Don McLean: “American Pie”

ALBUM: American Pie

YEAR: 1971

WRITER: Don McLean

Don McLean received a gold record for “American Pie” on this day (January 3) in 1972.

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 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 ole boys were drinking whiskey ‘n 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? 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 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 singing bye, bye, Miss American Pie Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry Them good ole boys were drinking whiskey ‘n rye 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 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 ole boys were drinking whiskey ‘n rye 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 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 ole boys were drinking whiskey ‘n 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 ole boys were drinking whiskey ‘n 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 ole boys were drinking whiskey ‘n 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 ole boys were drinking whiskey ‘n rye And singin’ this’ll be the day that I die

 

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