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Lyrics for summer’s end. August 31, 2009

Posted by ourfriendben in wit and wisdom.
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Silence Dogood here. Frances of Faire Garden (http://fairegarden.wordpress.com/) inspired me to think of this post today when she mentioned Led Zeppelin in one of her always-marvelous posts. Jimmy Page is one of my guitar heroes. But for some reason, Frances’s post made me think of the end of summer, especially since this is the last day of August and, conventional wisdom bedamned, I always think the first of September is also the first day of autumn.

Thinking of Led Zeppelin made me wonder if any song captured the end of summer the way Alice Cooper’s “School’s Out” captured its beginning. And yes, there is a perfect end-of-summer song, from Jimmy Buffett of all people. If you only know Jimmy from “Margaritaville,” “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” or “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere,” this poignant song will take you by surprise. It’s my all-time favorite Jimmy Buffett song, perhaps because it’s about Pensacola, the delightful North Florida area where I spent my family vacations every year as a child, and where I have such glorious memories of shelling and beach walking, riding the waves, and daring the Man-of-War jellyfish to sting me. Like Jimmy’s, my Pensacola was a quiet place, with beach houses, sand, and ocean. The “hot spots” were all farther down the coast. I guess, to hear this song, that’s not true any more! But still the memory lingers.

             When the Coast Is Clear

They’re closing down the hangouts

The air is turning cool

They’re shutting down the super slide

The kids are back in school. 


The tourist traps are empty

Vacancy abounds

Almost like it used to be

Before the circus came to town.


That’s when it always happens

The same time every year

I come down to talk to me

When the coast is clear.


Hello mister other me

It’s been a long, long time

We hardly get to have these chats

That in itself’s a crime.


So tell me all your troubles

I’ll surely tell you mine

We’ll laugh and smoke and cuss and joke

And have a glass of wine.


That’s when it always happens

The same place every year

I come down to talk to me

When the coast is clear. [repeat]


The music that accompanies these lyrics is great. If the early nights and late light at morning, the cool temperatures, the return to work and onset of winter are getting you down, check out this soulful song. Then maybe put on Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir” to take you far, far away from your troubles! (And don’t forget “Marrakesh Express.”)

           ‘Til next time,