Bested or Busted, There’s Little Difference

Had XM’s Magaritaville on the other day and heard Jimmy Buffett perform the Stephen Stills’ song Southern Cross.  I have heard and enjoyed this tune hundreds of times, but it wasn’t until hearing Jimmy sing it that I picked up on the verse that says “You will survive being bested.”  I’d always thought or assumed that the line was “survive being busted.”  (In fact that line continually ran thru my head and helped get me thru the couple times that I was actually busted.) 

So I did some research (click here for Songfacts) and found that Stills wrote the song following his divorce from Judy Collins and took a long sailing trip to try and put the memory of her behind him.  The “being bested” line is at the end of the song and helps it to end on a positive note as he continues singing that “Someone fine will come along and make me forget about loving you.”  In addition to being bested and busted, I may have had that experience with women once or twice also!
Southern Cross is one of those songs that has great lines and imagery such as “I have my ship…and music is her name.” The video below has several photo’s of some ships that were probably not named Music.  Check it out. 
Got out of town on a boat
Goin’ to Southern islands.
Sailing a reach
Before a followin’ sea.
She was makin’ for the trades
On the outside,
And the downhill run
To Papeete.
Off the wind on this heading
Lie the Marquesas.
We got eighty feet of the waterline.
Nicely making way.
In a noisy bar in Avalon
I tried to call you.
But on a midnight watch I realized
Why twice you ran away.
Think about how many times
I have fallen
Spirits are using me
larger voices callin’.
What heaven brought you and me
Cannot be forgotten.
I have been around the world,
Lookin’ for that woman/girl,
Who knows love can endure.
And you know it will.
And you know it will.
When you see the Southern Cross
For the first time
You understand now
Why you came this way
‘Cause the truth you might be runnin’ from
Is so small.
But it’s as big as the promise
The promise of a comin’ day.
So I’m sailing for tomorrow
My dreams are a dyin’.
And my love is an anchor tied to you
Tied with a silver chain.
I have my ship
And all her flags are a flyin’
She is all that I have left
And music is her name.
So we cheated and we lied
And we tested
And we never failed to fail
It was the easiest thing to do.
You will survive being bested.
Somebody fine
Will come along
Make me forget about loving you.
At the Southern Cross. 

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: