11 May 2009 8:56 pm   //   Filed under: Music

The saddest song ever written

A lot of things don’t make any sense. One of them is the persistence of the 1977 Jimmy Buffett song “Margaritaville.” The lyrics tell the following tale:

I may look relaxed as I play guitar on my porch, but don’t let my appearance fool you. I have been drunk for three months. I have lost the few simple things I had. I got so wasted that I got a tattoo of a Mexican woman and I don’t remember why. My sandals disintegrated and my foot is bleeding. The only thing I have to live for is the alcohol. And the sorriest part of my story? This sad descent into depression isn’t due to bad luck. Nor is it because a woman broke my heart. It’s a consequence of my own poor choices. And I have to live with that.

Yet people don’t think of “Margaritaville” as a lonely ballad of personal anguish. It’s the party anthem for every trip to the beach! It’s so popular at concerts that it has its own sing-along chant. And it’s a multi-million-dollar marketing concept, complete with a chain of theme restaurants. It’s surely one of the most lucrative recordings in pop music, in the same league as “White Christmas” and “I’m Proud To Be An American.” And even now, that easy tune is probably stuck in your head, and putting you in a good mood.

Seriously, does anything in life make sense?