Make us your home page
Instagram

Column: If Pitbull ever disappears, some backup Florida icons

With his army of Parrotheads, Jimmy Buffett is an obvious one.

Getty Images (2015)

With his army of Parrotheads, Jimmy Buffett is an obvious one.

Maybe we'll never have Sweet Home Alabama or The Devil Went Down to Georgia. We can definitely let go of the dream of staking claim to a standard like New York, New York.

But when it comes to associating songs with our state, Florida is no slouch. This weekend brings Pitbull, a.k.a. Mr. 305, a.k.a. Mr. Worldwide, in concert at Amalie Arena. As pop music/culture critic Jay Cridlin explores in this issue, Visit Florida (and in part you, taxpayers) is paying Pitbull to act as a tourism ambassador. Who can blame them? Mr. Bull has at least one song that proclaims, "Sexy beaches! Hotels!"

Jay also explores some of Pitbull's more Florida-centric songs, and they are plentiful. But in case the state's relationship with Pitbull ever goes south (ba-dum-cha), we have some backup suggestions for iconic Florida music. Surely, these artists are waiting by the phone.

'Floridays' by Jimmy Buffett

Buffett would already be an obvious choice, what with his army of Parrotheads and what I can only imagine as a Calvin and Hobbes-style closet of matching tropical T-shirts. This particular song is a little far reaching — he talks about spending some time in "old Beirut." But, like any good Florida child, Buffett finds his way back to us. "I'm back to livin' Floridays/Blue skies and ultraviolet rays/Lookin' for better days, lookin' for better days/Lookin' for Floridays."

'Key Largo' by Bertie Higgins

What could be more romantic than '80s soft rock inamorato Higgins, his feathered hair blowing in the breeze on a boat, snuggled up with his one and only? NOTHING. "We had it all/Just like Bogie and Bacall/Starring in our old late, late show/Sailing away to Key Largo." Our movie critic Steve Persall knows the Tarpon Springs native personally, and reported the news this year when Higgins got himself a sort-of knighthood from a group called the "Imperial Order of Culture and Peace." So, that has to elevate his chances with the state, right?

'Miami' by Will Smith

Listen. It's too soon for Florida to step back to 1998 and crown Smith's ode to the 305 as a jam in any official capacity. It's just … not ironic enough yet. Maybe in another five years or so, when everyone is wearing silk shirts again, this song will become the kind of nostalgic fodder that reignites the club. After all, remember: "I only came for two days of playing/But every time I come I always wind up stayin'/This the type of town I could spend a few days in/Miami the city that keeps the roof blazin'." It was true then, and it's true now. Just ask Pitbull.

Column: If Pitbull ever disappears, some backup Florida icons 07/27/16 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 27, 2016 10:54am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of July 24-30

    Events

    Tampa Bay Comic Con: The geek fest returns to the Tampa Convention Center from Friday-Sunday, bringing celebrity appearances including Val Kilmer (Batman Forever), Nichelle Nichols (Star Trek's Uhura), Kate Beckinsale and numerous comic book artists and writers. Also, comics, videos, toys, action …

    Shaun Audit poses for a photo at opening day of the 2015 Tampa Bay Comic Con at the Tampa Convention Center. (Friday, July 31, 2015.) [Photo Luis Santana | Times]
  2. On the Camino de Santiago, Day 19: A peregrina spends the whole day under the weather, and part of the day under the table

    Travel

    Day 19: El Burgo Ranero to Puente Villarente: 25.4 km, 7.5 hours (Total for Days 1-19 = 454 km (282 miles)

    This list pretty much sums up my day:

    Eat two bananas

    Walk 13.1 kilometers

    Nap

    Walk 6.2 kilometers

    Nap

    Eat half an apple

    Walk 6.1 kilometers

    Crash< …

  3. On the Camino de Santiago, Day 18: Despite feeling ill, this pilgrim passes the midpoint in her 500-mile journey on foot

    Travel

    Day 18: Lédigos to El Burgo Ranero: 34.3 km, 12.25 hours (Total for Days 1-18 = 428 km (266 miles)

    Today was a struggle.

  4. Actor John Heard dies at age 72

    Blogs

    John Heard, who played so many roles in the '80s but was probably best known as the dad in the Home Alone movies, has died, according to media reports. He was 72.

  5. On the Camino de Santiago, Day 17: Think 11 miles of nothing but straight trail and open, flat fields sounds easy? Think again.

    Travel

    Day 17: Villarmentero de Campos to Lédigos: 33.5 km, 10.25 hours. Total for Days 1-17 = 394 km (245 miles)