Meaning of “The Great Filling Station Holdup” by Jimmy Buffett
“The Great Filling Station Holdup” is a song by the late Jimmy Buffett (1946 – 2023). This song, which appears on his 1973 album “A White Sport Coat and a Pink Crustacean”, is what we would define as a humorous tune.
The lyrics humorously tell the story of a small-time robbery gone wrong at a filling station, and it serves as a sort of tongue-in-cheek ballad of ineptitude and small-time crime.
One of the highlights of this song is that it greatly showcases Jimmy’s storytelling prowess. With this track, Buffett dives into the world of a hapless robber who’s more of a bungler than a criminal mastermind.
As one journeys through the lyrics, one meets with themes of escapism and irony that are consistent throughout Buffett’s discography. However, the narrative contained within this song is more grounded in everyday challenges and failures.
Like much of Buffett’s work, “The Great Filling Station Holdup” has a storytelling aspect that offers both entertainment and a slice of Americana. It’s a quirky take on the risks and follies that come with attempting to take shortcuts to success or wealth.
At the end of the day, we can safely say that this song captures the spirit of misspent youth, inept criminal endeavors, and the humor found in life’s little failures.
“And now I wish I was somewhere other than here
Down in some honky tonk, sippin; on a beer
Yes I wish I was somewhere other than here
Cause that great fillin’ station holdup
Cost me two good years”
On which Album does “The Great Filling Station Holdup” appear?
This is from Jimmy’s 1973 album titled “A White Sport Coat and a Pink Crustacean”.
Writing and Production
Jimmy composed this song himself. The production was done by one Don Grant.