Ten Favorite International Name Songs: He Went to Paris (#4)

@FourWalls (13770)
United States
December 21, 2016 9:25pm CST
Yes, there's a Paris about 80 miles from me (Paris, Kentucky), and there's a "Paris, Tennessee" mentioned in the George Jones/Tammy Wynette song "(We're Not) The Jet Set." For today's song from my favorites with places from other parts of the world in the title, however, it's that Paris. #4: He Went to Paris - Jimmy Buffett Artist poet, ranconteur, one-armed pianist, veteran of the Spanish Civil War in the Abraham Lincoln brigade. Your friends, family, and fellow "premature anti-fascists" salute you. That's the epitaph for Edward Ross "Eddie" Balchowsky, the man who inspired Jimmy Buffett to write "He Went to Paris." Buffett took a lot of biographical liberties ("through 86 years of perpetual motion" is poetic license, given that Balchowsky was 73 when he died and would have been in his 50s when Buffett wrote the song), but the stunning outcome forgives it all. The song tells about an unnamed person who left the States "looking for answers to questions that bothered him so." Finding love in England, he settled down until "the war took his baby, the bombs killed his lady and left him with only one eye." (In reality, Balchowsky did lose his arm in the Spanish Civil War.). Broken physically and emotionally, the man returns to the US where he "lives in the islands, fishes the pilings and drinks his Green Label [Johnnie Walker whiskey] each day." (Not exactly: Balchowsky was a Chicago resident who, according to people who frequented the bar he hung out at, was a heroin addict.) So you now know the background about the man who inspired the song. Forget all of that and enjoy what may be Jimmy Buffett's best song ever. He Went to Paris Written by Jimmy Buffett Recorded by Jimmy Buffett From A White Sport Coat and a Pink Crustacean, 1973 Some of it's magic, some of it's tragic:
James William "Jimmy" Buffett (born December 25, 1946) is a singer, songwriter, author, businessman, and movie producer best known for his "island escapism" ...
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2 responses
@teamfreak16 (41181)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
22 Dec 16
For some reason, these didn't show up in my feed, and I had to follow you again. Weird. Anyway, you're right, this is one of his best songs.
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@JohnRoberts (57135)
• Los Angeles, California
22 Dec 16
Paris? I thought Jimmy was going to Margaritaville.
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