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Don McLean-American Pie

Discussion in 'Folk & Celtic' started by In The Dark, Sep 27, 2006.

  1. In The Dark

    In The Dark Junior Member

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    In the year of 1971, a great song, atleast, I consider a great song, was released and given the respectable name of 'American Pie' by Don McLean.

    This is a site that couldn't explain the lyrics better, I learned a great deal of knowledge from this about the american culture.


    Who else recognizes this as the GREAT song that it is, not just an 8 min. 32 second pain to have to sit through when in comes on in the car?
     
  2. Sweaty

    Sweaty ThE OtHeR rAmOnE

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    I love the song, I like his work, Castles in the air is another great one, I saw him live and he played American Pie made the hairs stand up on my head and the whole place went quiet, classic man.


     
  3. Mr. Shadow

    Mr. Shadow "Classic" Member

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    Re: American Pie


    Because he felt that enough people would understand, and those who didn't, didn't know rock history.
     
  4. rollingstoned

    rollingstoned Queens of the Stone Age

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    one of the best songs ever
     
  5. LG

    LG Fade To Black

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    It was my understanding that "Amercian Pie (The Day the Music Died)", was written about Buddy Holly who died tragically in a plane crash...:think:
     
  6. Sox

    Sox Avoiding The Swan Song

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    ^^^As far as I am aware LG that is bang on the button.
     
  7. Sweaty

    Sweaty ThE OtHeR rAmOnE

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    I understood that was the case too, there is always going to be different versions out there.
     
  8. TheFeldster

    TheFeldster Mr Kite

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    Yeah, Buddy Holly, Richie Valance and The Big Bopper I believe.

    Also, just on the deep meanings, there is claims that it has a double meaning and also refers to the split of the Beatles:

    "The marching band" refers to Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
    "(Lenin/Lennon) read a book on Marx" refers to John Lennon becoming more politically aware, which is often cited as a reason for the rift between Paul and John.
    "The quartet practiced in the park" refers to the Shea Stadium gig
    "And we sang dirges in the dark" refers to the groups of youth obsessed with the Beatles despite the disapproval from their parents.
    "But the man there said the music wouldn't play." refers to the Beatles giving up touring

    All speculation of course, a million and one artists can claim to have their story told in that song, but The Beatles and the Holly/Valance/Bopper ones are the only ones I've memorized.
     
  9. LG

    LG Fade To Black

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    Well said Feldy, I never delved too deeply into the songs lyrics but just remember the part about Buddy Holly and the others who died tragically in the plane crash.
     
  10. Craig in Indy

    Craig in Indy Your cool Uncle

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    There will always be different interpretations of the lyrics of this song depending on your own perspective, as well as your exposure to others who offered their own pontifications at the time you were most receptive to them. For me, the "we sang dirges in the dark" line was a reference to all the political assassinations of 1960s, especially '68. I tend to think that's a more likely explanation, given the definition of the word "dirge." I also heard someone say the "music wouldn't play" line was a reference to the closing of Fillmore East, but I don't claim to be enough of a rock historian to offer any validation of that interpretation. Similarly, I had always heard that "I met a girl who sang the blues" was about Janis Joplin. In fact, the Lennon reading a book on Marx and the quartet practicing in the park were the only Beatle references I had ever heard about in "American Pie."

    I don't think there's any question among serious scholars of the song (if it can be said that there is such a thing) that the basic inspiration of the whole rant is the Holly/Valens/Bopper plane crash. That much of it, at least, McLean has 'fessed up to.

    Not to veer too far OT, but my own favorite Beatle reference in someone else's music is in Mickey Dolenz's composition "Randy Scouse Git" in which he wrote "the four kings of EMI are sitting stately on the floor."
     

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