Don McLean – American Pie

Too bad a Google search of “American Pie” today will bring up the raunchy and juvenile teen sex comedy films. Especially when you meant this impressive 1971 song that, while it has cryptic lyrics, is thought mostly to be about grieving for the death of Buddy Holly.

Sorry, but arguably, the many references in the song to religion, communism, the Beatles and The Byrds, nuclear war… and so on, point to a rambling, stream of consciousness narrative that has no cohesive theme or ultimate message. The artist has never been too clear.  So perhaps what makes American Pie great art is how it allows us to read into it, what is meaningful to us. Yet, the many verses also evince a nostalgia for days gone by, which is also an important feeling and even ideology, related to politics.

Conservatism is an ideology that has reverence for the past, even to the extent of being cautious today, when major public policy changes are announced that might be untested.

Nonetheless, in keeping with the lament for the good old days, no doubt many youngsters are mistaken that the song is by Madonna:


One thought on “Don McLean – American Pie

  1. The thought behind the song was, as I have understood, the plane crash which killed Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper and Richie Valens. Don McLean saw this day as the “day the music died”.

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