Pirates, Parrots, and a Fitting ‘Adios’: Zac Brown Band Officially Release Jimmy Buffett Tribute Song

Adios, my friend / Anchor where that ocean ends / We’ll pick up where you left off sings Zac Brown on the Band’s tribute to Jimmy Buffett, “Pirates & Parrots.” Also featuring Coral Reefer Band member and longtime Buffett collaborator Mac McAnally on vocals, the song was first performed by Zac Brown Band following Buffett’s death at the 2023 CMA Awards when the band were joined by Alan Jackson, Kenny Chesney, and McAnally for a special tribute performance for the “Margaritaville” creator.

Zzc Brown Band officially premiered the song during their performance at the Keep The Party Going: A Tribute to Jimmy Buffett at the Hollywood Bowl on Thursday, April 11, where McAnally served as the music director and band leader for the evening.

During the tribute concert, which also featured appearances by Paul McCartney, The Eagles, Jon Bon Jovi, Jackson Browne, Sheryl Crow, Brandi Carlile, and Eric Church, among others, Brown also performed the band’s 2010 duet with Buffett, “Knee Deep.” Zac Brown Band were later joined by Dave Grohl for a performance of Van Morrison’s “Brown-Eyed Girl,” which Buffett would regularly slipped into his setlists.

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“Pirates & Parrots”

“‘Pirates & Parrots’ blends Zac Brown Band’s signature sound with the laid-back, island-inspired vibes synonymous with Buffett’s iconic repertoire, capturing the shared passion for storytelling through song,” reads a descriptor of the tribute.

“I’m so excited for you to hear this song and to pay tribute to Jimmy Buffett,” said Brown in a statement. “It hit me hard when we found out he was exiting the stage, he was an incredible human being.” 

[RELATED: Zac Brown on Writing Jimmy Buffett Tribut “Pirates and Parrots”: “He’s the Closest Thing We Have to a Mark Twain in This Time”]

Written by Brown, Andy Sheridan, Ben Simonetti, Drew Parker, Erik Dylan, Jonathan Singleton, Wyatt McCubbin, “Pirates & Parrots” is a fitting farewell to Buffett. Throughout the song, lyrics embody Buffett’s life and music with references his 2003 hit with Jackson, “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere,” beach bums, the open water, sailing, and everyone—pirates and parrots, alike—raising their drinks to him once the sun goes down.

Another dollar on the wall
Another poet with a pen
Another beach bum with a dog
Another stranger sailin’ in
And the water’s just as blue
No, you haven’t missed a thing
But we’re all here missin’ you
All the pirates and the parrots sing

So adios, my friend
Anchor where that ocean ends
We’ll pick up where you left off
Strummin’ on a sailor song
We’ll hold down this salty rock
Where it’s always 5 o’clock
When the sun goes down, we raise our drinks
All the pirates and the parrots sing

Tell ‘еm raise the bridge
Thе drifter’s comin’ through
There’s a golden stretch of beach
That’s waitin’ there on you
Is the water just as blue?
We wanna hear about everything
But we’re all here missin’ you
So all the pirates and the parrots sing

Mac McAnally (Photo: Courtesy of 117 Entertainment)


Buffett and Zac Brown Band’s connection goes back 15 years earlier. Buffett was an early supporter of the band, joining them in 2009 for a performance on CMT Crossroads, then collaborating with them a year later on “Knee Deep,” from their second album You Get What You Give.The song, which went to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, follows the story of a man who copes with a recent breakup by escaping on a boat.

Throughout the years, Zac Brown Band and Buffett would often perform together live whenever there was an opportunity.

“He passed us the torch, and that meant a lot,” Brown told American Songwriter. Brown added, “We’re all only here for a little while, and what we do, and what we put ourselves into, it’s those things, [that live on] after we’re gone. And Jimmy will live on through all of the songs and the memories of all of his people, and he’ll continue to new generations.”

In 2023, Zac Brown Band released their cover Buffett’s 1977 classic “Margaritaville” on From the Road, Vol. 1, the band’s first live covers album. Their cover was recorded in October of 2023 at the Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek in Raleigh, North Carolina, a little more than a month after Buffett’s death. Buffett died on September 1 at age 76 after a long battle with a rare form of skin cancer.

[RELATED: Jimmy Buffett’s Country Connections ]

“He’s the closest thing we have to a Mark Twain in this time,” said Brown of Buffett. “He had such an incredible gift for writing not just the songs, but his books as well. He was a super special guy and he was always at everyone’s service. He built that culture. You can’t buy culture, momentum, or chemistry. You have to earn and build those things, and the culture that he built was incredible.”

Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

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