One Particular Harbour

Album: One Particular Harbour (1983)
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Songfacts®:

  • Buffett said of this song: "I had my sights set on Tahiti a long time ago and connived my way there through my good friend Tom Moffatt in Hawaii. We went there to play a show to an unknown audience, but that didn't matter. I had still made it to Tahiti. At the airport we were met by an old expatriated American named Hugh Kelly who had run away from home a long time ago. We became instant friends, and he took me to his home on Moorea in the mountains above Cook's Bay. When I looked down at the vista, the song came out as if it had been sitting inside me waiting for the moment." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Ken - LaSalle, Canada
  • Buffett wrote this with Bobby Holcomb, a Hawaii-born musician who lived in Tahiti.
  • Buffett co-produced One Particular Harbour with Coral Reefer Band member Michael Utley. It was the singer's first foray into producing an album. His previous five albums were helmed by Norbert Putnam.
  • The music video was shot on the same boat as the movie The Bounty, based on the Mutiny on the Bounty of 1789, when Lieutenant Fletcher Christian seized control of a Royal Navy vessel from Captain William Bligh. Buffett happened to be in Tahiti while the movie, starring Mel Gibson and Anthony Hopkins, was being filmed and smooth- talked his way into using the ship and other accoutrements for his video. "Somehow or another we convinced the assistant to the assistant prop manager - after buying him several shots of tequila - to let us use the boat, Mel Gibson's uniform, and a cast of dancing girls the next morning to shoot our video," he recalled. "I didn't even have a video in mind when we did this, but I knew that I didn't want to let this opportunity pass me by without documenting it."

    A few years later, Buffett finished the video in Key West with director Frank Martin. He explained: "We scrambled up a storyboard and went back to Key West to make the connection between the Caribbean and the French Polynesia, which was my original musical intention to combine steel drums with Tahitian choirs… But that's what happens when you go looking for those exotic places. You might just end up finding that one particular harbour, I know where mine is."
  • The portion of the video filmed in Key West also features model/actress Margaux Hemingway.

Comments: 13

  • Larry Krueger from Deer Park, Tx"can't explain the likes of me" should be "can't FATHOM the likes of me. Get it right !! Sheesh !
  • Stukka63 from St.augustine,fla.I flew Air France to Papitia (or however the f*ck you spell it) a few years back.
    My wife was with me n she was like, “this is gonna be a disaster” I could see it in her eyes.
    So we’re on Bora Bora on the beach n she’s topless wearing a thong type bikini bottom.
    Same guys kept walking by staring at her. I’m like really?
    So the next day we went on a shark feeding adventure.
    Reef sharks everywhere. We’re in the water snorkeling. Next thing I know, A guy in the boat just unloads the chum buckets. I’m like oh shjt. Freaking sharks trying to bite my fins.
    Long story short, it was a cool trip.
    Side note. Then flying back to Cali...........This was a 747 and the lights n power would fade, n I swear it was like the engines would throttle down. I was like, please don’t set this thing down in the Pacific. My wife was like, omg scared to death.
  • Ken from Pensacola Beach, FlI've loved this song since it's debut in 1983. Nowadays I see it as the metaphor for that final end. It gives me a rare comfort to view it as that safe and final harbor... after all, what can harm you once you're there? I don't exactly look forward to it, but at 50-something, this particular song has diminished my fear of it. It makes it seem almost comforting in a way.
  • Terry from Colchester, VtWe all have that 'One particular Harbor'. I would have to say mine is Cane Garden Bay, Tortola, BVI. It's is unbelievably beautiful. With wild chickens and goats running down out of the mountains to mingle with the tourists. I'm sure some of those chickens end up on the grill at the cabana cafes there.
  • Maureen from Winter Haven , Flhi Lived there when Jimmy came to Moorea saw him play at the bar at Hotel Bali Hai. All the Tahitians wanted him to play Cheese Burger in Paradise. Most of them of them didn't understand English, but they loved it. The view from Hugh Kelly's house is so breath taking I can see how Jimmy wrote One particular Harbor. Seeing what he saw and living there for 15 years that song will always have a special place in my heart
  • Jim from Hamilton, NjSmoke in Belmar? As in Smoke the PJ?
  • Smoke from Belmar, NjZack, What bar in Manasquan? I'm from Belmar right next door to manasquan
  • Steve from Boston, MaKalyn....very nicely said. You seem like a genuine nice person and a truly good friend.
  • Joe from Atlanta, Ga"Ia ora te natura. E mea arofa teie ao nei" are Tahitian phrashes that translate to:
    Nature Lives (Life to Nature), Have pity for the Earth (Love the Earth)
  • Kalyn from Springfield, IlI was introduced to this song by a long time friend. He told me that no matter what was happening in his crazy life, I was his One Particular Harbor = where he felt safe and calm, and even though we had become separated by 200 miles (so far, and yet so near), we don't get together "often enough". I've seen him though the ups and downs of his life, two successful careers, the raising of his sons, the deaths of his wife, brother, and most recently, his father. Buffett has his story of this song, I have mine.
    - Kathylynn, Springfield, IL
  • Annabelle from Eugene, OrWhat is the origin and nationality of the words, "Ia ora te natura. E mea arofa teie ao nei", and what do they mean?
  • Zack from Vero Beach, Flthere is a beach bar in Manasquan, New Jersey, when ever this song plays all of the cooks and bartenders start banging on all of the pots pans and bottles. This song just makes you want to cut loose
  • Brian from Providence, RiTo me, that that "one particular harbor" is that one place where you go to get away. Whether its a mental moment of solitude where everything is centered, or a physical place where you finally feel at ease. Even though Jimmy gave the explanation, I really feel like that when I listen to the lyrics.
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