Many Jimmy Buffett songs describe my life
As of today, I have listed the top 3
Over the past few weeks, I have been writing about Jimmy Buffett and his songs. I’ve been making a list of the top 3 Jimmy Buffett songs that describe my life. Today is the day, it is the #1 Jimmy Buffett song that describes my life.
- #3 – Banana Republics
- #2 – Cowboy in the Jungle
So, what is #1?
Far Side of the World
Why “Far Side of the World”? Well, I love the song, and although it is about going to Africa, so much of what Jimmy sings about can easily adapt to the Philippines and my life there. Let’s have a look at the lyrics and my commentary.
Far Side of the World
Ramadan is over, The new moon’s shown her face, I’m halfway round the planet, In a most unlikely place.
In the Philippines, I lived on the island of Mindanao, and there is a significant Muslim population there, so I experienced many Ramadans. Back in the day when I moved to Mindanao, it certainly was an unlikely place for an American to live. The reputation of the island is that it is very dangerous. There have been kidnappings and killings of many Americans and other foreigners on the island, but I never had a problem and would go back to Mindanao without hesitation.
Following my song line, Past bamboo shacks and shops, Behind a jitney packed like sardines, With bananas piled on top.
I’ve seen that all. Bamboo shacks? Check. In the Philippines, they don’t have jitneys, they call them Jeepneys, and there are thousands. I always enjoyed riding on Jeepneys, it was sort of an adventure for me. Most foreigners don’t ride the Jeepneys, they prefer to use the taxi, and the locals certainly take notice when a foreigner jumps on a Jeep, but I always thought it was fun, and a cultural learning experience too. Bananas piled on top? Every Jeepney has something piled on top (sometimes more passengers are piled on top), out in the Province, bananas on top are a very common sight, for sure.
I ran away from politics, It’s too bizarre at home. Away I flew, tuned into Blue, “Maybe Amsterdam or Rome”
I didn’t run away from Politics when I left the country, I was running toward adventure. Politics was not as crazy back when I moved to the Philippines. It certainly is something to run away from now, though. LoL I will say, though, politics is even crazier in the Philippines (if that is possible), but when it is somebody else’s politics that have no real effect on your life, well, no need to worry about it.
Awakened by a stewardess, With Spain somewhere below. On the threshold of adventure, God I do love this job so.
Well, I have never been to Spain (hey, that’s another song), but I was certainly on the threshold of adventure. And, I love my “job” that allows me to live anywhere in the world as long as I have an Internet Connection. It makes for a great life.
So while I make my move, On the big board game, Up and down a Spanish highway, Some things remain the same. Girls meet boys, and the boys tease girls, I’m heading out this morning, For the Far Side of the World.
Girls meet boys, boys meet girls? Oh, for sure in the Philippines. And… when you make a big move overseas, some things in your life do remain the same, but so much also changes.
Oh, I believe in song lines, Obvious and not, I’d ridden them like camels, To some most peculiar spots.
Most certainly, I’ve been to some very peculiar spots, and I relished every minute of it. As I said last week, “we’re not in Kansas anymore…”
They run across the oceans, Through mountains and saloons, And tonight out to the desert, Where I sit atop this dune.
Not really much comes to mind here.
I was destined for this vantage point, Which is so far from the Sea, I’ve lived it in the pages of Saint-Exupery
Well, I lived on an island, very close to the sea… so, let’s move on.
From Paris to Tunisia, Casablanca to Dakar, I was riding long before I flew, Through the wind and sand and stars.
Riding through the wind and sand and stars sounds like such an adventure, and I love that.
Caravan, Ride that hump, And Timbuktu’s a jillion bumps, Sleeping bags and battle flags, Are coiled and furled, That’s the way you travel, To the far side of the world!
A jillion bumps? Sounds like a road in the Philippines… then again, after coming home, I find the roads here not much better anymore.
A Sunset framed by lightning bolts, Burns a lasting memory, And a string of tiny twinkling lights, adorn the sausage tree. While the embers from the log fire, Flicker, fly, and twirl, Then drift off toward the cosmos, From the Far Side of the World. Well it’s Christmas and my birthday, and so to that extent, The Masai not the wise men, Are circling my tent. I teach them how to play guitar, They show me how to dance, We have rum from the Caribbean, And Burgundy from France.
Some of my most enjoyable times in the Philippines were when I would travel to remote areas with tribal-type people. Certainly not the Masai, but similar type groups. For some reason, I particularly enjoyed going to remote Muslim populated areas and learning about their culture and ways of life. It was fascinating and left me with great memories.
New Year’s Eve in Zanzibar, With Babu and his boys, High up on the rooftop, You can relish all the noise.
One of the BIG things in the Philippines was New Year’s Eve. The Philippines is famous for huge fireworks on New Year’s Eve, but where I lived, in Davao City, fireworks were illegal (which is fine with me), so it was quite different. I wonder what New Year’s Eve is like in Zanzibar? Maybe I’ll have to go check it out someday.
They are dancing on the tables, People bouncing like gazelles, Two 0-0-1 is ushered in, With air raid horns and bells.
Sounds like happy people, just like in the Philippines.
Time to sing time to dance, Living out my second chance.
I am living out my third chance now. I had a stroke in the Philippines in 2001, and a Heart Attack in 2016. I am glad that I lived through those to enjoy my life, the second life, and the third.
Cobras and sleeping bags are coiled and curled, That’s the way it happens, On the Far Side of the World.
There are so many things I get in conversations about and end up telling the other person “that’s the way it happens in the Philippines,” and the Philippines is certainly on the far side of the world.
Back at home, it’s afternoon, Six thousand miles away. I will still be there when I get through, Attending this soiree
A soiree is defined as an evening gathering or event, typically at a private house, for conversation and music. My entire time in the Philippines is, in my mind, a soiree, and I hope I get to enjoy a lot more soirees in the future!
There are jobs and chores and questions, And plates I need to twirl, But tonight I’ll take my chances, On the Far Side of the World.
There are always things you need to do, work to be done. But, if you set some of those things aside and enjoy life, in the end, you will figure out that you didn’t miss out on important things… you set unimportant things aside for adventure, and that is more important anyway.
That’s the way it happens On the Far Side of the World.
And no matter where you decide to go, if you are going on an adventure, that’s the way it will happen for you too.
I hope you enjoyed my series of articles about 3 Jimmy Buffett songs that describe my life.
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