Thursday, November 10, 2011

Jimmy Buffett and Me

Who doesn't like Jimmy Buffett?  His distinctive sound is happy and his lyrics are whimsical.  I've been a vegetarian for thirty-five years now and even I salivate when I listen to "Cheeseburger in Paradise."  Ya gotta love an artist who is able to make a song about a hamburger with a slice of cheese on it into a catchy tune.

Most of the time, I have an internal radio playing inside my head.  I don't know who makes the song selections, but generally I enjoy the playlist and when I wake up humming Jimmy Buffett, all's right with the world.  (The morning our dog died, I woke up hearing "Happy Trails to You" then got the phone call from the animal hospital.  Creepy, right?)

Yesterday I had a couple of guys about our son's age here putting down wood flooring, so I popped on "Songs you Know by Heart."  They turned up their noses and groaned.  Turns out that Jimmy Buffett is old people music.  Who'd a guessed?  They wanted to hear a band called Gogol Bordello. 

This group includes a violin and an accordion and Jimmy Buffett is old people music?  People stopped taking accordion lessons before I was in junior high.  (No offense Dianne.)  I had never heard of this band before -- now there's a shocker! -- but I discovered that the lead singer, Eugene Hütz, has a fun energy and I couldn't help humming along the third time I played "Start Wearing Purple."  Eugene wears colorful clothes and has decorated his guitar in collage, so he's got that going for him, too.  Plus I saw a video with Madonna singing "La Isla Bonita, Lela Pala Tute" which was a blend of her song and one of theirs, so clearly they have achieved commercial success and good for them on that one; it's a difficult business to break into.  Their sound is distinctive and brooding - gypsy music is how Wikipedia aptly describes it.

Gypsy music is fun for a change, but I still prefer island music.  Josh used to sing along with "Volcano" when he was a little guy and I guess our family all just grew up listening to it. 

Maybe it isn't really old people music at all -- maybe Jimmy just has strong regional appeal.  We live in the south now and people take sunny days for granted here.  Maybe southerners, not having lived in climates where snow shovels outnumber golf clubs, just can't get the appeal of mentally going somewhere where you don't have to dress in layers -- as Jimmy says, "I gotta go where it's WARM."

Or, it could just be old people music.  Jimmy would probably be okay with that.  Guess what?  There are more of US than there are of THEM.  And, now that the last kid has moved out, we are finally in charge of our own music selections.  

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