Every time I hear Jimmy Buffett’s Songs You Know By Heart, I wonder why I don’t play it far more often. As much as I dislike the idea of greatest hits albums, I can’t help but feel that this particular collection is one of the best records I own.
I’ve heard other Jimmy Buffett songs over the years, either online or on the Sirius/XM Margaritaville station, but nothing that’s flipped my lid the way these 13 songs do.
Every time I hear a Jimmy Buffett song, I instantly wish I lived in a beachside trailer, making enough money selling seashell art to keep my boat in good repair.
I’d eat what I caught with my rod or my nets, and drink something cold from a can or the blender. I wouldn’t wear a shirt unless I was expecting company, and even then I wouldn’t bother buttoning it. I’d wake with the sunrise and laugh at the tourists with a circle of friends just like me.
America’s favorite island poet, Jimmy Buffett, chimes in today with a beautiful bit of homespun wisdom. This track appears on the album of the same name, Buffett’s breakthrough record (also featuring his signature hit ‘Margaritaville’).
This has long been one of my favorite Jimmy Buffett songs, both for its easygoing sound and its lyrical message — particularly that last, great twist on the chorus: “If we weren’t all crazy, we would go insane.” Ain’t that the truth.
I own one Jimmy Buffett album, and it’s my most dreaded type of record — a greatest hits collection.
It’s called Songs You Know By Heart, and chances are you have a copy as well. Doesn’t everybody? It’s up there with Bob Marley’s Legend in the ranks of albums that represent the only thing you really need to own by a prolific artist.
Parrotheads will find that sacrilegious, of course. They find treasures on every one of the man’s 20-something albums and the idea of narrowing that discography down to 13 songs must seem asinine. Same way I feel about a Bob Dylan Greatest Hits.