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The Meaning Behind The Song: Boat Drinks – Live by Jimmy Buffett

The Meaning Behind The Song: Boat Drinks – Live by Jimmy Buffett


I have always been a fan of Jimmy Buffett and his laid-back island vibes. One song that has always struck a chord with me is “Boat Drinks,” especially in its live version. The combination of catchy melodies and relatable lyrics has made this song a favorite amongst Parrotheads, like myself. In this article, we will dive deeper into the meaning behind the song “Boat Drinks – Live” by Jimmy Buffett.

The Chorus

The chorus of “Boat Drinks” perfectly encapsulates the carefree spirit of the song. The repetition of the line “Boat drinks” creates a sense of longing for escape and relaxation. It paints the picture of being on a boat, surrounded by friends, sipping tropical drinks, and enjoying life to the fullest. The mention of the “boys in the band” ordering boat drinks adds a touch of camaraderie and emphasizes the desire for a stress-free, fun-filled moment. The line “Visitors scored on the home rink” might refer to a sense of feeling out of place, like outsiders in their own home, longing for a change.

The Verses

In the verses, Buffett cleverly weaves together various elements that contribute to the song’s meaning. He mentions a newspaper advertising cheap airfare, which sparks the desire to escape to somewhere warm. The craving for warmth and a slower pace of life becomes even more apparent as he sings about the freezing weather and how nobody seems to care, as they are too far gone. The repetition of the line “Screamin’ ‘boat drinks’, something to keep ’em all warm” emphasizes the longing for a carefree environment amidst the cold reality.

Buffett adds a touch of humor in the lines “This mornin’, I shot six holes in my freezer, I think I got cabin fever.” These lyrics perfectly capture the restlessness and desire to break free from the confines of everyday life. The reference to Mr. Scott, known as the chief engineer in Star Trek, adds a playful element, suggesting that Buffett is willing to go anywhere, even beyond Earth, to find that warm and peaceful place he seeks.

The Bridge

The bridge of “Boat Drinks” introduces a realization that escaping the current climate is necessary. Buffett acknowledges that he should be leaving this climate and finding a warmer place to be. However, he humorously confesses his struggle to find the right words to describe his longing, saying, “I got a verse but can’t rhyme it.” These lyrics highlight the difficulty in expressing the exact sensation of needing warmth and calmness, further emphasizing the power of the desire within him.

The Outro

The outro of the song drives home the urgency and determination to find that warm place of escape. The repetition of the line “I gotta go where it’s warm” and the references to the absence of snow and blow (referring to drugs) highlight the singer’s desire to leave behind all the burdens and find solace in a paradise-like setting. The mention of the sinking fin metaphorically represents the fading spirit and urges him to chase after a warmer and more fulfilling life.


“Boat Drinks – Live” by Jimmy Buffett is more than just a catchy tune; it captures the universal desire for escape and the longing for a simpler, carefree life. The lyrics paint a vivid picture of wanting to leave behind the cold and chaos and find peace in warmer surroundings. Whether you’re a fan of tropical escapism or simply appreciate a great melody, “Boat Drinks” is a song that resonates with many, including myself. So next time you find yourself yearning for a little getaway, put on some Jimmy Buffett and let his music transport you to a place of relaxation and good vibes.

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