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5 Things You Didn’t Know: Jimmy Buffett’s “Margaritaville”

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Jimmy Buffett "Margaritaville"

Jimmy Buffett “Margaritaville”

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The relationship between audiences and Jimmy Buffett‘s “Margaritaville” is a strange one: you either love it or hate it. And the song is arguably much more enjoyable after drinking several margaritas, even if it’s being sung by drunkards on vacation during karaoke.

Nonetheless, you might think you know everything there is to know about a song you’ve heard time and time again. But we’re here to show you otherwise.

5 Things You Didn’t Know About “Margaritaville” By Jimmy Buffett…

There’s A Lost Verse

AP Photo/Gregory Smith

AP Photo/Gregory Smith

They only way to know about this is if you’ve seen Jimmy Buffett live, when he occasionally includes the lost verse. We’ve included it below.

“Old men in tank tops,
Cruisin’ the gift shops,
Checkin’ out chiquitas, down by the shore
They dream about weight loss,
Wish they could be their own boss
Those three-day vacations can be (or “become”) such a bore”

The Radio Edit Is Even Shorter

AP Photo

AP Photo

The lost verse was cut out to make it “radio friendly.” Apparently that wasn’t enough. The original length of “Margaritaville” is four minutes and twenty seconds. The radio edit shaves another minute off of that by:

  • Removing the interlude between the second chorus and third verse.
  • The song structure is changed from “riff-verse-chorus-verse-chorus-interlude-verse-chorus-refrain-riff” to “riff-verse-chorus-verse-chorus-verse-chorus-riff” by removing a section during the third chorus and final refrain.
  • “Margaritaville” was sped up a half-step.

Jimmy Buffett Can’t Spell “Wastin'”

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images. Text: E.J. Judge/CBS Local

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images. Text: E.J. Judge/CBS Local

People have always wondered if Buffett is singing “wasted away” or wastin’ away” during “Margaritaville.” Regardless, Buffett doesn’t know how to spell it.

The lyrics on the record sleeve read “waistin'” (Waist: the part of the abdomen between the rib cage and hips).

aa changes inner3 5 Things You Didnt Know: Jimmy Buffetts Margaritaville

“Margaritaville” Is A Country Song

Alan Jackson (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)

Alan Jackson (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)

Not originally, of course. Country star Alan Jackson covered “Margaritaville” for his 1999 album, appropriately titled Under The Influence.

“Margaritaville” Inspired Footwear

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The influence of “Margaritaville” reached beyond Caribbean karaoke bars and country stars. The song has made a lot of people a lot of money, including Famous Footwear, who makes Margaritaville footwear.

Hopefully you won’t lose a flip flop like Jimmy Buffett did.

- E.J. Judge, CBS Local


More “5 Things You Didn’t Know” On WCBSFM.com


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