Why the World Loves American Pie Lyrics
Do you remember the first time you heard “American Pie” on the radio? The song is a brilliant piece of work by Don McLean who mixes inspirational and beautiful guitar chords with dark dirges of our musical past. His “dignified silence” as to what the American Pie lyrics are about has only caused a whirlwind of speculation—and gossip continues 40 years after the fact.
McLean already admitted that the song is about loss and about his personal feelings reconciling the death of Buddy Holly, who died in a plane crash in 1959. (Rumors persist that the plane was nicknamed “American Pie) It’s easy to assume that McLean’s self-appointed interpreters are mostly right in their assumptions. It’s easy to trace back the “girl who sang the blues” to Janis Joplin and perhaps easy to see behavior of the Rolling Stones in “Satan”, and the Beatles as the unyielding “Marching Band” (who destroyed dance music).
The reason it’s safe to assume that most of the American Pie lyrics have been deciphered, simply because McLean has never publicly denied the compelling evidence, nor has he gone out of his way to praise the Beatles, the Stones and most of the other psychedelic Brits who changed music. Perhaps though, we are reading too much into other American Pie lyrics, such as the King and the Jester symbolizing Elvis Presley and Bob Dylan, respectively.
Yes, a case can be made. Then again, there are plenty of people who see the song’s underlying references to the Altamonte Festival, Woodstock, the Kent State Shooting, the 1964 Mississippi College Murders and even the JFK assassination. McLean has also gone on record as saying that his American Pie lyrics are “beyond analysis” because they “are poetry”—and poetry is often abstract.
Regardless of his assurances that American Pie is impenetrable, people still continue to speculate. Of course, his true fans just enjoy the music…and you might be surprised at how many fans McLean has. He is always gracious with his celebrity fans, including Weird Al Yankovic, who borrowed the tune for his own narrative on the tragedy of Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace. McLean said he loved it and often confuses his own American Pie lyrics with Al’s version. He was also very gracious when Madonna recorded her own shortened and sensual version of his song, calling it a “gift from a goddess.”
Why not download American Pie right now and start drinking some whiskey and rye?
Lyrics are available for all of your favorite songs, including American Pie lyrics by Don McLean.