Pirates and Poets


It was 1975, and the world was spinning faster than I could keep up. I’d heard Buffett before: Come Monday, Pencil Thin Moustache. I thought ok, he’s cool in an edgy-folky sort of way.

But then A1A came out. It stopped me in my tracks. I listened to the B-side over and over. A Pirate looks at 40, Migration, Trying to Reason with Hurricane Season.  I traced his music backwards, Living & Dying in ¾ Time, A White Sports Coat and a Pink Crustacean, High Cumberland Jubilee. It was before Margaretville and Cheeseburgers. Before Three Mile Island and Mount St. Helen’s…

At 16, I understood—knew—the words deep down inside. It was back in my bad poetry days; the anti-establishment hippie days when changing the world seemed a rational idea. Remember?

It wasn’t the 60s, it was the 70s. Great causes had passed us by. Woodstock had passed us by. No wars to protest, impeaching a president had already been done, the battles for civil rights, equal rights, Roe v Wade, done, done, done. Cannons wouldn’t thunder, there’d be nothing to plunder. I had arrived too late; floundering between Beatlemania and Grunge; between Beat and Slam. I wouldn’t speak to “a generation lost in space.”

And when I hit rock bottom I come back to this song. Because it never sounds like a song of surrender – it is a song of defiance, redemption. Acceptance. Rather than defeated the song always leave me feeling empowered…

And, yes I AM a pirate…….. Um, Poet.

 

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