Exploring The Origins Of Jimmy Buffett’s “Margaritaville”

Jimmy Buffett

Margaritaville / YouTube

Where Did Jimmy Buffett Write His Signature Song, “Margaritaville”?- Surprisingly, Not Somewhere Tropical

Jimmy Buffett’s “Margaritaville” is a classic hit. It etched its name in music history by reaching the eighth spot on the Billboard Hot 100 and the 13th spot on the Hot Country Songs chart following its release in 1977. The song also claimed the number one position on the Easy Listening chart.

Today, “Margaritaville” stands as Buffett’s highest-charting solo single. People around the world recognize it as his signature tune. Even if someone doesn’t know Buffett, they know of “Margaritaville.”

But, the captivating backstory of the song’s creation is something few people know.

The tale of “Margaritaville” begins in an unexpected place…Austin, Texas. During a visit to the city in 1976, Buffett encountered the beverage that would change his life and career forever.

Legend has it that Buffett sampled his first margarita in Austin and was instantly inspired.


Who Served As Jimmy Buffett’s Inspiration To Write “Margaritaville”?

Accompanied by his buddies, Buffett stayed at the home of another friend named Victoria Reed. On that night of his initial margarita experience, Buffett perched on the deck and started writing. He penned the lyrics that would eventually become “Margaritaville.”

The Washington Post reports Buffett once claimed to have finished writing the song in six minutes. He also explained the meaning behind it in his first interview with ET.

Victoria Reed’s name has long been associated with “Margaritaville.” However, it wasn’t until March 2018, a remarkable 41 years after the song’s debut, that Buffett revealed her as the hidden muse behind the song.

Buffett took to Instagram to share a photograph of himself and Reed. His caption read, “Victoria made many of the margaritas that inspired the song.”

Victoria Reed, who inspired Jimmy Buffett's "Margaritaville"
Jimmy Buffett / Instagram

Reed previously shared how Buffett humorously acknowledged his debt to her for the phenomenal success of “Margaritaville.” She recounted, “Jimmy sometimes jokes that, ‘I guess I owe you some royalties.'”

Indeed, Buffett owed a substantial amount of gratitude to Reed. “Margaritaville” became the foundation of his empire, inspiring short stories, spawning a restaurant chain, and naturally lending its name to various alcoholic beverages.

The Legacy Lives On…

The Parrotheads loved seeing Buffett’s post about Reed and how she inspired “Margaritaville.” Many expressed their appreciation for Reed and the pivotal part she played in inspiring the song:

One fan summed it up perfectly, writing, “Thank goodness for Victoria!” – a sentiment echoed by countless others.

Another fan said, “She must have made some Really Good Ones.”

Someone else wrote, “Many thanks to Victoria Reed for the inspiration and countless memories!!”

Yet another fan said, “Good to know. Where can I get one?”

Another grateful comment read, “WOW! Very cool to see who inspired the song.”

With the intriguing backstory of “Margaritaville” now unveiled, transport yourself to an island paradise by listening to the song below.

Jimmy Buffett passed away on September 1, 2023. He left behind an extraordinary legacy, largely shaped by the never-ending allure of “Margaritaville.”

Want to save this article?

Get this sent to your inbox, plus, get new articles & videos from us every week!

Sponsors / Partners

Interested in becoming a partner?

Contact us for more info

Unapologetically Country

Receive daily updates with the best country music videos, news, and more!