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Don McLean - American Pie

A long, long time ago
I can still remember how that music used to make me smile
And, I knew if I had my chance that I could make those people dance, and...
Maybe they'd be happy for a while
But, February made me shiver with every paper I'd deliver
Bad news on the doorstep - I couldn't take one more step

I can't remember if I cried when I read about his widowed bride
Something touched me deep inside the day the music died


So, bye bye Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry
Them good ol' boys were drinking whiskey and rye, singing...
This'll be the day that I die
This'll be the day that I die


Did you write the Book of Love and do you have faith in God, above?
If the Bible tells you so
Now, do you believe in Rock and Roll? Can music save your mortal soul? And...
Can you teach me how to dance real slow?
Well, I know that you're in love with him, 'cause I saw you dancing in the gym
You both kicked off your shoes - man, I dig those rhythm and blues
I was a lonely, teenage broncin' buck with a pink carnation and a pickup truck, but...
I knew I was out of luck the day the music died

I started singing, bye bye Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry
Them good ol' boys were drinking whiskey and rye, singing...
This'll be the day that I die
This'll be the day that I die

Now, for ten years we've been on our own and moss grows fat on a Rolling Stone, but...
That's not how it used to be
When the Jester sang for the king and queen in a coat he borrowed from James Dean
In a voice that came from you and me

Oh, and while the King was looking down the Jester stole his thorny crown
The courtroom was adjourned - no verdict was returned
And, while Lennon read a book on Marx the quartet practiced in the park, and...
We sang dirges in the dark the day the music died

We were singing, bye bye Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry
Them good ol' boys were drinking whiskey and rye, singing...
This'll be the day that I die
This'll be the day that I die

Healter Skealter in the summer swelter - the Birds flew off with a fallout shelter
Eight Miles High and falling fast

It landed foul on the grass
The players tried for a forward pass with the Jester on the sidelines in a cast
Now, the halftime air was sweet perfume while the Sergeants played a marching tune
We all got up to dance, oh, but we never got the chance
'Cause the players tried to take the field - the marching band refused to yield
Do you recall what was revealed the day the music died
?

We started singing, bye bye Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry
Them good ol' boys were drinking whiskey and rye, singing...
This'll be the day that I die
This'll be the day that I die

And, there we were, all in one place - a generation Lost in Space
With no time left to start again
So, come on, Jack be nimble, Jack be quick - Jack Flash sat on a Candlestick, 'cause...
Fire is the Devil's only friend
And, as I watched him on the stage my hands were clenched in fists of rage
No angel born in Hell could break that satan's spell
And, as the flames climbed high into the night to light the sacrificial rite, I saw...
Satan laughing with delight the day the music died


He was singing, bye bye Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry
Them good ol' boys were drinking whiskey and rye, singing...
This'll be the day that I die
This'll be the day that I die

I met a girl who sang the Blues, and I asked her for some happy news
She just smiled and turned away
I went down to the sacred store where I'd heard the music years before, but...
The man there said the music wouldn't play
And, in the streets the children screamed, the lover's cried, and the poets dreamed, but...
Not a word was spoken - the church bells all were broken
And, the three men I admire most: the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost, they...
Caught the last train for the coast the day the music died

And, they were singing, bye bye Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry
Them good ol' boys were drinking whiskey and rye, singing...
This'll be the day that I die
This'll be the day that I die

They were singing, bye bye Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry
Them good ol' boys were drinking whiskey and rye, singing...
This'll be the day that I die

"American Pie" is a folk rock song by singer-songwriter Don McLean. Recorded and released on the American Pie album in 1971, the single was a number-one U.S. hit for four weeks in 1972. A re-release in 1991 did not chart in the U.S., but reached number 12 in the UK. The song is an abstract story surrounding "The Day the Music Died" -- the 1959 plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper (Giles Perry Richardson, Jr.). The importance of "American Pie" to America's musical and cultural heritage was recognized by the Songs of the Century education project which listed the song as the number five song of the twentieth century. Some Top 40 stations initially played only side two of the single, but the song's popularity eventually forced stations to play the entire piece. Background and interpretation: The song's lyrics are the subject of much curiosity. Although McLean dedicated the American Pie album to Buddy Holly, none of the musicians in the plane crash are identified by name in the song itself. When asked what "American Pie" meant, McLean replied, "It means I never have to work again". Later, he more seriously stated "You will find many interpretations of my lyrics but none of them by me... sorry to leave you all on your own like this but long ago I realized that songwriters should make their statements and move on, maintaining a dignified silence."[2] McLean has generally avoided responding to direct questions about the song lyrics ("They’re beyond analysis. They’re poetry.") except to acknowledge that he did first learn about Buddy Holly's death while folding newspapers for his paper route on the morning of February 3, 1959 (the line "February made me shiver/with every paper I'd deliver"). He also stated in an editorial published on the 50th anniversary of the crash in 2009 that writing the first verse of the song exorcised his long-running grief over Holly's death. As an example of complexities in interpretation, some have thought that the line "When Lenin read a book on Marx " refers to Das Kapital, (written by Karl Marx) which Lenin read and then contributed to the communist Marxist theory. However, this interpretation is doubtful, since the song is about the evolution of Rock 'n' Roll. The line is followed by the reference to the "quartet" (The Beatles) practising in the park, so it's far more likely that this is a pun on John Lennon's name and his fascination with Marxist thinking. Many others have similarly interpreted the line as a reference to Lennon, this time with Groucho Marx, who were photographically paired together on the 1969 Firesign Theater album (cover), How Can You Be in Two Places at Once When You're Not Anywhere at All which was issued two years earlier than the "Pie". Many have have attempted to provide a definitive interpretation; at the time of the song's original release in late 1971, many American AM & FM rock radio stations released printed interpretations and some devoted entire shows discussing and debating the song's lyrics, resulting in both controversy and intense listener interest in the song. Some examples are the real-world identities of the "Jester", "King and Queen", "Satan", "Girl Who Sang the Blues" and other characters referenced in the verses. Speculation ranges from Bob Dylan, Elvis, Janis Joplin, and Mick Jagger. What can be said with some confidence, even if we cannot provide a definitive interpretation of every detail, is that the song chronicles what McLean considered to be the death of American music over a 10 year period from the death of Buddy Holly to the infamous 1969 Rolling Stones concert where the Hells Angels stabbed an 18 year-old man Meredith Hunter to death. This would explain the satanic imagery and the references to Rolling Stones lyrics near the end of the song. If this is true, then the song laments the 10 year death of the innocence of American rock n' roll, beginning with the death of Buddy Holly and ending with the death of Meredith Hunter.

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