Jimmy Buffett songs have described my life
What is the #2 song that fits that category?
Two weeks ago I wrote an article about how a singer changed my life, I was talking about Jimmy Buffett. In so many ways my life has paralleled so many Buffett songs. I said, though, in that article that there were 3 songs in particular that could almost have been written about the life I’ve lived.
So, last week, I revealed the #3 song that I felt described my life, that song was Banana Republics by Jimmy Buffett.
Today, I am revealing what I think is the #2 Jimmy Buffett song that describes my life. What is that sone? Cowboy in the Jungle.
Here are the lyrics along with my commentary on why they fit the life I’ve lived.
There’s a cowboy in the jungle and he looks so out of place, With his shrimp skin boots and his cheap cheroots and his skin as white as paste, Headin’ south to Paraguay where the Gauchos sing and shout, Now he’s stuck in Porto Bello since his money all ran out, So he hangs out with the sailors, night and day they’re raisin’ hell, And his original destination’s just another story that he loves to tell
Firstly, I am certainly no cowboy and am not claiming to be. However, in many foreign countries, the words “cowboy” and “American” are synonymous. If you are American, you are a cowboy. So, I’ll take it. Skin as white as past? Check. When you move to a place like the Philippines, white skin is a giveaway that you are not from there, because the native population is not white. However, most locals want to have white skin, so you are immediately popular with most people there.
There was a time, about 1 1/2 years after moving to the Philippines when our money literally almost did run out. We went into panic mode, and I applied some things that I had done in the States to earn money, and within a few weeks, I was making really good money in the Philippines. So, while our money almost did run out… we averted that.
Hangs out with the sailors? Yep, I did that. After some years there, I became pretty well-known (particularly because of my popular website). When US Military personnel went to the Philippines they often sought me out and took me along for some excursions. One time the Navy sent over an experimental high-speed catamaran (callsign HSV-1) and I was invited to spend a day riding on the craft (in the Davao Gulf). I also went on some humanitarian missions with US Army units.
With no plans for the future, he still seems in control, From a bronco ride to a ten-foot tide, he just had to learn to roll
When you go out on an adventure, like moving to a foreign country, learning to roll is something that you really must do. Always be flexible.
Roll with the punches, played all of his hunches, Made the best of whatever came his way, What he lacked in ambition, he made up with intuition, Plowin’ straight ahead, come what may
Just like in the last verse.. roll with the punches. I have also always been one to play my hunches, and in almost every case it has paid off for me. I have good intuition, and I use it… I also follow my intuition. And, yes, whatever comes my way… I make the best of it.
Steel band in the distance and their music floats across the bay, While American women in moo moos talk about all the things they did today, And their husbands quack about fishin’ as they slug those rum drinks down, Discussin’ who caught what and who sat on his butt but it’s the only show in town
During the time I lived in the Philippines, there were not many American women living there, except for missionaries. By the time we decided to leave the Philippines, though, more and more American women were coming to the Philippines. I remember the first time my Mom visited the Philippines, there were people she came across who had never seen a white woman before. The Philippines, though is a popular spot for American men to visit. The behavior of Americans described in this verse is spot-on, though.
They’re tryin’ to drink all the punches, they all may lose their lunches, Tryin’ to cram lost years into five or six days, Seems that blind ambition erased their intuition, Plowin’ straight ahead, come what may
Again, the behavior is spot on. Trying to drink all the punches… fits most expats to a tee. If you are an expat, don’t let anything erase your intuition, you will need that to succeed in the lifestyle.
But I don’t wanna live on that kind of island, no, I don’t wanna swim in a roped-off sea, It’s too much for me, too much for me, I gotta be where the wind and the water are free
No real comment on this verse, but I do agree with it completely.
Alone on a midnight passage, I can count the fallin’ stars, While the Southern Cross and the satellites, they remind me of where we are, Spinnin’ around in circles, livin’ it day to day, And still twenty-four hours may be sixty good years, it’s still not that long a stay
When living abroad there will always be things that remind you of where you are, that you are no longer “home”. A very close friend and I would often sit poolside after a swim, and we’d be talking about our new life in the Philippines. In the end, we would always come to one conclusion, and one of us would say “We’re not in Kansas anymore”. The other would respond “Not even in [insert your state here].”
We gotta roll with the punches, learn to play all of our hunches, Make the best of whatever comes your way, Forget that blind ambition and learn to trust your intuition, Plowin’ straight ahead, come what may
Good advice, and advice I lived by for 20 years. Roll with the punches. Play all of your hunches. Above all, make the best of whatever comes your way.
And there’s a cowboy in the jungle
There is, and for a while, I was that cowboy.