Sep 2 2023

Death of a Popular Poet

It’s a sad day in Margaritaville with news that Jimmy died yesterday far too young at age 76. After the initial shock, his first song that came to my mind was “Death of an Unpopular Poet“. Tears started as the song played in my head, but then I realized how lucky we legions of Parrotheads are that Jimmy didn’t leave “behind a closet filled with verse and rhyme“. He left behind millions of album collections filled with “words to make ya happy, words to make you cry“!

Sadly, Jimmy was ten years shy of the “86 years of perpetual motion” he sang about in “He Went to Paris“, but hopefully he felt he “had a good life all the way.” He certainly brought over half a century of joy, humor, tears, and escapism to millions of fans around the world. I fantasize that Jimmy’s not really gone but just escaped to his “Beach House on the Moon“.

With near constant touring, Jimmy lived up to his words in “Growing Older But Not Up“: “Let those winds of time blow over my head. I’d rather die while I’m living than live while I’m dead.

Still, for many of us, it will take a long time to do as he suggests in “Lage Nom Ai” and “taste this melancholy bouillabaisse called letting go.

Au revoir, Jimmy, I’ll be hearing “Miss You So Badly” in my head forever.

Death of an Unpopular Poet” and “He Went to Paris” from A White Sport Coat And A Pink Crustacean.

Beach House on the Moon” from Beach House on the Moon.

“Growing Older But Not Up” from Coconut Telegraph.

Lage Nom Ai” from Barometer Soup.

“Miss You So Badly” from Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes and also a great live version on You had To Be There: Recorded Live.

Nov 26 2012

A Caribbean Soul: Lesser Antilles (Leeward Islands)

The Leeward Islands are the Lesser Antilles closest to Florida and Jimmy’s heart, and most plentiful in his lyrics. Sailing roughly north and west, we hear about… Continue reading

Nov 26 2012

A Caribbean Soul: Lesser Antilles (Windward Islands)

Although the furthest Caribbean islands from Jimmy’s homes in Florida, three of the Windward Islands have managed to make it into his lyrics.

From south to north… Continue reading

Nov 26 2012

A Caribbean Soul: Lesser Antilles (Leeward Antilles)

The Caribbean offers a tropical smorgasbord (if there is such a thing!). The many islands have tastes of Europe (Britain, Spain, the Netherlands, France, Portugal), Africa and the Americas while retaining their own unique pleasures. It’s easy to see why the Europeans fought so fiercely over ownership of the islands; many changed hands multiple times. (Tobago holds the record: it was passed around 22 times during the colonial period.)

It’s the diversity of influences and the consistency of beautiful landscape that keeps it interesting for travelers, including Jimmy who has documented many of his own trips to these islands over the years. Continue reading

May 22 2007

A Caribbean Soul: Greater Antilles (Cuba)


Havana daydreamin’, oh he’s just dreamin’ his life away‚”

You can dream of Havana, but unless you fit into some very specific categories, you can’t go there. Restrictions on U.S. citizens’ travel to Cuba, even via a third country such as Mexico or Jamaica, are serious, and enforcement recently has increased. Go without a U.S. government-issued visa and face civil penalties and criminal prosecution. It used to be possible, but with passports now required for travel to the Caribbean and Mexico, your U.S. passport would get an extra entry stamp upon your return from Cuba en route back to the U.S. Two entry points in one trip? You’d have some ‘splainin’ to do. Continue reading