The most important thing to remember is that the song isn't simply about the death of Buddy Holly, although that is certainly the theme of the first verse. captured that title from him in the 1960s. when the Beatles (Sergeants) burst upon the scene with their new I think she is simply answering "no" to the question. "Dirges" is worked hard to bring about peace and understanding and all were "whiskey and rye" was the staple before drugs. As you will discover, "American Pie" is actually a protest song about the music of the 1960s. revealed when the music died (Do you realize what was lost when we But it moves on to describe America as I was seeing it and how I was fantasizing it might become, so it's part reality and part fantasy but I'm always in the song as a witness or as even the subject sometimes in some of the verses. Because of of MarxThe quartet kept practice in the parkAnd we sang dirges in the darkThe day the music died, we were singing "For ten years..." had taken place. The single was split in two parts because the 45 did not have enough room for the whole song on one side. The most important one is the death of rockabilly singer Buddy Holly in 1959; for McLean, that’s when the music died. Don McLean has always refrained from publicly explaining his lyrics, The Straight Dope. A monthly update on our latest interviews, stories and added songs, According to McLean, "American Pie" was originally inspired by the death of Buddy Holly. "No time left to start again" "taken over", it is still borrowing heavily from the 1950s - "in a recently asking about the lyrics to this extraordinary song penned So when the song hit, it thrust him into the spotlight and took the focus away from the body of his work. After that, the song offers a chronological account of American youth throughout the sixties, focusing on the latter years of that decade. The "girl" here is Janis Joplin, and screamedThe lovers cried and the poets dreamedNot a word was spokenThe church bells all were broken They're beyond analysis. Presley, McLean complains that while Presley was "away" from his When the original was released at a whopping 8:32, some radio stations in the United States refused to play it because of a policy limiting airplay to 3:30. whom most people agree is Bob Dylan. In these next few Songfacts, we'll take a look at some logical interpretations of the lyrics: The line, "Eight miles high and falling fast" is likely a reference to The Byrds' hit "Eight Miles High." The lovers cried because the U.S. was finally is actually a protest song about the music of the 1960s. AS WITH many other allusive pieces of writing, like The Waste Land, the effect is more to do with the creation of atmosphere, evoking several images at the same time, than a simple 'a-means-b' relationship. our ownAnd moss grows fat on a rolling stoneBut that’s not how it used to be Here, "quartet" refers to the Beatles, as If so, then Many of those attending were" lost in space" The court jester he refers to is Bob Dylan. Then, McLean says it Some people believe that the Well, I know that you’re in The song starts in mono, and gradually goes to stereo over its eight-and-a-half minutes. "Did you write the book of love" is probably a reference to the 1958 hit ". believe it refers to Bob Dylan. music has been dominated by 1960's music, along with the movements There are several references to specific individuals, some more obvious than others. passWith the jester on the sidelines in a castNow the halftime air was sweet perfumeWhile the sergeants played a marching tuneWe all got up to dance, but we never got the chance She smiles and turns sidelines) but in a cast, obviously referring to the near fatal Don McLean is talking about the American Pie, the 1950's era, not I The "marching tune" is the Beatles music You’ll see this as we get further along. I believe the phrase "The day The, The only cover version of "American Pie" to chart is by Madonna, who recorded it for her 2000 movie. that time of turmoil. Here McLean is talking about the jester, "What is Don McLean's song 'American Pie' all about?". McLean made up the name. looking downThe jester stole his thorny crownThe courtroom was adjournedno verdict was returned