Best Jimmy Buffett Songs – Top 10 Tropical Musical Journey

Jimmy Buffett’s 10 Best Songs

serial number

best jimmy buffett songs



“Death of an Unpopular Poet”



‘Come Monday’



“The Pirate Looks Forty”






“A change in latitude, a change in attitude”



“Cheeseburger in heaven”



“Son of a sailor’s son”






“a specific port”



“Five O’Clock Somewhere” with Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffett

Year 2003

best jimmy buffett songs

“The Best of Jimmy Buffett Songs” features some of the most iconic and popular musical compositions by legendary American singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett. The songs span decades and encapsulate the essence of Buffett’s laid-back, coastal and nautical vibe, resonating with fans around the world. From the timeless hit “Margaritaville” to the introspective “Pirate Forty,” this collection offers a musical journey through the unique storytelling and carefree spirit that defined Jimmy · Buffett’s enduring musical legacy.


1. “Death of an Unpopular Poet” (1973)

“Death of an Unpopular Poet” is an important song in Jimmy Buffett’s discography, from his 1973 album White Sports Jackets and Pink Crustaceans. The song stands out not only for its unique title, but also for its poignant lyrics and storytelling. Even the legendary Bob Dylan expressed his admiration for the song, which is a testament to Buffett’s songwriting abilities. Buffett displays a vivid narrative in this song, making it a fan favorite. Death of an Unpopular Poet offers a glimpse into the artist’s early career and showcases his talent for blending folk and country influences into his unique tropical sound. As American Songwriter magazine noted, the song’s connections to other famous songwriters of the time added to its historical significance in the fields of folk and country music.

2. “Come Monday” (1974)

“Come Monday” was released in 1974 as part of the album Living and Dying in 3/4 Time and marked a turning point in Jimmy Buffett’s career. The heartfelt ballad, while lacking the nautical themes that have become synonymous with Buffett’s music, resonated with a broad audience. It was a commercial success, becoming Buffett’s first Top 40 hit and playing a key role in propelling his career to new heights. The song’s universal theme of longing for loved ones resonated with listeners, and its inclusion on Kenny Chesney’s 2004 album When the Sun Sets further cemented its enduring popularity. “Come Monday” showcases Buffett’s versatility as a songwriter, proving he can craft emotionally resonant tunes alongside his signature tropical anthems.

3. The Pirate Looks Forty (1974)

“A Pirate Looks at Forty” is a standout song from Jimmy Buffett’s 1974 album A-1-A. The song has become a staple of Buffett’s live shows and holds a special place in the hearts of his fans. Lyrically telling the story of a friend reflecting on a life filled with drug smuggling, alcoholism, chasing girls, and more. Beneath the surface, however, the song conveys deeper themes of wisdom and resilience. Rolling Stone notes that while the song touches on the excesses of life, it’s ultimately a meditative exploration of the human condition. Its enduring popularity reflects Buffett’s ability to incorporate a sense of escapism into his music while exploring profound aspects of life, making “Pirates Look At Forty” a timeless addition to his repertoire.

4. Margaretville (1977)

“Margaritaville” was released in 1977 as part of Jimmy Buffett’s album Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes and is one of Buffett’s most iconic songs. Not only did it become a chart hit, reaching No. 8 on the Billboard charts, but it also became synonymous with Buffett’s laid-back, carefree lifestyle. The song vividly depicts a fictional seaside paradise where time stands still and worldly worries seem to disappear. With its haunting chorus and relatable lyrics about finding a lost salt shaker, “Margaritaville” has become an anthem for those seeking to escape the daily grind and embrace a more relaxed lifestyle. The song’s enduring popularity led to the creation of an entire Margaritaville brand, including restaurants, casinos, and even retirement communities, all inspired by the song’s carefree spirit.

5. “A change of latitude, a change of attitude” (1977)

“A Change of Latitude, a Change of Attitude” is more than just a song; it’s also the title track of Jimmy Buffett’s 1977 album. The song embodies the core philosophy of the Parrothead lifestyle, which is that adaptability and a sense of humor are keys to coping with life’s ups and downs. In the song, Buffett celebrates the importance of laughter and the ability to take things in stride, emphasizing that in a world full of chaos and change, the ability to find joy and laughter is crucial. The lyrics, “We run as hard as we can, sly as hard as we can, and if we can’t laugh, we’ll all go crazy,” capture the essence of the song and have resonated with fans for decades. “Change of Latitude, Change of Attitude” is more than just a song; it’s a timeless reminder to embrace life’s uncertainties with a smile.

6. Cheeseburgers in Paradise (1978)

“Cheeseburger in Paradise” is not only Jimmy Buffett’s classic song, it was the catalyst for an entire restaurant chain. Released as part of Buffett’s 1978 album Son of a Son of a Sailor, the song resonated with listeners and became another Top 40 hit in Buffett’s discography. The song’s catchy tune and whimsical lyrics describe the simple pleasure of eating a delicious cheeseburger in an idyllic setting. Inspired by the song’s popularity, Jimmy Buffett opened a chain of “Cheeseburgers in Paradise” restaurants where customers could indulge in the carefree spirit depicted in the song. The culinary adventure not only expanded Buffett’s empire but also cemented the song’s status as a beloved classic, synonymous with his brand of laid-back coastal living.

7. Son of a Sailor’s Son (1978)

“Son of a Son of a Sailor” is both the title song and one of the best songs from Jimmy Buffett’s 1978 album of the same name. The song encapsulates the essence of the carefree sailing lifestyle that Buffett often sings about. With its beautiful harmonies and evocative lyrics, the song takes the listener on a journey to the high seas, recounting the adventures of a friend who breaks the law and indulges in wild orgies. In addition to the catchy tune and beachy vibes, the song has a deeper message: resilience and embracing life’s ups and downs. It’s a testament to Buffett’s storytelling prowess and his ability to use music to transport audiences to sun-kissed shores.

8. “Fin” (1979)

“Fins” is a lively and energetic song from Jimmy Buffett’s 1979 album Volcano. The most popular story from this concert is a funny story that warns of the dangers lurking on land, likening them to sharks. The song’s infectious beat and playful lyrics have made it a staple of Buffett’s live shows, with fans often joining in with the signature “Fin left, Fin right” chant. “Fins” also holds a special place among Buffett’s brands, as it inspired the name of LandShark Lager, a beer launched in 2007 by an Anheuser-Busch subsidiary. With its upbeat tempo and the escapism it provides, “Fins” remains a beloved song in Buffett’s repertoire.

9. “A Certain Port” (1983)

“One P Specific Harbor” was the title track from Jimmy Buffett’s 1983 album, marking the singer-songwriter’s comeback. described the song as “sort of a throwback,” noting that it contains some of Buffett’s best songs since “Son of a Son of a Sailor.” The song captures the free-flowing and laid-back vibe of Buffett’s music. With lyrics that transport listeners to a tropical paradise, it’s no wonder “One Pspecial Harbor” has become a staple at concerts and beloved by Buffett’s loyal fan base of Parrotheads. The song showcases Buffett’s ability to create his own musical paradise, inviting listeners to enjoy the escapism of his music with him.

10. “Five O’Clock Somewhere” with Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffett (2003)

“It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere” is a hit song by Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffett, released in 2003 on Jackson’s “Greatest Hits Volume II” collection. This upbeat and catchy song embodies the idea that it’s never too early to start enjoying life and taking a break. The song, which featured Buffett’s signature laid-back style, quickly became a hit and went platinum. It also earned Jimmy Buffett his only Grammy Award. “Five O’Clock Somewhere” captures the essence of relaxation and the desire to escape the daily grind, making it a timeless anthem for those seeking a carefree moment. The song’s popularity and enduring appeal cemented its status as a classic in both artists’ discographies.

Which Jimmy Buffett song became his highest-charting single?

Jimmy Buffett’s highest-charting single was the iconic song “Margaritaville,” which became a hit and signature song throughout his extensive music career. Released in 1977 as part of his album Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes, “Margaritaville” quickly became popular and climbed the music charts.

The song’s catchy melody, memorable lyrics and Buffett’s unique storytelling style contributed to its success. In July 1977, “Margaritaville” reached No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100, marking a major achievement for Jimmy Buffett. Its broad appeal reaches beyond his loyal fan base of Parrotheads and resonates with a wider audience.

The song’s enduring popularity is a testament to its universal themes of escapism and the desire to escape the stresses of everyday life. With references to tropical getaways, lost salt shakers, and the ever-elusive “lost salt shaker,” “Margaritaville” has become an anthem for those seeking a carefree retreat from everyday life. It has since become a cultural phenomenon, inspiring not only music fans but the creation of the Margaritaville brand, which includes restaurants, casinos, cruise ships, and even a retirement community, all rooted in the song’s laid-back and Tropical spirit. “Margaritaville” remains a beloved classic, firmly establishing itself as Jimmy Buffett’s chart-topping single and a timeless favorite among fans and music lovers alike.

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