American Pie lyrics on American Pie by Don McLean

Don McLean

American Pie lyrics

Facebook "American Pie" by Don McLean is a recounting of "The Day the Music Died" — the 1959 plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper (Jiles Perry Richardson, Jr.), and events that followed. The song was listed as the No. 5 song on the RIAA "Songs of the Century".

"American Pie" was released in the autumn of 1971 and forty years later it remains one of the most discussed and debated songs ever produced in pop music. It was a cultural event at the peak of its popularity in 1972, selling more than 3 million copies that year alone. One of the reasons for it's popularity then and now is that people weren't sure what the song was about. Debate about its meaning continued for several years after the song's release, and McClean was, for the most part, silent on the subject.

Aside from its enigmatic lyrics, the song has an emotional resonance that continues even today. McLean relates a defining moment in the American experience: the plane crash outside Mason City Iowa on 3 February 1959, took the lives of Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and the Big Bopper. It would have taken Waylon Jennings except for a bet he lost to Holly. Taken sociologically, coming as it did near the end of the turbulent 60s, "American Pie" spoke to an uncomfortable position we found ourselves in. The grand social experiments of the 1960s began collapsing under their own weight, and the optimistic world represented in early rock and roll was gone. The Vietnam war at that time seemed never ending. A sense of disillusion and loss seemed to befall the world with the deaths of John Kennedy, Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy.
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A 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

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."


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 a 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 the 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."

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Don McLean American Pie lyrics added on 15th Apr 2014




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