The Captain and the Kid

Album: Down To Earth (1970)
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Songfacts®:

  • Buffett wrote this poignant folk song in honor of his grandfather, who took him sailing when he was a kid and instilled his love of the sea. Captain James Delaney Buffett, a former sailor who could never quite adjust to life on land, died on January 2, 1970 at age 82. When Buffett came home to Nashville after the wake, he poured his grief into song.
  • A Nashville record producer showed interest in the song but thought it was too sad. He wanted Buffett to change the ending and let the old man live, but Buffett refused. After all, his grandfather had died and that's what inspired the song. The experience soured the singer's opinion of Nashville and the following year he moved to Key West, where he cultivated his image as an easy-going purveyor of island tunes.
  • This first appeared on Buffett's debut album, Down To Earth. He re-recorded it for Havana Daydreamin' in 1976 and Meet Me In Margaritaville: The Ultimate Collection in 2002.

Comments: 4

  • Hugh Mcphee from Wick, United KingdomGreat song. Perhaps a wee bit more obscure than the favourites like Margaritaville, et all.
  • Cage from Boston, MaJust want to reiterate that this is a beautiful song about his "grandfather"
  • Patrick from Philadelphia, PaBuffett often tells the story that when he first was shopping this song around that a record executive told him that it was too sad and that he would have to change the ending so that "The Captain" didn't die at the end. Buffett refused, when asked why he said, "because in the real world he did."
  • Richard from Jefferson, NcActually, it was about his grandfather. See the liner notes in 'Boats Beaches Bars & Ballads'
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