"The song starts off with my memories of the death of Buddy Holly.
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."
AMERICAN PIE NOT AIRPLANE
"The song was written as my attempt at an epic song about America
and I used the imagery of music and politics to do that."
~ Don McLean
To Orwell Today,
re: BYE, BYE APPLE PIE
I too was pondering the lyrics behind the famous song, Bye, Bye Miss American Pie, and came across your site among others. Unfortunately I've found you are wrong. Your attempts at a theme are merely the metaphorical made-up story Don McLean uses as his front to the song.
However, every single line of the verses relates to music of the era; bands, their song titles and things they did. The most imortant muscial event he talks about is the crash of the American Pie killing all aboard. This day, Feb 3 1959, was known as "the day the music died" as such prominent musicians died in the plane. Buddy Holly also sang "That'll be the Day"; the chorus contains the line "That'll be the day that I die."
And so on and so on through every line of the song, all refer to bands, lyrics, song titles and musical events. McLean's whole song was about music in the 50's, 60's and 70's.
For more clarification, see the OCTOPUS'S GARDEN ANALYSIS of American Pie - the best explanation ever of the famous song.
Hope this clears things up.
You are under the wrong impression that "American Pie" is the name of the airplane the rock stars died in but actually Don McLean's official website denies this:
"...Basic errors in American Pie interpretations have been carried forward and sometimes get reported as being fact. One of the most tedious theories of recent times is that the plane that crashed killing Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper was called 'American Pie'. This is wholly untrue and Don McLean released a press statement in 1999 to confirm this:
'The growing urban legend that "American Pie" was the name of Buddy Holly’s plane the night it crashed, killing him, Ritchie Valens and the Big Boppper, is untrue. I created the term.' - Don McLean, 1999"
You also seem to be under the impression that there is only ONE correct interpretation of the words and you believe the one on the website you referenced. That contains several components from the original interpretation that went world-wide over television and radio in 1972 and which is linked off of Don McLean's official website:
BOB DEARBORN'S ORIGINAL ANALYSIS of Don McLean's 1971 Classic "American Pie" written February 28, 1972
Disc jockey Bob Dearborn of Chicago's WCFL radio station sent listeners his analysis of Don's lyrics. Many regard this to be as accurate an insight as there is, since Don himself has not provided a commentary. Even 30 years later in 2002, people approach Bob and ask him about the meaning of this classic..."I guess what really sets mine apart is that it was unquestionably the FIRST analysis of "American Pie," and because I was on such a powerful, influential radio station in a major market, it got press coverage and distribution beyond all others that came later..."
As everyone is aware, Don McLean has never given HIS interpretation of the words but on his official website he says:
"I'm very proud of the song. It is biographical in nature and I don't think anyone has ever picked up on that. The song starts off with my memories of the death of Buddy Holly. 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...The song was written as my attempt at an epic song about America, and I used the imagery of music and politics to do that..."
So, as you can see, the song IS about America and what it might become and it does have political undertones. Therefore my interpretation has merit.
I hope that clears things up for YOU.
All the best,
BYE, BYE AMERICAN PIE and BYE, BYE APPLE PIE
Raymond likes the historical significance of the official interpretation of "American Pie"
Amanda says "Miss American Pie" is a wonderful song and sends a link to the lyrics' real meaning
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