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Monday, June 04, 2018

Don McLean: “American Pie” (Audio, with Lyrics)

Re-posted by Nicholas Stix
 

lukutiss1324
Published on Aug 14, 2008

 

 

Words & Music by Don McLean

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,
But 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 old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye,
Singin,’ “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?
Do you believe in rock 'n 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 dancin’ 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 singin,’
“Bye-bye, Miss American Pie,”
Drove my Chevy to the levee,
But the levee was dry,
Them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye,
And singin,’ “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 rollin’ 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,
And 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 of 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 old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye,
And singin,’ “This’ll be the day that I die,”
“This'll be the day that I die.”

Helter skelter in 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 half-time 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 old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye,
And singin,’ “This'll be the day that I die.
“This'll be the day that I die.”

Oh, 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.

Oh, 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 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 old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye,
And singin,’ “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,
But 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 lovers 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,
And them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye,
Singin,’ “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 old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye,
Singin,’ “This’ll be the day that I die.”


Don McLean (1945-) was inspired to write “American Pie” by the death of rock and roll singer-songwriter Buddy Holly, in a plane crash that also took the lives of young singer Ritchie Valens (“La Bamba”), the Big Bopper, and pilot Roger Peterson, on February 3, 1959.

The single was released in November 1971, and shot to the top of the charts, where it remained for four weeks. I heard it hundreds of times played on radios for months, and never tired of it. I am sure that it sold at least two million singles, but have tried repeatedly to determine its sales, without any luck. I do know that the song , though nominated for Grammies for Song and Record of the Year, lost out in both cases to “The First Time ever I Saw Your Face.”

Don McLean was obsessed with artists, and thus wrote his follow-up song, “Vincent,” about artist Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890).

It bombed.

This broke the composer’s heart, and practically ended his composing career. At least, he did not follow the example of his artistic hero, and the aging McLean has periodically given concerts for his aging but loyal fans.



8 comments:

Anonymous said...

GRA:Speaking of "American Pie",SCOTUS(unbelievably)rules in favor of baker who refused to make a cake for gays getting married.
(CNBC)The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday handed a narow victory to a Christian baker from Colorado who refused for religious reasons to make a wedding cake for a gay couple.

The justices, in a 7-2 decision, faulted the Colorado Civil Rights Commission's handling of the claims brought against Jack Phillips, saying it had showed a hostility to religion.



The commission said Phillips violated the Colorado anti-discrimination law that bars businesses from refusing service based on race, sex, marital status or sexual orientation by rebuffing gay couple David Mullins and Charlie Craig.
GRA:So they allow gay marriage,but don't want them to have cake at it, lol.Surprising decision,but the analysis is that people can refuse to serve gays based on religious principles--in this narrow example.Now,can gays be refused service at a restaurant? And why not?Interesting.
--GR Anonymous

Anonymous said...

"Now let me get this STRAIGHT.I don't have to make fudgepacker cake anymore?"----Anonymous bakers all across the country
--GRA

Anonymous said...

The after-decision post game analysis by Napolitano and others are suggesting that this SCOTUS ruling,paves the way for individual business owners to decide,what type of customers they want to serve.
Cavuto:"What if an owner doesn't want to serve a bi-racial person?Would this ruling allow that to happen?"
Napolitano:"I think the door has been opened for that possibility."
Which would lead to neighborhoods becoming more homogeneous--and better.I don't understand how the SCOTUS decided this case,this way--based on a long history of inclusion--but it will be fascinating to view the ramifications.
--GR Anonymous

Anonymous said...

jerry pdx
I have vivid memories of my early teenage years and hearing this song endlessly played on the radio, especially unusual because it was so long and the radio stations didn't like to play songs over 3 minutes, had to be an exceptional piece of music to break that rule and this was one of the few to do it.

I'm not sure I'd exactly say Vincent bombed, they were both on the same lp, along with some other good songs and it was fairly high on the US charts for a few weeks and a big hit in some overseas markets, though it still wasn't nearly the phenomenon American Pie was, but few songs are anyways. I remember hearing it on the radio and it's sad beauty made it even a better song than American Pie IMHO.

Even less often that an over 3 minutes song making it on the radio is an essentially acoustic song with what amounts to almost nil production behind it getting airplay. Just a guy with a guitar and a song. You have to have a superlative melody to make that work and I can't think of too many artists to pull it off: McLean of course with Vincent but there was also David Gates of Bread with Aubrey; John Denver pulled off the feat with several of his songs; Kenny Loggins with Love Song & Danny's Song (saw him in concert and when he sat down and did those acoustically, it was the highlight of the show). Of course there was some additional instrumentation on all those songs but it was very low key, it was the melodies alone that made them great. I'd almost say the Beatles with Yesterday but that producer George Martin added some annoying strings that were pretty intrusive to the pure acoustic experience, song would have been a hit without them anyways. There are probably some more, though not many, but I can't think of them offhand.

Anonymous said...

jerry pdx
We had an incident like that in my hometown. Sweet Cakes by Melissa refused to do a cake for a lesbian couple and were fined $135,000 by the state. http://q13fox.com/2016/10/06/portlands-sweet-cakes-by-melissa-which-refused-to-bake-for-lesbian-wedding-closes/
They were driven out of business as a result, though a crowdfunder campaign raised $325,000 for the bakery.

I wonder if the SCOTUS would consider these "days, campuses, coffee shops, bars without white people" affairs to be the same thing. https://nypost.com/2017/05/31/college-melts-down-over-plan-for-white-people-free-day-on-campus/

Anonymous said...

More black on white crime as Phoenix mass murderer kills 6.
NBC Negro Nightly News,which had showed a composite drawing of a white man as a suspect the last few days,in the deaths of 6 Phoenix area residents--including a counselor and others associated with a mental health facility--reported that a black man,Dwight Lamon Jones,was cornered by police a few hours ago.Jones killed himself before he was arrested.NBC theorized that Jones was having a contentious divorce and during the course of the last week,shot and murdered 3 mental health employees and a counselor that his estranged wife was seeing.There was another double murder committed today that officials connected to Jones as well.It appeared that most(if not all) of the vics were white.
NBC had the black guys face--on-air for a grand total of 3 seconds.
--GR Anonymous

Anonymous said...

More on black mass murderer Dwight Jones
(ABC NEWS)A man is now linked to the killings of six people over several days in Arizona, police said Monday, and it appears the victims were connected to the suspect's divorce.

Dwight Lamon Jones, 56, died early Monday at an Extended Stay America hotel after a police standoff, officials said. Jones, who allegedly fired at officers, was gassed, and a robot was sent inside, where he later was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said.

These actions "reflect the worst of humanity," Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone told reporters Monday.

The fifth and six killings, which authorities announced Monday, took place hours before the suspect's death.

PHOTO: Local police block off and surround a local hotel where a suspect wanted in four killings was staying in Scottsdale, Ariz., June 4, 2018.Ross D. Franklin/AP
Local police block off and surround a local hotel where a suspect wanted in four killings was staying in Scottsdale, Ariz., June 4, 2018.more +
PHOTO: Police surround a hotel where a suspect wanted in multiple killings was staying in Scottsdale, Ariz.on June 4, 2018.Ross D. Franklin/AP
Police surround a hotel where a suspect wanted in multiple killings was staying in Scottsdale, Ariz.on June 4, 2018.more +
Jones' 2011 divorce with his wife involved fights over money and child-custody issues, and Jones was mandated to have psychiatric evaluation therapy, records showed. One of the people ordered to evaluate Jones was well-known psychologist Dr. Steven Pitt, who is also believed to be the first murder victim connected to Jones, officials said.

Pitt, who consulted with law enforcement on a handful of prominent cases, including the JonBenet Ramsey murder and the Jodi Arias trial, was shot and killed outside his Phoenix office on Thursday night. An eyewitness said he heard Pitt loudly arguing with someone followed by gunshots, according to police.

PHOTO: In this Friday, June 29, 2007, file photo, Dr. Steven Pitt poses in Scottsdale, Ariz.Julio Jimenez/East Valley Tribune via AP, File
In this Friday, June 29, 2007, file photo, Dr. Steven Pitt poses in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Jones' next two alleged victims were paralegals at the law firm Burt Feldman Grenier. A partner at that law office, Elizabeth Feldman, represented Jones' wife, Dr. Connie Jones, in their divorce, according to records.

Jones went to that law firm with the "intent of killing" Feldman, police said.

The paralegals, Veleria Sharp, 48, and Laura Anderson, 49, were shot Friday afternoon. Sharp was spotted running away from the scene, and later she collapsed and died, police said. Anderson was found with a gunshot wound to her chest and later pronounced dead, police said.
--GR Anonymous

Anonymous said...

jerry pdx
I saw the news reports about the murder of the JonBenet doctor and they flashed this composite picture of the suspected killer: https://www.google.com/search?tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1280&bih=671&ei=OwIWW4vrD4Xv9AP3wKDoBg&q=dwight+lamon+smith&oq=dwight+lamon+smith&gs_l=img.12...952.3766.0.6932.19.8.0.7.7.0.286.862.0j4j1.5.0....0...1ac.1.64.img..7.6.876.0..0j0i24k1.0.mzRvgH0FdMY#imgrc=0E7iPhBz1U32TM:
A composite sketch that detailed and accurate but the witness or witnesses did not notice he was black? I don't believe it, the media didn't want to report the perp was black so his race was omitted. Once again the media endangers public safety playing games with race.