SURRATT: May Jimmy Buffett’s music continue to soothe our lives

Published 8:00 am Friday, September 8, 2023

If I remember correctly, the Raising Cane’s restaurant in Hattiesburg pays homage to a favorite son of Mississippi — Jimmy Buffett.

It’s a collection of photographs from his days at Southern Miss with narratives written along the margins — a fitting tribute to a man who followed his own musical path.

I’m not going into a long dissertation about how devastated I was by his death. That would be wrong; I wasn’t a Parrot Head; one of his legion of devotees who loved his music and attended his concerts, although I’ve known several people who were, including a now-retired Jackson County chancery judge.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

Although I wasn’t a big fan, I enjoyed his music and the laid-back feeling it gave when I listened. From “Come Monday,” the first of his songs I remember, to “Margaritaville,” “Cheeseburger in Paradise” and his duet with Alan Jackson on “It’s 5 O’clock Somewhere,” the music helped me escape to another world for a while.

Jazz great Duke Ellington was once quoted as saying, “There’s only two types of music — good and bad.” Of course, what determines good music from bad depends on the individual and like in weddings and politics there’s no accounting for taste.

I like many different forms of music; rock, jazz, country, western swing, Cajun, classical and a bit of Latin. But what I like in my music is how it makes me feel when I play it — the way it soothes my nerves and relaxes me or puts me in a joyful mood to overcome a bad day.

That’s what music is supposed to do; relax you and put you in a better state of mind and that’s what Buffett’s music could do for millions — put them in a better frame of mind by listening or humming or singing along with music.

Buffett will be remembered for many things, but mostly for his music and the joy and pleasure that it brought to so many. Thanks to technology, it will continue to do so.

I hope that his musical legacy will continue in some form because, like the music of so many other artists, it is an important piece of our lives and our souls. May his music continue to be played, enjoyed and appreciated by more people. It’s a treasure that deserves to be displayed and enjoyed.

Sometime over the next few days, get on YouTube music or a music app and play some of Buffett’s music for yourself in his memory. You’ll be better for it.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

email author More by John