Keeping the party going


March 1 marks six months since Jimmy Buffett sailed away. I’ve been a card carrying Parrot Head for decades. It seems only fitting to write a tribute to him. You see, he was not just a Trop Rock troubadour. Jimmy was a singer/songwriter, author of eight books, a sailor, pilot, businessman and philanthropist. However, his most cherished assets of his life were his wife, Jane, and children, Savannah Jane, Sarah Delaney and Cameron Marley.

He was probably more well traveled than any of us will ever be, but he took us with him through songs. His music made us dance and sing, and educated. He soothed us and touched our hearts to tears.

Jimmy was quite the historian, receiving a bachelor’s degree in history in 1969 from the University of Southern Mississippi. During college he worked in a shipyard as an electrician and welder. He spoke three languages, and was an avid surfer.

His career netted 32 studio albums, 11 compilations, 14 live albums, one soundtrack, and 67 singles. JB’s final album, “Equal Strains On All Parts”, was released Nov. 3.

He wrote a song for each of his children: “Little Miss Magic” for Savannah; “Delaney Talks To Statues” for Delaney; “Beach House On The Moon” for Cameron.

For me some of his most inspiring songs included “Breathe In Breathe Out.” The message is to live in the now, and shake off negativities. Then breathe in, breathe out, move on.

“One Particular Harbor touts the Tahitian words: “la ora te natura

E mea arefa there au mei”

This translates to nature lives, love the earth.

I could probably fill volumes writing about favorite songs. Jimmy gave us so many nuggets for life.

After four years of treatments, Jimmy passed at age 76 from Merkel cell carcinoma. Approximately 3,000 are diagnosed each year. The lethal skin cancer affects the neuroendocrine system through nerve endings in the skin. With early detection 75% may live to five years.

We Parrot Heads miss him terribly. Jimmy will always live through his music and musings. Who knew the last concert we attended would be the last concert.

Before passing he told his sister, Lucy, “Have fun.” Delaney shared that he told them to not be sad or scared, but to keep the party going. He definitely loved life and enjoyed it all.

From his farewell to us:

“Bubbles up

They will point you toward home

No matter how deep or far you roam

They will show you the surface, the plot and the purpose

So when the journey gets long

Just know you are loved

There’s light up above

And joy, there’s always enough

Bubbles Up”

As he says in “It’s Been A Lovely Cruise”:

“Drink it up, this one’s for you

It’s been a lovely cruise

I’m sorry it’s ending

Oh, it’s sad but it’s true

It’s been a lovely cruise”

Thanks, Jimmy. Our clubs will continue the philanthropy as we party with a purpose. Sail on! See you on the other side.

Side note. We are members of the Coast of Carolina Parrot Head Club in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. A total of $50,000 has been distributed to various local charities from money raised in 2023. We will keep the party going!

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