Don McLean’s “American Pie”

American singer-songwriter Don McLean’s “American Pie” is one of his greatest works ever. It is also widely regarded as one of the music industry’s most iconic songs. The lyrics of this classic track were inspired by the tragic death of legendary rock and roll pioneer, Buddy Holly. Holly tragically passed away in a plane crash on 3rd February, 1959. He was only just 22 years old when he died. It should be noted that the same plane crash that killed Holly also claimed the lives of two other prominent American musicians, The Big Popper as well as Ritchie Valens.

“The day the music died”

In the lyrics, McLean continuously mentions the phrase “the day the music died”. This phrase apparently refers to the 1959 plane crash that claimed the lives of Bopper, Valens, and Holly. These three were great performers of rock and roll music in its early days.

Another line in McLean’s “American Pie” track that supports the song’s relationship to the 1959 plane crash is “February made me shiver with every paper I’d deliver bad news on the doorstep”. In this line, it can be suggested that young McLean felt great pain and anguish of having to deliver the heartbreaking news through the Newspapers he delivered on the 4th of February 1959 following the plane crash the previous day. He was only 13 years young at the time of this incident. And yes, he actually once worked as a newspaper boy.

Other notable events “American Pie” sheds light on

In addition, the lyrics also look at several other key happenings in the 60s. Some of which include the following:

  • The reign of the Beatles
  • Janis Joplin’s shocking death
  • The rise and fall of Dylan

Even though McLean is yet to come out with the actual meaning of this hit song, it can be suggested that it is a tribute to rock and roll’s early threesome of Bopper, Ritchie, and Holly. He expressed his grief over the 1959 incident in an editorial that was published in 2009 in commemoration of 50th anniversary of the death of the threesome rock and roll superheroes. He went ahead to dedicate the American Pie album to Holly.

Facts about “American Pie”

Writing Credits: The composing of this classic is credited to none other than Don McLean, who is also the lead vocalist.

Release Date: This song, which is from McLean’s “American Pie” album, was released on May 26th, 1971. It is number one on the track listing of its album.

Production: It’s production is credited to Ed Freeman.

Charts: “American Pie” topped the Billboard Hot 100 songs in the US and in other countries like Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. It was number 2 on the UK Singles.

Notable Cover: In the year 2000, Madonna covered a trimmed edition of this track to much success.

Grammy Nomination: It earned recognition all around the world. And in doing so, it received a Grammy Award nomination for Song of the Year.

Is “American Pie” the Longest Ever Song to make it into the Billboard Hot 100?

Yes. This track at the time of its release was the longest song to ever make it into the Billboard Hot 100. As at now, it is still the longest song to ever top Billboard Hot 100. However, it is the 4th longest song to enter the Hot 100.

2 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    Who was “Miss American pie “ ?

  2. Roll says:

    It’s the Big Bopper with 2 B’s

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