The Rhythms of the Salty Soul
Beach music, whether it’s coconut cowboys like Kenny Chesney, the Calypso poets like Jimmy Buffett, the reggae sounds of Bob Marley, or the sound of steel drums floating on an island breeze; it speaks to those of us lucky enough to have a salty soul.
From all walks of life and all locations around the globe it unites us all in a very real way. Some land locked, some living on the coast, some in the colder regions of the larger latitudes, and some of us down here in warm breezes of the tropics. It removes boarders and carries us all to that special place.
But the effect/meaning of this music and how it speaks to our souls differs. Matters of individual perception, and life experiences change our perception of everything into a truly unique form; and this is where I find this music and it’s effect so interesting. It’s in the differences in the way this music reaches our souls based on a mutual love for the island or beach lifestyle.
Let me clarify that a bit. For those who have never lived in a more tropical or coastal area this music is a form of escape to shores unknown, to beaches unseen, or perhaps ones visited on vacation. It’s an escape to a simpler life as a beach bum, sailor, island boy/girl, or to a warmer climate during a harsh winter. It serves a mini mental vacation when the need to relax and escape arises. And in that is something magical and exceptional and of great importance in the lives of those people. Perhaps you are one and know what I am talking about all to well.
But for those of us who live in the palm tree paradises of the world it’s more of a reflection of our lives and how we grew up. For instance there are countless Jimmy Buffett songs that don’t carry me away to another place, but more another time. They reflect and emulate moments in my life on the water or on the beach from my childhood. For me the music is not just the soundtrack but also the script to my suntanned life. I love the line “guitars and tiki bars” because that is how I was raised! I was brought up around country music and at the beach; so it’s been part of my soul from the start.
But perhaps this is the most magical part of beach music, how it reflects one life, and inspires another. In both instances it captures the soul and has a profound impact on those who are drawn to it, and in that way it encapsulates all of the loyal drowns of rum soaked, sun tanned, sandy toed lives into a collective conga line of salty souls.
Because of this mutual appreciation for the simpler life and the island lifestyle I have made many new friends that I am thankful for having known; and it was all brought together by this magical music. Some I know have had their lives changed by it and have uprooted and moved in search of living “the life”, others have found new life paths and made are making a living out of this lifestyle. For me my life has always been in the sun. But the mutual love of the music and the life has brought me these new friends and in that my life has been changed forever; and in that this music may be one of the more important aspects of my life.
So lets all raise a glass to beach music, to the people who do it so well, to the lives it has brought us, and the lives it has brought together! Much like the sound of the waves breaking on the shore, I personally can’t imagine my life without it.
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