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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
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
Them good ol' boys were drinking whiskey and rye, singing...
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
Now, do you believe in Rock and 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 dancing 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 singing, bye bye Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry
Them good ol' boys were drinking whiskey and rye, singing...
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 Rolling 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
In 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 Lenin read a book on 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 ol' boys were drinking whiskey and rye, singing...
This'll be the day that I die
This'll be the day that I die

Healter Skealter in the 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 halftime 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 ol' boys were drinking whiskey and rye, singing...
This'll be the day that I die
This'll be the day that I die

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
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 ol' boys were drinking whiskey and rye, singing...
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
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 lover's 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
Them good ol' boys were drinking whiskey and rye, singing...
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 ol' boys were drinking whiskey and rye, singing...
This'll be the day that I die



Lyrics taken from http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/d/don_mclean/american_pie.html

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  • p
    +8
    ProfessorBKAug 7, 2008 at 12:31 am
    This song is a lament for lost potential, "what could have been" -- especially the lost potential of the young generation who came of age during the Kennedy "Camelot" era to "change the world". JFK and Jackie O are the king and queen spoken of in the third verse. For many who were young at that time, Kennedy represented hope for a nonviolent transition to a more just America, where everyone got their rightful "piece of the pie." With his death, many of these Kennedy-worshippers turned to their progressive rock idols for leadership, especially Dylan ('the jester"). Unfortunately, Dylan eschewed the role, and the mainstream of popular music (the Byrds, Beatles, and Stones) was overtaken by drug-induced hedonism and violence (the events of the summer of '69, Manson and Altamont are referenced in the fourth verse). This (sixties) generation has squandered itself in hedonistic excess, and has no more redemptive potential left. When it goes to the water, it finds it to be dry and the gloating symbols of the ancient regime -- the racist "good ol' boys" celebrating with a drink -- telling it is is dead.
  • m
    +7
    mckulit_raichuSep 5, 2008 at 10:17 pm
    i guess 1960's is the root of everything (well almost hehe)... a lot of things happened that time that made a lot of people feel depressed and just think of the things that could have happened if those killings (deaths), and other tragedies didn't happen. i agree that maybe we had a better world if the circumstances were fair...

    this song is good and catchy, but the irony of this song is, a lot of people wants to sing it, but a lot of people doesn't want to understand it because of the reality that it reflects...
  • mulli1
    +3
    mulli1Aug 8, 2010 at 4:03 am
    Don McLean is a "musical genius" for writing this song concerning the 1959 plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and the Big Bopper and how their deaths affected him and his generation and ultimately affect music history for generations to come. Hands down the best rock song ever written!
  • U
    +1
    UnregisteredJul 29, 2012 at 7:46 pm
    It was said perfectly by mulli1:

    "it's a song about the 1959 plane crash that killed buddy holly, richie valens and the big bopper, and how their deaths affected him and his generation and ultimately affected music history for generations to come.
  • U
    UnregisteredFeb 28, 2012 at 2:09 pm
    "the good ole boys drinking whiskey and rye singing this will be the day that i die" is about the vietnam war. All the good ole boys for whom we depend on to defend our country knew that the war couldn't be won.

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