Song Lyric Sunday | “Margaritaville” – Jimmy Buffet

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Song Lyric Sunday was created by Helen Vahdati from This Thing Called Life One Word at a Time and author Jim Adams from A Unique Title For Me is our current guest host. For complete rules or to join in the fun, click here.

The theme for Song Lyric Sunday this week is Burrito/Fajita/Mexican/Tequila.


Named for the tequila-filled cocktail with lyrics reflecting a laid-back lifestyle in a tropical climate, Margaritaville has come to define Jimmy Buffett’s music and career.

The song was written about a drink Buffett discovered at Lung’s Cocina del Sur restaurant in Austin, Texas, and the first huge surge of tourists who descended on Key West, Florida, around that time. He wrote most of the song one night at a friend’s house in Austin, and finished it while spending time in Key West.

The 1977 hit reached number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and went to number one on the Easy Listening chart, also peaking at #13 on the Hot Country Songs chart. Billboard ranked it number 14 on its 1977 Pop Singles year-end chart. It remains Buffett’s highest charting solo single.

The song is about a man spending an entire season at a beach resort community. The three verses describe his day-to-day activities. In the first verse, he passes his time playing a six-string guitar on his front porch swing, watching tourists sunbathe, all the while eating sponge cake, and waiting for a pot of shrimp to boil. In the second verse, all he has to show for his time is a tattoo of a woman – a Mexican cutie, but he cannot remember how he got it. In the third and final verse, while the narrator was going out for a walk, he blew his Flip-flops and cuts the heel of his foot by stepping on a “pop-top” (the pull tab from an old-style soda can), forcing the narrator to come home, and ease his pain, with a fresh batch of margaritas.

The three choruses reveal that the narrator is drowning his sorrows over a failed romance, all the while onlookers speculate that an ex-girlfriend is at fault. The last line of each shows his shifting attitude toward the situation: first “it’s nobody’s fault,” then “hell, it could be my fault,” and finally “it’s my own damn fault.”


  • Margaritaville was inducted into the 2016 Grammy Hall of Fame for its cultural and historic significance.
  •  As Buffett’s signature song, Margaritaville has been used in a number of commercial ventures and product licensing tie-ins including:
    • Radio Margaritaville, a radio station that broadcasts on the Internet and Sirius XM Radio
    • Tales from Margaritaville, a collection of short stories by Buffett
    • Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville, a casual dining restaurant chain, tourist destination and chain of stores selling Buffett-themed franchise merchandise in Jamaica, Mexico and the U.S. In 1985, Buffett opened a “Margaritaville” restaurant in Key West, though his first was in Gulf Shores, Alabama.
    • Margaritaville margarita mix (manufactured by Mott’s)
    • Margaritaville tequila


See my Song Lyric Sunday selection for Nesie’s Place!



Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.


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