As we were preparing for the first game day of the season at the Dixie Chicken, we woke up to the news of the passing of the one and only Jimmy Buffett. Even though we’re far removed from the coast, his island and country blend of music often hits home within our walls. He’d already established himself on our playlist with songs like “Come Monday” and “A Pirate Looks At Forty” but the song that really cemented him for years to come, not only at the Chicken, but around the world, was the 1977 release of “Margaritaville” off of his Changes in Latitude Changes in Attitude album.
There are a handful of songs that instantly grab hold of just about every patron and start singing along with in unison, “Margaritaville” is one of those. With its catchy melody and lyrics that paint a vivid picture of a laid-back, beachside paradise, it’s the perfect soundtrack for people looking to escape their everyday lives, if only for a little while. Whether you’re knee deep in the ocean or a crowded cedar bar, the good timing tune resonates. It’s near impossible to be sad listening to Jimmy Buffett. This song, and album is a testament to his unparalleled ability to capture the essence of escapism and carefree living through his music.
“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”
Listening to “Changes In Latitudes, Changes In Attitudes” today still evokes a sense of nostalgia for those who frequented the Dixie Chicken in those bygone decades. It’s a reminder of a time when vinyl records were spun, and music was a communal experience that brought people together to celebrate the good times.
The title track sets the tone for the album with its breezy melody and lyrics that reflect the idea of embracing change and seeking new experiences as a way to improve one’s outlook on life. While not all of the songs are particularly “Chicken-esque,” the album really needs to be on the pocket of any fan of Dixie Chicken music, even if it’s mostly for beach days.
So, cheers to Jimmy Buffett and the timeless tunes he gave us throughout his career. It’s the kind of music that transcends generations, reminding us that sometimes all we need is a little change in latitude to find a change in attitude.
Enjoy some other great Buffett + Chicken tunes, here are our Top 5 to put on in Jimmy’s memory:
Of course, there are many, many other amazing songs, but the ones above are the ones you can catch pretty regularly at the Dixie Chicken.