American Pie by Don McLean is an iconic song of the 70s, with its emotional lyrics and catchy chorus. But did you know the meaning behind the song? We thought we did but it turns out we were wrong!
According to the man himself, who has just sold the original manuscript to the song for $1.2 million at auction, the release of the lyrics was so that fan could understand the true meaning of the song.
“It was an indescribable photograph of America that I tried to capture in words and music,” he told Christie’s.
“I would say to young songwriters who are starting out to immerse yourself in beautiful music and beautiful lyrics, and think about every word you say in a song”.
Most people thought that the lyric ‘the day the music died’ was in reference to the 1959 plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and JP “Big Bopper” Richardson. But Don McLean revealed that the lyrics were actually about morality.
“Basically, in American Pie things are heading in the wrong direction. It is becoming less ideal, less idyllic. I don’t know whether you consider that wrong or right, but it is a morality song in a sense,” he said.
“I was around in 1970 and now I am around in 2015 … there is no poetry and very little romance in anything anymore, so it is really like the last phase of ‘American Pie’.”
Don also said that he was inspired to write the iconic words “bye, bye Miss American Pie” when he was in a pharmacy in New York and drove as fast as he could back home.
He also told Christie’s the song “had to be about America, nature and loss, and love, and a whole bunch of things, and other things wouldn’t fit”.
Have a listen to American Pie below and tell us, do you love this song? What do you think the lyrics mean?