his life "Some people claim that there's a woman to blame But I know it's nobody's fault"
    Transitioning to the possibility of taking responsibility for one's situation "Some people claim that there's a woman to blame Now I think
    Hell, it could be my fault"
    To acceptance of responsibility for ones situation "Yes and some people claim that there's a woman to blame And I know it's my own damn fault"

    From total denial of responsibility to total ownership.....a psychological journey only few will complete.
  • Meredith from Wauwatosa, WiThis song makes me want to sip Margaritas on a beach somewhere! A very neat song!
  • Jeff from St. Louis, MoLyrics:
    Nibblin' on sponge cake,
    watchin' the sun bake;
    All of those tourists covered with oil.
    Strummin' my six string on my front porch swing.
    Smell those shrimp--
    They're beginnin' to boil.

    Wasted away again in Margaritaville,
    Searchin' for my lost shaker of salt.
    Some people claim that there's a woman to blame,
    But I know it's nobody's fault.

    Don't know the reason,
    Stayed here all season
    With nothing to show but this brand new tattoo.
    But it's a real beauty,
    A Mexican cutie, how it got here
    I haven't a clue.

    Wasted away again in Margaritaville,
    Searchin' for my lost shaker of salt.
    Some people claim that there's a woman to blame,
    Now I think,-- hell it could be my fault.

    I blew out my flip flop,
    Stepped on a pop top;
    Cut my heel, had to cruise on back home.
    But there's booze in the blender,
    And soon it will render
    That frozen concoction that helps me hang on.

    Wasted away again in Margaritaville
    Searchin' for my lost shaker of salt.
    Some people claim that there's a woman to blame,
    But I know, it's my own damn fault.
    Yes, and some people claim that there's a woman to blame,
    And I know it's my own damn fault

    _____________________________________________

    Margaritaville (live version with the lost verse - from the album "Buffett Live: Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays")

    Nibblin' on sponge cake
    Watchin' the sun bake
    All of you parrotheads covered with oil
    (and feathers and signs and fins)
    Strummin' my six-string
    On my front porch swing
    Smell those shrimp, hey they're beginnin' to boil
    (Bubble, bubble, bubble, bubble)

    Chorus:
    Wasted away again in Margaritaville
    Searching for my lost shaker of salt
    (Salt! Salt! Salt!)
    Some people claim that there's a woman to blame
    And I know this is somebody's fault

    I don't know the reason
    I stayed here all season
    With nothin' to show but that brand new tattoo
    (Hell yes it hurts!)
    But it's a real beauty
    Oh, I think she might be a Nantucket cutie
    Or maybe she's from the Vineyard, I haven't got a clue

    Chorus:
    Wasted away again in Margaritaville
    Searchin' for my lost shaker of salt
    (Salt! Salt! Salt!)
    Some people claim that there's a woman to blame
    (I agree with that)
    And I know, it's all you women's fault

    Coming soon!

    Old men in tanktops
    Cruising the giftshops
    (It's the lost verse!)
    Checkin' out Chiquitas down by the shore
    (I found her! I found her!)
    They dream about weightloss
    Wish they could be their own boss
    Those three day vacations become such a bore

    I blew out my flip-flop
    Stepped on a pop-top
    I broke my leg twice I had to limp on back home
    But there's booze in the blender
    And soon it will render
    That frozen concoction that helps me hang on
    (Hang on! Hang on! Hang on!)

    Wasted away again in Margaritaville
    (That's where this ship is headed)
    Searching for my lost shaker of salt
    (Salt! Salt! Salt!)
    Some people claim that there's a woman to blame
    But I know it's my own damn fault
    (That's what the therapist said)
    Some people claim that there's a woman to blame
    There always is and I know
    It's my own damn fault

  • Craig from Melbourne, AustraliaIts just a song for overweight right-wingers in too tight Hawaiian shirts.
  • Dolphinthefish from Ourtown, United StatesObviously, Mike doesn't know... Come Monday peaked at #30 on the pop single charts (Billboard)
  • Patrick from Tallapoosa, GaWhen Buffett performs the song at concerts, he often changes the line "All of the tourists covered in oil" to "All of the Parrot Heads covered in oil" referring to Buffett fans, who have affectionately called themselves "Parrot Heads".
  • Alex from Ottawa, CanadaThis song was an EXTREMELY funny parody in Broken Lizard's Club Dread. I highly recomend it
  • Howard from St. Louis Park, MnJimmy Buffett's hit song spawned a series of short stories he wrote titled Tales of Margaritaville. He answers the question "Where is Margaritaville?" by answering "When you are there, you will know it."
  • Mike from St Louis, MoJust so you know, Come Monday hit number one.
  • Greer from Somerset, NjI always found this song a little sad, or at least, the charecter in it a little pathetic...."Blew out my flip flop, stepped on a pop top, cut my heel, had to cruise on back home..." to drink more booze.....He's a sad man passed his prime, but in total denial about it....
  • Bosco from Atlanta, GaUp until "its five'o'clock somewhere" this was buffett's closest shot at a number one hit. It reached number 8. Buffett was the number one selling artist to never have a number one hit. He is now the best selling artist to never have a solo number one hit.
  • Scott from Chicago, IlHow one little song can encapsulate a world mindset, and inspire hundreds of thousands of parrotheards to attend concerts, is nothing short
    of miraculous.
  • Mark from Outside Kc, KsWhen I grow up I want to be Jimmy Buffett... while not my favorite, I do love to randomly sing this loudly and proudly.

    I agree with Jimmy that Margaritas should not be anyone's drink of choice.
  • Ken from Lasalle, CanadaIf you collected all the world leaders from all the various countries around the world, got them smashed on Margaritas, and had them sing this, guess what? No more wars.
  • Ken from Lasalle, CanadaBuffett: "This song was written about a drink in Austin, Texas and the first huge surge of tourists who descended on Key West, Florida, almost three decades ago. What can I say? People ask if I ever get tired of playing it. The answer is no. It has paid the rent for a long time, and seems to put a few minutes of joy into this troubled world when sung by fans at a show. I feel very lucky".
  • Clarence from Brunswick, GaIt's five o'clock somewhere, the duet with Alan Jackson is Jimmy Buffets only number one hit, and it is on the country charts.
  • May from Sacramento, CaHeck, I'll have a margarita on the rocks to this song anytime.
  • Patrick from Conyers, GaAlan Jackson recorded a follow-up to this song, with Jimmy Buffett called "It's 5:00 Somewhere". Most businessmen tend to go to the bar right after work. Their drink of choice? Margaritas.
  • Deana from Indianapolis, InJimmy Buffett hates margaritas, and gets tired of people ordering them for him while out
  • Tim from Covington , GaIt has been reported over and over that Margaritaville is the most played song in the world. It is reported that the song is playing somewhere every 8 minutes.
    That information is supposedly from the music industry and not connected to Jimmy or
    his band of Parrot Heads. This information
    was repeated as late as spring 2003
  • Ken from Lasalle, CanadaThere is a "Lost Verse" to this song, and Buffett performs it on occaision. The lyrics are as follows...
    "Old men in tanktops, cruisin' the gift-shops. Checkin' out chiquitas, down by the shore... They dream about weight-loss, wish they could be their own boss, those three-day vacations can be such a bore". His record company asked him to pare the song down for FM radio airplay.
  • Nathan from Atlanta, GaThe song is plain and simple. He's upset and the answer is to drink, drink, and possibly drink some more. The drinks of choice are margaritas, duh. Or its about gridlock, and the only thing to do is drink margaritas.
see more comments