OK this is going to be a little different tonight almost a spotlight- although it’s still an open and folks are welcome to post whatever they feel like listening to. But I wanted to address something Suffer posted last week about the song American Pie.
I don’t know that folks really understood my defense of the song, but I’d like to explain it a little more here, so folks can understand the nature of the song. Is it depressing? Yeah, kind of is. And yeah it delves into some pretty nasty stuff from the past years of Rock music, which is why a lot of it I don’t even listen to it anymore.
The song was written by Don McLean, and it was released November 1971
For a long time the meaning behind the song lyrics were hotly debated, and for decades, McLean declined to explain it. The main theme of the song is the loss of innocence of the early rock and roll generation as symbolized by the plane crash which claimed the lives of Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens.
In 2017, McLean’s original recording was selected for preservation in the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or artistically significant”
So while it used to be circumspect, McLean did finally discuss the song and remarked that it was “an indescribable photograph of America that I tried to capture in words and music.”
“Basically in ‘American Pie,’ things are heading in the wrong direction… it is becoming less idyllic. I don’t know whether you consider that wrong or right but it is a morality song in a sense.”
The lyrics include characters — which include a jester, a king, a queen, good ol’ boys drinking whiskey and rye as well as “Miss American Pie” represented real people. The song includes references to Karl Marx; Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (or, more likely, John Lennon); the Beatles; the Byrds; James Dean; Charles Manson; the Rolling Stones; the “widowed bride,” Jackie Kennedy; and the Vietnam War.
Innocence past, American Pie- American as apple pie, was changing, culture was spinning out of control and the music scene right along with it.
McLean in an interview a few years ago didn’t seem to hold much hope in the state of things in our country or world anymore either, ““There is no poetry and very little romance in anything anymore, so it is really like the last phase of ‘American Pie.’ ”
Was the song depressing, yeah. But so was the loss of something some of us vaguely remember, and others remember so much more that’s gone.
I remember when about 5 years ago, Glenn Beck explained a lot of what was behind the song. I don’t know if he’s spot on, but it’s pretty darned close. I remember listening to it just in awe of what McLean understood as the culture shifted so violently.
Anyway, you don’t have to listen, but it’s actually very interesting and will explain a lot.
OK now that we’ve cleared that up… back to our regularly scheduled porch time!
We’ll get started with one Walter requested earlier today,
It’s open, play whatever you’re in the mood for. Happy Tuesday all!