I have been a big Jimmy Buffett fan since the early seventies. Like Bob Seger, his music talks to me in a way that I understand and try to live by. Oh, not so much the “Let’s Get Drunk and Screw” or the other drinking songs, but those ‘gentle living on or by the sea songs’.
My favorite is “A Pirate Looks at Forty”. There are so many lines that force me to reminisce about those good old days. While I see forty years-old in the rear view mirror and passed that age quite a while ago, I can still remember how it felt to be 10 feet tall and bullet proof. The world was always waiting on me to make some waves of my own.
And waves I made. I was living on top of life with a new job, new cars, new motorcycles, new boats. I did keep my wonderful wife (we’re still going strong after 42 years!)
But I had to realize that I was about half done with life, and the years, like many of the days, were getting shorter. While there wasn’t a light at the end of the tunnel yet, I did find the entrance to that tunnel!
There are a couple of lyrics from that song that hit home harder than they used to as I gain on seventy years-old. But the words and gentle melody that really begin to tell the story of my first forty years while staring at the next forty are:
“Yes, I am a pirate, two hundred years too late,
The cannons don’t thunder, there’s nothing left to plunder,
I’m an over forty victim of fate, Arriving too late
My cannons might thunder occasionally, but there really isn’t anything left to plunder. Finally here comes the part that really brings it home: “Mother, mother ocean, after all these years I’ve found, My occupational hazard means my occupation’s just not around.”
It can be hard to realize you aren’t as relevant as you used to be. Your ideas are more old than new. Folks that have come along lately don’t listen to your worn out thoughts as much as you would like them to.
Oh well, at least my golf game has improved!!