what is jimmy buffett talking about?
December 10, 2018 1:57 PM   Subscribe

in the song coastal confessions Jimmy sings the line "i believe that down on the beach, where the seagulls preach is where the chinese buried the truth". what the heck does he mean with the line about "the chinese"???
posted by chasles to Media & Arts (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I believe he is referring to the fact that people (in the US) used to say that if you dug deep enough you would wind up in China.
posted by jessamyn at 2:26 PM on December 10, 2018 [4 favorites]

Yes and to build on jessamyn’s claim that I also believe: if coastal Florida were antipodal to China (it’s not, at all), then a few feet under the beach would be the deepest a Chinese person could possibly bury something. I.e. Jimmy is saying that he thinks people (and perhaps the Chinese govt.?) bury truths very deeply. Also he seems to like nonsensical lyrics in many circumstances if it fits a clever rhyme, from what I recall from my scant time with his work.
posted by SaltySalticid at 2:42 PM on December 10, 2018 [3 favorites]

I figured it was a dual reference to digging a hole to China and to the idea of enlightenment.
posted by northernish at 3:33 PM on December 10, 2018 [2 favorites]

I think it's not as much "conceal the truth" as invoking an image of forgotten ancient wisdom -- and if you hang out on the beach and meditate on some seagulls, you might find some. After reading his biography, the guy strikes me as a hopeless romantic that paints in broad strokes, so this fits pretty well.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 4:45 PM on December 10, 2018 [2 favorites]

I think he's talking about Gavin Menzies and his claim that the Chinese discovered America. Menzies thinks he's found evidence all over the Caribbean to support this idea, including the Bimini Road, a formation of squarish rocks off Paradise Point on Bimini Island in the Bahamas, which he believes is the remnants of a drydock the supposed Chinese seafarers supposedly built.

Jimmy Buffet lived for a spell on South Bimini.
posted by Lunaloon at 5:28 PM on December 10, 2018 [11 favorites]

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