[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ue2-ZVxpVjc?version=3]

The contest for Worst Song in the World has a lot of entries. My own father, for example, holds that the shittiest song of all time is “A Horse with No Name” by America — a fine choice, I must say. Another contender is absolutely anything by The Eagles. But I’d like to make the argument that Jimmy Buffet’s “Margaritaville,” that late-seventies ditty about a descent into alcoholism during an extended Florida vacation, is the single most laughably terrible song ever to sully our airwaves. If you will, a lyrical analysis:

Nibblin’ on sponge cake

Okay: It’s the first image in your song about a wasted summer spent on the sunny beaches of Key West. What are you going to use to set the scene? Sponge cake? Oh.

Watchin’ the sun bake

The sun is baking you, which is a thing that you feel.

All of those tourists covered with oil

Repulsive.

Strummin’ my six-string

Repulsive.

On my front porch swing
Smell those shrimp they’re beginnin’ to boil

Would you smell boiled shrimp, though?

Wastin’ away again in Margaritaville

Okay, here Jimmy establishes why he’s stuck in this tropical black hole: to get wasted on margaritas, favorite libation of Real Housewives when they’re feeling particularly wild and caliente.

Searchin’ for my lost shaker of salt

This is not a metaphor. “Margaritaville” literally translates to “this land where I drink a lot of margaritas,” and a shaker of salt is a real component of that process. Jimmy Buffett has actually misplaced his actual salt shaker, presumably during some depraved triple sec-fueled bender, and instead of simply buying another at the gift shop around the corner (they have this great one that’s a cactus wearing a sombrero!), he has chosen to make its recovery a quest.

Some people claim that there’s a woman to blame
But I know it’s nobody’s fault

Take note: At this point, it’s nobody’s fault.

I don’t know the reason
I stayed here all season
Nothin’ to show but this brand new tattoo
But it’s a real beauty
A Mexican cutie
How it got here I haven’t a clue

Fine, whatever, this verse is fine.

Wastin’ away again in Margaritaville
Searchin’ for my lost shaker of salt
Some people claim that there’s a woman to blame
Now I think
Hell, it could be my fault

Jimmy is already starting to come around on the blame thing. And how clever he thinks he is!

I blew out my flip-flop

Here’s the definition of “blow out,” as Mr. Buffett is using it: “To fail or break down, as from being operated under extreme or improper conditions.”

A flip-flop does not have parts. A flip-flop cannot malfunction. A flip-flop can, perhaps, be worn away to the point that it’s no longer a piece of foam beneath a foot, but seeing as a piece of foam beneath a foot is the entirety of what makes up a flip-flop, if this happens, the flip-flop has not blown out, it has ceased to exist.

Stepped on a pop-top

Disgusting.

Cut my heel had to cruise on back home

Great verb choice. A lot of solid “cruising” is done on a gashed, tetanus-incubating foot.

But there’s booze in the blender

Hold on a second…

And soon it will render

Wait, wait, wait just one moment…

That frozen concoction that helps me hang on

Holy goddamn, Jimmy was drinking frozen margaritas this whole time! Frozen margaritas! It isn’t alcoholism that ails him, it’s brain freeze.

Wastin’ away again in Margaritaville
Searchin’ for my lost shaker of salt
Some people claim that there’s a woman to blame
But I know it’s my own damn fault
Yes and some people claim that there’s a woman to blame
And I know it’s my own damn fault

You know what, Jimmy? It sure as shit is.

This post originally appeared on Lianablog.