Listen to 5 of Jimmy Buffett’s Best Songs

After years of taking fans to “Margaritaville,” Jimmy Buffett died Friday at the age of 76.

“Jimmy passed away peacefully on the night of September 1st surrounded by his family, friends, music and dogs,” read the statement — accompanied by a touching picture of the singer-songwriter sitting on a boat — shared on Buffett’s social media channels and Saturday website.

“He lived his life as a song until his last breath and will be missed by many,” the statement concluded.

The singer-songwriter has released more than 50 albums – including live albums and film scores – in a career spanning more than five decades. He was supposed to release a new album, Equal load on all parts, later this year.

Buffett was hospitalized in May with an undisclosed illness — and shared the news that he was going “home” the next day.

Jimmy Buffett circa 1983.

MCA Records/Getty

“Thank you for the outpouring of support and well wishes,” he wrote on Facebook. “Tomorrow I’m going home for a while, and then I’ll go fishing with old friends, along with rowing and sailing and get back in good shape.”

Here are five of Buffett’s best songs of his career.


“Treat her like a lady”

“Treat Her Like a Lady” isn’t necessarily one of Buffett’s best-known songs — it’s more of a deep cut. But the song from his 1979 album Vulcan is a stunning number about the importance of treating the sea with respect: “Some of us sailors call her home / She’s big and she’s strong and mighty / Some of us sailors call her ours / I guess that’s why I treat her like a lady.”

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“Cheeseburger in Paradise”

From Buffet’s 1978 album Son of a sailor’s son, “Cheeseburger in Paradise” chronicles a man’s journey to fight his carnivorous habits in favor of a healthier lifestyle. “Cheeseburger in paradise / Medium rare with Muenster would be good,” imagines the musician on the song.

Over the years, the country-rock song has remained a trademark of Buffett’s work, with much speculation about where he originally wrote it. But he set the record straight in an interview with The New York Times 2018 “There are many stories about ‘Cheeseburger’. Many people want it written in their bars, but I know exactly where I wrote it. I wrote it in Tortola way back in 1972, when I first sailed there on a small boat of 33 feet,” he told the publication.

Jimmy Buffett attends the 2023 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

Jimmy Buffett.

John Shearer/WireImage



The song that Buffett so famously turned into a restaurant chain, the carefree “Margaritaville” is the singer’s biggest hit. Released on his 1977 album Changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes, the tropical classic was written about getting “lost” in a vacation town — for Buffett, it’s Key West. “I’m nibbling on a biscuit, watching the sun burn / All these tourists covered in oil / I’m strumming my six-string swing on the porch / Smell those shrimp, they’re starting to cook,” the musician sings in the track’s opening.


“Come Monday”

Released in 1974 on his album To live and die in ¾ of the time“Come Monday” is a breezy ditty about missing his future wife, Jane Slagsvol, whom he married in 1977. “Come Monday, everything’s gonna be alright / Come Monday, I’ll hold you tight / I’ve spent four lonely days into the brown LA haze / And I just want you back by my side,” he sings along to the chorus.

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“The pirate looks at forty”

A song about Buffett longing for a pirate’s life and love of the sea, the 1974 song “A Pirate Looks at Forty” is one of the singer-songwriter’s most popular songs. “I’ve watched the men who rode you change from sails to steam / And in your belly you hold a treasure that few have ever seen / Most of them dream, most of them dream,” he muses on the reggae-tinged track.

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Source: HIS Education

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