month of 70’s GPM: american pie (don mclean)

stifler’s mom never enters this discussion.

oh, i know. i hear you all groaning.  and in truth, i’m not as fond of this one as i was when i was a pre-teen; when i discovered the real meaning of american pie.

::insert melodramatic music here::

but i still think it’s worthy of my guilty-fied love. see, my oldest brother, aka BTD, had done a report in high school on the what the song was all about. i think it was the first time in my life i had ever actually figured out that words could have more than one meaning.

::insert melodramatic music here again::

in short, it freaked me out. (but in a good way, i would add.) i remember the frustration: you had to turn the 45 over to hear the rest of the damn song.  i also wasn’t thrilled that mclean trashed MY beatles and MY stones in favor of some bug-eyed dude from texas (who i have since grown to appreciate over the years, thank–you-very-much.) but i was enthralled by the idea of allegory (even if my fifth or sixth grade self was not yet acquainted with the term). i couldn’t wait to write some epic poem using this sort of subterfuge.

of course, i never did, though i did help that older brother decipher  sweet baby james for another paper, scouring out the meaning from a few heroin-soaked lines of nostalgia. (or did i write the paper for my class? not entirely sure all these years later, and i’m quite certain BTD has blotted out most memories prior to 1985. so i guess we’ll never know, fair reader. ah, these deep and impenetrable mysteries of life.)

anyway, i’m not a huge fan of mclean’s career (though vincent is a gorgeous, somber song), but i can acknowledge that american pie is a sort of landmark experience on the pop chart. and what happens when you write a landmark-type song?


too many to list, of course, but a song like this is clearly inspirational to many.

there’s bye, bye french canadian guy.

there’s kelso’s version.

and of course, where’s there’s a parody, there’s always weird al.

[note to readers: bear in mind that BS will now be walking around the house singing about one day becoming a jedi, or however the hell that last song goes. in short, i have just punished myself for the entire month of really awful music from back in november. you’re welcome.]


6 Responses to “month of 70’s GPM: american pie (don mclean)”

  1. I know what you mean about this song. Its not a GREAT song per se, but it is as you put it a landmark song and it deserves our respect for that at least. If I were to hear it I would not turn it off, and I do still sing along (I think I remember all the words).

    Anyway, speaking of covers, (and sorry for plugging my blog here )I talked about this song when I did a week on cover songs back in August. The worst cover in my mind is Madonnas. Take a look

  2. MKD – When she started talking about covers my first though was that *awful* one Madonna did!!! I so so agree with you!

    I always sing along to this one too. Thanks for the link to his website as I don’t think I had ever hear his own thoughts on the inspirations for the song.

  3. I love this song. I love singing along to it – though I miss some of the words.

    And Gulf Branch – you gotta check it out. It’s a pretty good nature center on Military Road.

    And I had NO IDEA it was you outside my office. I was pumping milk for the wee one. I would’ve stopped in a minute to get to see you in person. The knitting needles are still in my desk!

  4. been to gulf branch (and long branch as well.) love it! i remember the kids sitting in the log thing.

    i figured you were busy, and then, when i came back to try again, you were g-o-n-e gone. i figured i’d see you again eventually 🙂

  5. You sacrificed yourself for the good of your blog. My how you rock, Wreke!! 🙂

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