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.
Sociologists credit teenagers with the popularity of Rock and Roll, as a part of the Baby boomer generation, they found themselves in a very
influencial position. Their shear number were the force behind most of our country's recent major transitions. McLean was a teenager in 1959 and he
begins by simply commenting that the music had an appealing quality to him as well as the millions of other teens. McLean also had an intense desire
to entertain as a musician. His dream, to play in a band at high school dances, was the dream of many young boys who wanted to make people dance to
Rock and Roll.
But February made me shiver,
Buddy Holly died on February 3, 1959, in a plane crash in Iowa during a snowstorm. Its rumored that the name of the plane was: American Pie.
With every paper I'd deliver,
Don McLean's only job besides being a full-time singer/song writer was being a paperboy.
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
Holly's recent bride was pregnant when the crash took place; she had a miscarriage shortly afterward.
But something touched me deep inside, The day the music died.
The same plane crash that killed Buddy Holly also tragically took the lives of Richie Valens ("La Bamba") and The Big Bopper ("Chantilly Lace.") Since
all three were so prominent at the time, February 3, 1959, became known as "The Day The Music Died."So...
(Refrain) Bye bye Miss American Pie,
**Don McLean dated a Miss America candidate during a pageant and broke up with her on February 3, 1959. (Unconfirmed interpretation)
So its probably...
Just a reference to the plane, "American Pie" that crahed.
I drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry, Them good ol' boys were drinkin' whiskey and rye Singing "This'll be the day that I die, This'll
be the day that I die."
Driving the Chevy to the levee almost certainly refers to the three college students whose murder was the subject of the film 'Mississippi Burning.'
The students were attempting to register as black voters, and after being killed by bigoted thugs their bodies were buried in a levee. Them good ol'
boys being: Holly, Valens, and the Big Bopper, They were singing about their death on February 3. One of Holly's hits was "That'll be the Day"; the
chorus contains the line "That'll be the day that I die."
(Verse 2) Did you write the book of love,
"The Book of Love" by the Monotones; hit in 1958."Oh I wonder, wonder who... who, who wrote the book of love?"
And do you have faith in God above, If the Bible tells you so?
**In 1955, Don Cornell did a song entitled "The Bible Tells Me So." It was difficult to tell if it was what McLean was referencing. Anyone know for
There is also an old Sunday School song that goes:"Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so" McLean was somewhat religious.
Now do you believe in rock 'n roll?The Lovin' Spoonful had a hit in 1965 with John Sebastian's "Do you Believe in Magic?". The song has the lines: "Do
you believe in magic" and "It's like trying to tell a stranger 'bout rock and roll."
Can music save your mortal soul? And can you teach me how to dance real slow?
Music was believed to "save the soul" and slow dancing was an important part of early rock and roll dance events. Dancing declined in importance
through the 60's as things like psychedelia and the 10-minute guitar solo gained prominence.
McLean was asking many questions about the early rock 'n roll in an attempt to keep it alive or find out if it was already dead.
Well I know that you're in love with him 'Cause I saw you dancing in the gym
Back then, dancing was an expression of love,and carried a connotation of commitment. Dance partners were not so readily exchanged as they would be
You both kicked off your shoes
A reference to the beloved "sock hop." (Street shoes tear up wooden basketball floors, so dancers had to take off their shoes.)
Man, I dig those rhythm 'n' blues
Before the popularity of rock and roll, music, like much elsewhere in the U. S., was highly segregated. The popular music of black performers for
largely black audiences was called, first "race music," later softened to rhythm and blues. In the early 50s, as they were exposed to it through radio
personalities such as Allan Freed, white teenagers began listening, too. Starting around 1954, a number of songs from the rhythm and blues charts
began appearing on the overall popular charts as well, but usually in cover versions by established white artists, (e.g."Shake Rattle and Roll," Joe
Turner, covered by Bill Haley; "Sh-Boom, "the Chords, covered by the Crew-Cuts; "Sincerely," the Moonglows, covered by the McGuire Sisters; Tweedle
Dee, LaVerne Baker, covered by Georgia Gibbs). By 1955, some of the rhythm and blues artists, like Fats Domino and Little Richard were able to get
records on the overall pop charts.In 1956 Sun records added elements of country and western to produce the kind of rock and roll tradition that
produced Buddy Holly.
I was a lonely teenage broncin' buck With a pink carnation and a pickup truck
"A White Sport Coat (And a Pink Carnation), "was a hit for Marty Robbins in 1957. The pickup truck has endured as a symbol of sexual independence and
potency, especially in a Texas context.(Also, Jimmy Buffet does a song about "a white sport coat and a pink crustacean.":-) )
But I knew that I was out of luck The day the music died I started singing...
(Verse 3) Now for ten years we've been on our own...
edit on (6/8/1313 by shells4u because: (no reason given)