To Orwell Today,


I recently read your opinion about the meaning of the song "American Pie" by Don McLean and found it quite interesting. However, it seems to me that you have the idea of the obvious meaning and the hidden meaning quite back to front since it seems very obvious that the song is about the deaths of the singers who died in the plane crash, once you know of that incident. Although I knew of the plane crash, I wasn't aware of the timing or plane's name, but did share the impression that music had lost a great deal because of that crash (even though it was "before my time.") However, upon visiting your website it is quite clear that the song is obviously referring to the death's of those performers. The facts lead to no other conclusion.

Your interpretation is quite compelling once the plane crash link is unknown, but is certainly not obvious. Having been a student of poetry and literature, in general, it is well known that any piece of art is always open for interpretation by the individual reading, listening or looking, regardless of the artists true inspiration or intention. This is why art is at times controversial but is also why it is great. Your interpretation of the song I believe is in the category of "in the eye of the beholder" and not what the song writer probably meant, but we will never be sure unless Don McLean himself speaks out, which will still not make your interpretion any less interesting, since art inspires such creativity.

Thanks for listening,
Nazim Khan

Greetings Nazim,

You say, in your above analysis, that "once you know of the incident THEN it is obvious that the song is about the deaths of the singers who died in the plane crash".

But what if you DON'T know about the incident? Is it obvious then?

No, it isn't obvious. As a matter of fact, it's completely hidden and entirely open to interpretation.

My analysis, however, is not hidden. A person who doesn't know of the existence of Buddy Holly et al (whose names aren't mentioned) or of the plane crash (which you admit you didn't know the name of the plane was American Pie and nor did I until the other emailer pointed it out) would think it was about what the words SAY it is about.

And I have bolded and underlined what the words say.

I'm not saying that that is what the writer of the song MEANT to say, I'm just saying that that is what he SAID.

So my pointing out to the readers what the words SAY is not an "interpretation", it is in fact a fact.

I am well aware that music, literature and art are interpretive and in this case millions of people in the world have chosen to interpret AMERICAN PIE as being about a plane crash of rock stars. You say that personally you knew about the plane crash and so the words reminded you of that. But to the millions of people born after your birth (and who the song has been played to as often as to us) the words mean nothing unless pointed out.

If they were told my analysis first, and not the "status quo" one, they'd believe mine. And you'd have a fair amount of convincing to do to get them to believe it's about something other than what it says its about.

The bottom line is that if a person takes the words strictly at face value, they describe "a satanic, communist take-over of America after a nuclear explosion". And they also have the hidden meaning of describing the plane crash of the singers. I guess it depends on which eye is beholding them.

All the best,
Jackie Jura

Reader believes what he was taught in school about "American Pie" but says it COULD be about communist holocaust

Readers says American Pie is about the 1950s plane crash that killed Buddy Holly & Ritchie Valens, famous for his song "La Bamba"

Reader says American Pie is about the deaths of Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and the Big Bopper in a plane named American Pie

Reader believes American Pie is all about the death of Buddy Holly

Jackie Jura
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~