What does American Pie mean?

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Don McLean: American Pie Meaning

Song Released: 1971

American Pie Lyrics

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...


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    Jun 1st, 2006 6:54pm report

    Really good link. Takes it verse by verse...



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    May 8th, 5:57am report

    You can actually go look this up anywhere on the Internet and Don McLean himself will tell you a little bit about the song. ( The rest, of course, is left up to debate). There have been some pretty good thoughts here, too.

    Everyone that said the song starts referencing Buddy Holly and his plane crash, is correct.… Along with the other musicians, obviously. However, he never goes into too much detail or explains what the title means… because Don McLean explained that his song does not contain "evil" lyrics ( as in "glorifying" them); That he was just sadly wondering about the decline in America as "she" progressed through the years…

    I believe "American Pie" refers to when our country was young and innocent… You know… Baseball, hotdogs and apple pie and Chevrolet… ( Hence...American Pie" )


    If you really listen/look to/at the lyrics, you can tell that he is sad about America's decline... :(


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    May 7th, 5:30pm report

    It's about the Buddy Holly, Richie Valinz, Big Bopper plane crash in Clear lake Iowa. They took off from Mason City Iowa and crashed shortly later on February 3 1959 also known as The Day The Music Died


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    Feb 3rd, 2016 2:09pm report

    A great song by DON MCLEAN about remembering in lament the sudden changes we went through that changed with a little anger that caught us in self-delusionment in years that followed after the music died in the minds of many people when hearing the shocking news about the tragic death of BUDDY HOLLY with three others in a plane crash. A time when even John Lennon back in England idolized BUDDY HOLLY and studied his music possessively more than anybody else's that helped him with the Beatles Band that became a British Invasion along with many other groups on our shores in the 60's, when we also lost three of our other leaders by the names of John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy.


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    Sep 25th, 2014 9:43pm report

    As the song says, it's about The Day the Music Died. Three famous muscians died in a bad plane crash in Iowa. The song may seem confusing but it just has a lot of metaphors.


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    Jan 6th, 2013 1:30pm report

    where do songs come from? Many artist will tell you it just came to them., but from where? If you dig deep into the music industry, you will see alot of evil things going on. There are two froms of energy in the world. There are two ways of thiking, two doors you can go through. Certain thoughts come out of one door and certain thoughts come out of the other. My understanding of the song is that it refers to america herself. The song sats do you believe in god or do you believe in rock and roll. It goes on to say can music save your mortal soul. So I ask you, is it God ypu can save your mortl soul or rock and roll. Rock and roll is an instrument used by satan to decieve the masses. You will know my children by their fruits. Sex, drugs, do as thy wilt is the message. Who has a message like that. American pie is about the fall of america and all she was to suppose to stand for. I drove my chevy to the levee but the levee was dry means when you drive your car to get gas there will be no gas. Look at the original 45, you will find the author of the song. It says yahweh records. Just another crazy persons opinion


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    Mar 6th, 2012 3:32am report

    Sep12Jean Future of Forestry was absolutely aiuutefbl. I was held up.Your piece was great and I agree with you. I was brought up singing the Latin in the choir and then left the church for many years and when I came back it was to the guitar and folk music. I go to Mass not for the music but for what is on the altar. The music and singing should glorify what is going on. It is not a performance that I seek.God bless you.


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    Feb 14th, 2012 2:24am report

    Miss American Pie is Marilyn Monroe


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    Apr 17th, 2011 4:15am report

    The song is about the time Buddy Holly died in a plane crash. Many of the songs lyrics are in Buddy Holly's songs. Buddy Holly was a bigger star than most people realised. He died early and never reached his potential. He was also over shadowed by Elvis, Cash and the others that toured together at the time.


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    Mar 14th, 2011 3:29pm report

    while the reason the day the music died is about the plane crash in iowa it means more than that. it's about it's about elvis who was the king from 1955 til his death but how others came upon the music scene and changed the way the songs were sung. elvis recorded 3 minute songs written by other people and his crown was tarnished when dylan hit a nerve in music and changed it forever when he wrote and sang " like a polling stone" after that song the beatles started writing deeper and longer songs(the marching band of sargeant pepper) how a lady who sang the blues; nobody sang a blues song like janis joplin, or we clenched our fists at the stones with their sympathy for the devil and the show at altamont. the jester on te side line in a cast ( dylan's dropping out for a couple of years due to his accident? or vacation) when lvis tried to make his comeback to the top with his unbelievable concerts in vegas( before he made a fool of himself due to drugs) the beatles were so good they couldn't be topped. so it all comes down to the fact that people were devastated when that plane crashed, rock and roll and new types of music far out distanced anything the three victims could ever done had they lived. i'm sure i missed a few events but this is only my opinion. i could be wrong


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    Mar 14th, 2011 3:07am report

    Now the half-time air was sweet perfume
    While 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?

    This is NOT about Kent State, or the riots in Chicago during the Democratic Convention.

    The reference here is this:

    The "Sergeants" are the Beatles, They played a concert at Candlestick Park in San Francisco that last a mere 30 minutes.

    (I lived near San Francisco and trust me people were PISSED about the concert)

    "We all got up to dance, but we never got the chance" refers to the shortness of the concert.

    "The marching band refused to yield" means the Beatles refused to do an encore.

    "Do you recall what was revealed" refers to John Lennon and Yoko Ono Posing naked on a record album.

    The entire album is about Music and artists and some of the events that happened from the 50-70's

    If you get the chance watch VH1's "Behind the Music" episode called "The Day the Music died" I can guarantee you the you won't have dry eyes by the end of the program. I believe "American Pie" was the name of the Airplane that they crashed in.


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    Jan 10th, 2011 1:48pm report

    All in one place, a generation lost in space is a no-brainer... Woodstock, NY


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    Jan 10th, 2011 1:43pm report

    Now the half-time air was sweet perfume
    (Pot smoke on the quad at Kent State University in Ohio)
    While the Sergeants played a marching tune
    (National Guard called to deal with the war protesters)
    We all got up to dance Oh, but we never got the chance 'Cause the players tried to take the field
    (students continued to protest)
    The marching band refused to yield
    (The Guard began with tear gas and a riot ensued ending in the shooting deaths of 4 students)
    Do you recall what was revealed
    The day the music died (America's youth changed that day forever)


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    Aug 7th, 2010 8:54pm report

    Everyone is correct in asserting the tribute in the song, but the main thing about the song is it is written in dream sequences. Like it is all a dream and one word leads to a whole different dream sequence and it all jumps around like in a dream but is all tied together just like a dream.


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    Jul 19th, 2009 7:07pm report

    This song was written after Buddy Holly died in a plane crash. It was about how his music was amazing, but after he died there was just something missing in the music industry.


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    Apr 12th, 2009 4:43pm report

    This song is about buddy holly and how sucky rock has been since his death

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