Songs, sailors, and Simon’s sonship
Jimmy Buffett’s album “Son of a Son of a Sailor” along with it’s title track was released in 1978. About 12-13 years later, I was in High School and can remember purchasing the album as one of my first Compact Disc’s (CDs). I remember how eager I was to play “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” the song I had bought the CD for, but the title track is the first on the album and it was the first to echo through my speakers. In my minds eye, I can still see myself kneeling down, placing the disc in the tray of my Pioneer CD player, pressing play, and hearing the sound of those ship bells ring for the first time. The addition of Buffett’s guitar, Greg “Fingers” Taylor’s harmonica, and the rest of the instruments of the Coral Reefer band made for a masterful tune. Thus began an obsession with the iconic crooner that lasted at least two decades and included more than 40 visits to see Buffett in various venues around the country with fellow “Parrotheads.”
I have many fond memories of those years and have never really lost my appreciation for Buffett’s music, though my love for the tunes and the times cannot compare to love for the Lord and the wonder of His Word. Now, I will occasionally cycle through a few Buffett songs on the road with the window down on a warm sunny day, or maybe inside during winter when cabin fever sets in but reading, studying, and meditating on God’s Word is a superior joy.
He certainly doesn’t appear to be a believer but Jimmy Buffett is well known for the Margaritaville “state of mind” (and corresponding song) and a beachcomber style he’s popularized, making over a half-billion dollar fortune in 50+ years. What many may not know is that he was raised a Roman Catholic and has alluded to his religious upbringing in song, books, and interviews, many times over the years. In a lesser known song (though most Parrotheads know it well) named “We are the People Our Parents Warned Us About” he begins by decrying: “I was supposed to have been a Jesuit priest…”
Getting back to “Son of a Son of a Sailor,” I recently read a blog post and commented with some observations I’ve made regarding Simon Peter’s name and Jesus’ use of the word “rock” in Matthew 16:18. Afterwards, it occurred to me there are a number of parallels one can draw between the famous Buffett song and Simon Peter. Buffett’s background and the importance of that verse in Roman Catholicism are unintentional irony, I’m sure, but they inspired me to write this.…