He Went To Paris

by Jimmy Buffett

from the album A White Sport Coat and A Pink Crustacean


Lyrics

He went to Paris looking for answers
To questions that bothered him so
He was impressive, young and aggressive
Saving the world on his own

But the warm Summer breezes
The French wines and cheeses
Put his ambition at bay
And Summers and Winters
Scattered like splinters
And four or five years slipped away

Then he went to England, played the piano
And married an actress named Kim
They had a good life, she was a good wife
Bore him a young son named Jim

And all of the answers and all of the questions
He locked in his attic one day
‘Cause he liked the quiet clean country living
And twenty more years slipped away

Well the war took his baby, the bombs killed his lady
And left him with only on eye
His body was battered, his whole world was shattered
And all he could do was just cry

While the tears were falling, he was recalling
The answers he never found
So he hopped on a freighter, skidded the ocean
And left England without a sound

Now he lives in the islands, fishes the pilin’s
And drinks his green label each day
He’s writing his memoirs and losing his hearing
But he don’t care what most people say

Through eighty-six years of perpetual motion
If he likes you he’ll smile then he’ll say
Jimmy, some of it’s magic, some of it’s tragic
But I had a good life all the way

And he went to Paris looking for answers
To questions that bother him so

Jimmy’s Note:

Chicago is where I truly cut my teeth as a performer, working as the opening act at the Quiet Knight. I opened for a variety of people from Neil Sedaka to Bob Marley, and when I got frustrated with the crowds, the old one-armed clean-up man with the big German shepherd always consoled me. It took me a few days of asking to find out Eddie was more than a janitor. He was a gifted painter and a wonderful pianist. We would stay up after the club closed, and he would sing me songs from the Spanish Civil War where he had fought as a member of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade against the Fascists. Eddie Balchowsky was indeed an inspiration. He was larger than life, and as Mark Twain said “he’d gone out into the territory”. This song is a tribute to his spirit.