Don McLean’s American Pie

Initially inspired by his memories of the death of Buddy Holly in 1959, ‘American Pie’ is autobiographical and presents an abstract story of Don McLean’s life from the mid 1950s until when he wrote the song in the late 1960s. It is almost entirely symbolised by the evolution of popular music over these years and represents a change from the lightness of the 1950s to the darkness of the late 1960s. This is also very symbolic of changing America during this era.  In Don’s life the transition from light (the innocence of childhood) to the darker realities of adulthood probably started with the death of Buddy Holly and culminated with the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963 and the start of a more difficult time for America. In this 4 year period, Don moved from a fairly idyllic childhood existence, through the shock and subsequent harsh realities of his father’s death in 1961, to his decision in 1963 to quit Villanova University to pursue his dream and become a professional singer.

For 30 years the lyrics of American Pie have been subject to intense scrutiny as people search for the song’s real meaning. Analysis continues today on the Internet and in newspapers and magazines worldwide. All interpretations start on the premise that Don McLean never talks about the song and has never provided insight into the meaning of the lyrics. In fact, Don McLean has spent 30 years doing little else but talk about American Pie!

In his 2000 ‘Starry Starry Night’ DVD, Don 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.

You know how when you dream something you can see something change into something else and it’s illogical when you examine it in the morning but when you’re dreaming it it seems perfectly logical.

So it’s perfectly okay for me to talk about being in the gym and seeing this girl dancing with someone else and suddenly have this become this other thing that this verse becomes and moving on just like that. That’s why I’ve never analyzed the lyrics to the song. They’re beyond analysis. They’re poetry.”

Don has recently re-enforced this theme: “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. Also, I was really influenced by the Sgt. Pepper album, and the American Pie album was my attempt to do that, but the song totally overshadowed the album.”Most mainstream analyses of American Pie are at least partly  based on Bob Dearborn’s interpretation of the song that he produced for his radio show in 1971. His theory was broadcast on radio across large parts of the USA and is still available on the Web today at: http://user.pa.net/~ejjeff/pie.html
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 Bopper, is untrue. I created the term.” – Don McLean, 1999

Incidentally, Don McLean has also taken time out to rubbish the myth that he had, for a while, refused to perform the song:

“Because of an off-hand funny comment I made backstage at a concert years ago, a story circulated that the song {American Pie} has been a burden and even that I didn’t sing it for a while. That’s completely false. I am very proud of ‘American Pie’ and the many satellites that grow from it and revolve around it. For many years I carried my songs around and now they carry me around. I have always sung ‘American Pie’ for my audience and would never think of disappointing them since it is they who have given me a wonderful life and untold affection for almost 30 years.” – Don McLean, 1999

and in a Music World article from 2000, Don says: “I have never said a bad thing about the song, I was poor when I wrote it, and it made me a millionaire overnight. Believe me, I’m not upset about this song.” – Don McLean, 2000.


 

90 thoughts on “Don McLean’s American Pie

  1. Dear Mr. Mclean, I was born in Lake Charles, La. in 1963. By the time I was 5 yrs old I new American Pie. It has always been there for me. Even now it brings me home to my childhood when I need to breath. Thank you for sharing it with us. Sincerely, David F. Guidry

  2. Dear Don,
    You have inspired more then one generation..you touch hearts everywhere.

    I would love to see one of your concerts. If you are ever in Jacksonville, Florida let me know.

    Sondra

  3. Hi Don. Look forward to meeting you tomorrow in Virginia Beach. I’m told I get to meet you after the show. Not often I get to meet a Legend of Rock and Roll. Grew up on your music, and now my Son digs it. You’ve inspired our generation, and now the next. Keep on Rocking Sir! Also if you would like a tour of the Virginia Beach area, just let me know.

  4. Dear Don,
    A long, long time ago, I can still remember how your music used to make us smile…
    It was back in 1976, we were a young couple with two young kids, living in Minderhout, Belgium, just about 10 miles away from Zundert, Holland (the birth place of Vincent, as you certainly know).
    One day, we bought a record from an American singer-songwriter and played it a lot.
    Our youngest kid, Piet, was 3 years old. One day, in the kindergarten, the children had to sing a song. When it was its turn, he began to sing very enthousiacticly : ‘Bye Bye Miss American Pie, …’, the wole refrain ! As we are dutch-speaking, he didn’t understand a word of it, but still could sing it perfectly.
    Now, last february the 29th, it was Piet’s wedding day. At the and of the wedding party, at 4 a.m., when only the core of our family was still present, we surprised him with the song ‘American Pie’. We made a circle with our arms on each other’s shoulders and we all sang along.
    I must say these were very emotional moments.
    Thank you for that!

    P.S. We’re looking forward to july the 25th at Turnhout, where we’ll be able to see you live.

    Sincerely,
    Gust

  5. This is the most beautiful song ever written and it has been my favourite since I was a child. I used to hear it in the car when my folks used to play it on cassettes! I was horrified to hear what Madonna did to it, fortunately the original will always be the one people remember. I am only 32 years old and it just goes to show how the good music stays as the next generations come along. This song will be around forever.

  6. Don, I live in Estonia and me and the guys go to pub, there was karoke, and I was singing your song.. It’s moved me so and all the public was enjoy that.. I not a singer put when I saw my crying friend I know – this is the song.

  7. dear don, i am only ten, but, american pie is one of my favorite songs, not just because of the words or beat, but because of the passion you put in to writing it.

    sicerely,
    holly

  8. Dear Mr. McLean,
    I am 13 years old and i was introduced to “American Pie” by my Dad. He’s listened to it for so long. I am just as obsessed with it as he is. It is a very inspiring song and i always listen to it when i feel down. The song was brilliantly written with all the right words. Even with all the new songs today, “American Pie” still remains my favorite. Thank you for writing “American Pie”!
    Sincerley,
    Alysha Fries

  9. I followed a ‘Rabbit-trail’ that took me to your site (Pie Plane urban legend). When I read Don’s comments about the song being biographical dream sequences, I understood immediately what he meant. I love the ‘Rasa’ of the Indian Storytellers, the way their prose wanders like the mind of a child on a sleepy, Sunday afternoon.

    When I re-read ‘American Pie’ with this in mind, so much about the piece made sense (the allusion to the death in ‘verse 1’ being Buddy Holly, your Dad, and JFK; each with their own ‘music’ of influence in your life and mankind in general. I immediately understood the widow to represent all three, and saw Jon Jon on the steps as the Cason rolled by. I lost my own Dad several years ago.

    I guess, to me what made this song so important was the imagery that I saw based upon my own experience and my knowledge of your and America’s history during the 50’s & 60’s. You wrote something very personal and broad in scope. I read and overlayed the images in my own experience, so now I have my own interpretation of a song that belongs to all it touches. Thanks Don!

  10. Hello Don Maclean

    I like your song American Pie because it has a nice beat, rythm and words, and I hope you make more. I asked my mum to download it for me from iTunes. So now I have it in my Favourites.

    Liah – 6 years old

  11. There was a breakthrough movie shown on the Tonight Show with Don as a guest.

    It was a technique of syncing photoimages in time to a song, which is really old stop frame animation.

    Johnny was amazed and could not get over how complex and beautiful it was.

    Is this origninal video around maybe on in the archives of the Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson?

    Thanks

    Tony

    I think those original images told the story much better than the youtube versions of today, some of which are excellent, and would clear up most of the mystery surrounding the meanings of the many complex references in the song.

  12. Dear Mr. Mclean,
    i am one of your Indian fan for american pie.
    first time i heard American Pie 10 years ago, rewind the tape around 5 times to understand the lyrics. am still confused like one of those million fans.
    Sincerley,
    viji paul

  13. Being an Iowa boy and a Buddy Holly fan, I drove with some buddies to Clear Lake on that fateful day to watch the SHOW. We drove home and heard the next morning about the death of one of the greatest music legends (my humble opinion) to have lived. What an influence he had even after his death. At the tender age of 65, I still listen to his music and “American Pie” as well. I thank you for that song.

  14. We saw Don at Interlochen in Michigan (great show) and he sang a song that he called a prequel to “American Pie”. What is the name of that song.
    ?

    Thanks.

  15. I can’t really think of any song which might be considered a ‘prequel’ to Pie. Magadalene Lane is perhaps the closest in style.

  16. It amazes me how a song can touch so many generations of people, on so many continents.. I’m sure Mr. McLean never had this in mind, and yet he accomplished something so magnificent with his words. I was bred on “oldies” and Holly & music has always paralelled love for me. Songs like this one bring my heart to a stand still. I know it’s not much, coming from just another fan.. but I’m hoping some day Mr. McLean will read over this and see my thanks & greatfulness.. My life wouldn’t be complete without music, and he’s added so much to my collection.

  17. IT CERTAINLY FITS THE TIMES OF TODAY, AS THE OLIGARCHY TAKES DOWN THIS COUNTRY. THE SONG IS PROPHETIC. THE 6TH AND 7TH CHAPTER OF THE OLD TESTAMENT OF DANIEL SAYS THE 8TH WORLD POWER COMES OUT OF ONE OF THE ORIGINAL 7 KINGDOMS. WHICH IS ALL IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND THE UNITED STATES IS NOT INCLUDED, THIS PROVES THE USA MUST COLLAPSE IN ORDER FOR THE BOOK OF REVELATION TO OPEN UP FOR THE END TIMES ANTICHRIST. TOO BAD, WE ENJOYED OUR POWER FROM TWO WORLD WARS BUT NOW IT IS GONE. OIL RUNS THE WORLD AND IT SEEMS MOST OF IT IS IN THE MIDDLE EAST WHERE JEHOVAH GOD SET IT ALL IN MOTION FROM THE GARDEN OF EDEN.

  18. Don,
    I first heard American Pie in my 8th grade history class. In the class the song’s meaning was being interpreted. Now years later I’m working in Green Bay and during my lunch time I happened to stopped by at the Riverside Ballroom. Natuarlly I went into the hall and onto the stage. During this whole time your song was in my head and I could sense the three being on that stage. What a moment in time. The music never dies if we keep in our heads, our hearts and our voices.

  19. Dear Don,
    I’ve been a big fan of American Pie for a while, but I have to admit I’m only 22 and wasn’t around for any of the events that were taking place to inspire your song. In fact, I wasn’t even sure what it was about exactly until I read about it today on the internet. I just want you to know that when I hear it, it makes me want to cry and at the same time gives me a warm feeling inside. I can’t explain it, but I truly love it. Thank you for such a wonderful song.

  20. Hi Bill,
    I don’t know whether Don will see this or not but if not then please tell him for me that in my opinion he has had a very positive effect on the world with American Pie. Not too many artists can say that about their work. I have loved this song since I first heard it in 71 at the age of 17. I’m 54 now and I love the song just as much as I did back then. He has an exceptional talent both as a writer and a performer. I wish people would wake up and realize that Don has a lot of other great songs too.

    Thank you Don for many many hours of listening pleasure. And I think it’s about time for a sequel to American Pie. It could be based upon your life and America’s history since 71.
    Thanks again. Dave Wilson

  21. You know, It’s sad that few of my classmates know this song. I can still remember driving to the Farm in Manatoba, screaming this song at the top of my lungs, air guitaring the whole thing. At 15, this song brings memories and comfort in a demanding world and a lonely life. Who cares if it ‘doesn’t make sense’ and stop trying to figure out the ‘one’ meaning, this song is one of those pieces of work that can fit every aspect of your life, and can be interpited in your OWN way. Thank you sir, this song has helped save my life.

  22. I will never know why I keep listening to this song. I was in college when Mr. McLean released it. It makes me feel great, it makes me weep of things unaccomplished. It makes me celebrate the past and regret it.

  23. My favourite was “The Grave”. I sang it over and over.
    I also enjoyed the priviledge of hearing Don play in a coffee house in Toronto in the late 70’s or early 80’s. THAT was a trip I’ll ever remember. First time traveling alone – just to see him play. It was a rather small coffee house/bar and I was thrilled to be there.
    Blessings, Don
    Sandy

  24. Dear Mr. McLean,

    This is a song of timeless pleasure and remembered woes, so evidently it resurfaces so many past and present emotions. I do not believe a song of its magnitude or influence could have surpassed it in its day, nor one today could give back as much as “American Pie” did in the late 60s. Yet, revisiting the political images to which you alluded in your song and comparing them with present depictions of war and the confusion that war inevitably brings, your song delivers clarity as never before. I will probably never forget your song, even if, at the age of 19, I still cannot remember all the words. You might pardon me for that, of course, though I’ve never been good with lyrics.

    Please know that your music will continue to inspire future generations as much as Lennon’s “Imagine,” the quartet Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young that brought “Teach Your Children Well,” or Simon and Garfunkel’s “Sound of Silence.” Thank you, Don, for enlivening an entire nation at the moment most urgent in its history—and most importantly, for being proud and for believing in your song so that others might also. And now, when I think about the words most powerful and poignant to me, (“I was a lonely teenage broncin’ buck”), and I remember how saddening it was to lose my mother this past year, I will always consider your song for comfort.

    Matteo Musumeci
    Northern Arizona

  25. I remember seeing a newly-created ‘American Pie’ video sometime in the mid 80s on ‘Friday Night Videos’ showing footage of things like kids in the 50s acting out lines from the song. I wonder what happened to that video…can’t find it anywhere.

  26. I first heard this song when I was around 6 years old (about 11 years ago). I liked the song a lot. Since then the radio station I first heard it on was shut down. I eventually forgot about the song.

    A couple of months ago I got part of the lyrics stuck in my head and I could not remember the name. Since then I found the song and got it.

    This is my favorite song! I listen to it almost every day, sometimes more than once in a day, and every time I hear it, I still get chills.

    Thank you so much for the best song ever!

  27. I have grown to like this song , my grandma played it when i was a young girl. and my and my friend olivia are doing a project for are senior year, about him shes playing the piano and im singing american pie.

    ~* ashley *~

  28. Dear Don:

    My father passed away 08/12/08. He was completley over-taken by “Vincent”. My dad is a retired Justice of the WV Supreme Court of Appeals. As his son, I never could compare to his (legal intellect). Yet when I introduced your song to him…We “Understood!” Thank You!

  29. I was introduced to “American Pie” at Center for talented youth, where we have some weird interpretations for the lyrics, Right after the song says(x), we shout (y):
    I went down to the sacred store (Turkey Hill)
    And in the streets the children screamed(scream)
    The church bells all were broken(clang!)
    And the three men I admire Most(Mo, Shemp and Larry!)
    The Father, Son and the Holy Ghost(Casper!)

    I love american Pie. I CTY you all.

  30. Don McLean…

    Thank you for “American Pie.” I grew up with this song and it is still my favorite all time recording. You have a wonderful talent in your writing and recording.

  31. American Pie. Analysts who analyze didn’t live it. I did live it. When I was 5 years old we had to start locking the doors on our house. I never met you, Don McLean, but the song you wrote is me. It’s a song about loss of innocence, and the movement from people drinking to younger people using drugs. I was too young for the drug movement, and I thank God for that.
    God Bless You for the song “American Pie,” Don McLean. I’m watching Hurricane Ike, and the people who are stranded/stayed behind made me think of your song. Our military is very strong, thank God for that. But our country is weak and corrupt. I’m with the Military.
    God Bless You, Don McLean for “American Pie.” You really told it like it happened. I was just a “youngin” but I really feel your song. You sang the truth. Many cannot speak the truth.
    Carol

  32. I have grown up (from teenager to mid-fifties) listening to this song, and still today, it touches me as if I am listening to it for the first time…what can I say…it makes me feel young again…but at the same time, I feel my age. This is the only song I can identify both of these feelings with! And, I’ve got to mention Vincent…American Pie and this beautiful song are timeless…these songs will be memoralized by our generation and those after us like the songs of Elvis Presley are memoralized by the youth, and those after them, of this generation! Two GREAT artists and two GREAT songs!

  33. I grew up with this song and sang it to my children when they were babies and to my granddaughter. She loves the song and we’ve been singing it almost everyday for the past four years and probably many more. It has gotten so bad that I downloaded it and will have to download it again because the cd is worn out. Thank you for a classic.

  34. I first heard the song on All Indiaradio when I was in class 7th or 8th. After that I never got a chance to listen to the song again. Around an year ago I bought a rock album and the first song in it was the American Pie. I could identify the song with the last lines “This would be the day that I’ll die.” The same magic happened after 20 years. Really it is a timeless masterpiece. From that day onwards I have been listening to this song almost everyday and the charm only increases. Thanks Don for such a masterpiece.

  35. I am 40 years old, so there’s nothing of the 60s I remember, and very little of the 70s, but I do remember this song. There are a very few songs that I call classics and are timeless–songs that really describe the pulse of the nation at a pivotal turning point. Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On?” album is one such example. “American Pie” is the only other that I would ascribe that honor.

    I am an African American female, daughter of a Vietnam vet, a 70s music fanatic and history buff. It seems strange that I would like this song, but quite honestly, it is one of my all-time favorites. There is something about this song that whenever I hear it on the radio, I never turn it off. It just touches me somewhere. I really think that you captured America’s spirit. I’m sure you’ve heard five trillion interpretations on your song, but I personally don’t need one. The song is to me, simply about America–once grand, innocent; and then suddenly lost and traumatic. It’s just about innocence, loss, and growing up.

    This song just reminds me of Vietnam. My father was in the US Air Force, and when I first recall hearing it, we’d just been stationed overseas in England. That had to have been in 1972. Those were happy times for me, but historically the country was on this cusp of a huge shift in values and it’s beliefs. We’d suffered through the assassinations of JFK, MLK and RFK. We went to the moon. We were at war–abroad and civilly. What an era! Yet, we survived. Amazing. Thank you for sharing your song.

  36. Ok, so if he’s spent 30 years talking about it, why are people still tying to figure it out? Why isn’t there an interpretation of it on his website? By Mr McLean? I finally took the time to learn what it means but so much of it is still conjecture by other people on other web sites. I love the song and only understand parts of it which is a loss. It’s a part of our history and heritage through the eyes of a gifted artist but it’s still shrouded. And therefore a loss. I’ll still enjoy what I know but any chance of an interpretation Mr. McLean? Thanks.

  37. As a 52-year-old man with an intense passion for music with meaning, I view Don McLean as one of the great songwriters of the 1970s. His inconic song, American Pie, is appreciated for its brilliance the world over. Like many of his fans, I am proud to say that I can know all the words! He is a tremendous, engaging performer whose brilliant empassioned repertoire has earned him his position of reverence. Don, you have a strong, loyal following in Canada. Please come to Toronto and see us very soon…

  38. im only 15 but this is by far the greatest song i have ever heard is american pie and dan is the greatest singer(by alognshot) i have heard also

  39. I first heard American Pie while in high school and regard it as the greatest rock song I have ever heard. I just read Mr. Dearborn’s analysis, which is the first time I heard of it. However, I distinctly remember hearing an interpretative version of American Pie on the radio in which a line or two would be played followed by a pause in the song with a voice speaking the interpretation: “the players tried to take the field” (Vietnam War protesters), “the marching band refused to yield” (police/National Guard). Does anyone else remember hearing this and/or anything about this version? Please post any information.

  40. I am in my early 60’s. I recently was hospitalized. Tonight I went out for dinner for the first time in a long time. As I ate, the song American Pie came on the radio. I felt revitalized and lost all thoughts of pain and sorrow for my illness. Thanks Don!

  41. I always thought “the three men I admired most, the father, son and the holy ghost” was John Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King

  42. Back then in the early 70’s, or more than thirty years ago, i cannot forget but remembered the good old days when after coming home from a rural grade school, after walking about 2 to 3 miles in the dirt road in the town of Baliuag, province of Bulacan in Central Luzon, Philippines, i was surprised when my elder brother came home with a portable Sanyo LP with stereo sound. Listening to the music (in LP) of Andy Williams, Johnny Mathis, Trini Lopez, Everly brothers, the :Lettermen was a great opportunity, listening to them over and over again. But it was one summer day in 1973 that I heard, for the first time, American Pie was played in local station along with such great hits of bee gees, beetles, james taylor, etc. From then on it became my favorite song and was able to memorized the words and music of it. Onwards, I have been listening to his music. For me, American Pie is the only song that tells us a great story of a time in American history where anyone can sing along with. Don M. is a legend. His music is timeless. His music will not die. I just hope that in the near future he will come to Manila to perform his greatest hits. I know there are millions of fans waiting for him in this part of asia pacific.

  43. i am only twelve but this is my favorite song of all time i own the 1972 record i love that song i memorized it i have probably heard a million times.

  44. I have rewritten the lyrics to reflect the present economic times. I hope nobody is offended by this rework, but the age we are and our love of the automobile it seemed in order. Will always be singing Americam till I die.

  45. HOLA, LE PRESTE ATENCION A ESTA HERMOSA CANCION POR LA VERSION DE MADONNA, PENSE QUE ERA DE ELLA NO ENTIENDO EL INGLES Y BUSQUE LA TRADUCCION TENGO MI INTERPRETACION Y LUEGO AVERIGUE EL SIGNIFICADO TAMBIEN QUE NO ES DE ELLA SINO DE EST CANTANTE DON MCLEAN, LO ESTOY DESCUBRIENDO Y ME ENCANTA LA CANCION AMERICAN PIE PASTEL AMERICANO.

  46. I think from this song is about what was happening in the 1950s and 60s. Don McLean tells about what that time was like from his point of view.
    One particular point in the song Don McLean talks about the Beatles, Elvis, Karl Marx and the times.
    The song goes: “Oh, and while the king was looking down, the jester stole his thorny crown. The courtroom was adjourned; no verdict was returned.” Elvis Presley was named the king of rock and role by fans. Unfortunately Elvis went through a difficult time and The Beatles, something new and young, stole his popularity and stardom.
    The Next line goes “The courtroom was adjourned; no verdict was returned.” I believe this means that the title of the best was never decided and the position is still open and always will be.
    The next and last part of the verse is: “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.”
    John Lennon and Karl Marx had the same values and Lennon read about Marx, since he was the big establisher of communism. The quartet McLean refers to are the Beatles. Last of all, America was going downhill with the of the people’s beloved president John F. Kennedy and Buddy Holly people lost their hope and happiness. “The Music Died.”
    (Woo Hoo Lee!)

  47. In the song Mclean clearly says No angel born in {HEAVEN not HELL} could break that satan spell. All lyrics I have ever read say hell. Maybe someone else has noticed this I have not read all comments.

  48. My all-time favorite rock/folk song. I remember first hearing it when I was 9. I and my family had just moved to a new part of town, and I had started my first year (3rd grade) at the new school, and had found a new and best friend. We both loved American Pie, and that song will for me always bring to mind those days of innocent newness and friendship. Thanks for the memories. (I STILL love the song, by the way.)

  49. The first real Rock & Roll song I remember hearing as a child was “AMERICAN PIE” I was 5yrs old at the time and up until then I had been listening to Disney Albums and other kids records. But that all changed the night I went exploring in the attic of the old farm house my parents had just bought.
    While exploring in the attic, lookig trough the stuff left behind by the former occupants I came across an old 1950’s style radio, so I dragged it out and plugged it in.
    Now while scanning the dial which was mostly static I came upon a clear station playing a song that held me spellbound with its mysterios bwords. It was American Pie.
    From then on I’ve became a huge fan of rock music and putting away childish things. Even then at the age of five bI knew there was something prophetic about those wortds. I have since heard every explanation for what American Pie is about. Amd on face value bI except those explanations. However, In my heart of hearts based on my first hearing though the speakers of that old radio that the lyrics are code in metaphor for a end of Time that is totally unscipted and known only to a select few hat still beleve that music can change the world.

  50. Donnie, he is saying “hell”. You might hear it more clearly if you turn the bass on your speakers down. Besides, “heaven” wouldn’t rhyme with “spell”.

  51. I found out a few months ago that a friend of mine who is turning 60 this year did not like American Pie, in fact hated it???? It had come on the radio once when I was with her and she made some strange comment about hating it. When I asked her why, cuz it is about suicide. ??????? The line – this’ll be the day that I die” . . . . Misconceptions are amazing!! I sent her straight I was born in 1959 so this tragedy and I will both be 50 years old (1/2 a century) this year.

  52. I was wondering if anyone could give me information concerning a 12 inch release of American Pie with And I Love You So on the B side.

    It was released as part of The Rainbow Collection by United Artists with the cataloig number being SP-165-1 & SP-165-2

    When searching the net and entering the catalog number all that comes up is a Gene Farrow song,also released in 1977.

    Please forward any information on this.

    Thank you!

    Thank you!

  53. I heard this song 1st as a young girl and even then, was deeply touched by the timeless stories being told. 30 years later, I still close my eyes at parts and dream. This song, in my opinion, is a work of art. It’s universal in it’s many interpretations. And too, just like finest piece of Artwork, it leaves you breathless.

    I happened to be at the Inauguration when Garth Brooks sang this song. The crowd went wild.

    200 years from now, young people will hear this song for the 1st time and feel the many different feelings I felt the 1st time I heard American Pie. Thet will feel nothing short of complete and utter awe. Just as Picasso, Don McClean will live on for generations to come..

  54. I heard this song 1st as a young girl and even then, was deeply touched by the timeless stories being told. 30 years later, I still close my eyes at parts and dream. This song, in my opinion, is a work of art. It’s universal in it’s many interpretations. And too, just like the finest piece of Artwork, it leaves you breathless.

    I happened to be at the Inauguration when Garth Brooks sang this song. The crowd went wild.

    200 years from now, young people will hear this song for the 1st time and feel the many different feelings I felt the 1st time I heard American Pie. They will feel nothing short of complete and utter awe. Just as Picasso, Don McClean will live on for generations to come..

  55. I have always loved American Pie. I was thrilled to see Don McLean in concert, Jan. 24, 2009. He put on a great show and I learned he is much more talented than I ever imagined.

  56. Since I first heard American Pie when I was 9 years old, It was a hit with me! I was too young to understand everything behind the song…but i liked it. When I was 17 and had my own money to spend, I picked up an LP of American Pie and got to enjoy the rest of the album. Vincent is also an incredible song! Don Mclean is truly an artist! My only regret about American Pie is that the song is so long that it takes both sides of a 45 record and can’t be enjoyed to its fullest on my jukebox.But I still have my Lp and player 🙂

  57. I’m citing Don McLean’s American Pie in a paper I’m writing, but I don’t have the album. What recording studio published it? Also, what was the date? I know it was 1971, but I need to know when the song was copyrighted so I can cite it accurately. Thanks!

  58. Check Don’s Bio, It will tell you everything you need to know. I am giving a speech on his lyrics and the meaning. I hope I do the song justice in my speech.

  59. I first saw Don McLean opening for Blood, Sweat and Tears at the Utica Aud. When he played the as yet unknown “American Pie” the place went crazy. I went back to the radio station I worked at and dug out a copy of his LP. I recorded the song onto a cart but my program director would only let us play half of it on the air due to its length. Talk about “lyricus interruptus”! It made no sense but at least it got played and withing a couple of weeks we were allowed to play it in its entirety. And the rest, as they say, was history…

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