American Pie (8:34)

Cover of American Pie

From American Pie and 286 other releases

“American Pie” is a folk rock song by singer-songwriter Don McLean.

Recorded and released on the American Pie album in 1971, the single was a number-one U.S. hit for four weeks in 1972. A re-release in 1991 did not chart in the U.S., but reached number 12 in the UK. The song is an abstract story surrounding “The Day the Music Died” — the 1959 plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper (Giles Perry Richardson, Jr.). The importance of “American Pie” to America’s musical and cultural heritage was recognized by the Songs of the Century education project which listed the song as the number five song of the twentieth century. Some Top 40 stations initially played only side two of the single, but the song’s popularity eventually forced stations to play the entire piece.

Background and interpretation: The song’s lyrics are the subject of much curiosity. Although McLean dedicated the American Pie album to Buddy Holly, none of the musicians in the plane crash are identified by name in the song itself. When asked what “American Pie” meant, McLean replied, “It means I never have to work again Later, he more seriously stated “You will find many interpretations of my lyrics but none of them by me… sorry to leave you all on your own like this but long ago I realized that songwriters should make their statements and move on, maintaining a dignified silence.”[2] McLean has generally avoided responding to direct questions about the song lyrics (“They’re beyond analysis.

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  • brianwolfe_3579

    A true lyrical masterpiece.

    9 Mar 9:26pm Reply
  • emmarican

    DROVE THE CHEVY TO THE LEVY BUT THE LEVY WAS DRY

    25 Jan 4:46am Reply
  • lotharvomteich1

    very good, and have hearthis frommadonna

    11 Jan 1:48am Reply
  • aquaguard03

    The handful of scrobbles last.fm has recorded for me doesn't do justice to the importance of the track, and the album itself, in my formative years. My high school swimming team used to sing this on the bus on the way back from every away meet that we won (which was often). [For home meets it was victory pizza at Shakey's (until it closed).] That and many more fond memories associated with "American Pie." ...Who remembers Shakey's Pizza Parlors in the US? Whatever happened to all of those?

    16 Sep 2014 Reply
  • gonzaloPV

    This is one of the most amazing songs I've ever listened to. When I listened to it for the first time I had the same feeling I have while listening to Bob Dylan's Like a Rolling Stone. The lyrics are incredible and the beginning is really moving. This is Rock & Roll

    9 Sep 2014 Reply
  • adventureba

    great <3

    15 Aug 2014 Reply
  • Barbaramesquit

    It's a classic ♥

    7 Jul 2014 Reply
  • silversurfer250

    I dig those Rhythm and Blues.

    24 May 2014 Reply
  • davidbowiegirl

    Great song

    15 May 2014 Reply
  • TuneBlendR

    This is a CAMPFIRE CLASSIC... powerful song that REACHES so many about such a tragic day in Music's history.... If you have a noble community cause that requires fundraising, do check out: http://www.CharityCDs.com

    11 May 2014 Reply
  • ledzeppelinu2

    this is a classic.

    20 Apr 2014 Reply
  • TWHsr

    Takes everyone back.

    5 Apr 2014 Reply
  • gramdiane

    And just for a moment I am 20 years old again!

    2 Apr 2014 Reply
  • cjfreckles

    drove my chevy to the levy

    29 Mar 2014 Reply
  • nicolewed

    "a generation lost in space" - gets me every time

    23 Mar 2014 Reply
  • userabc123

    Great! One of the last folk rock songs before the next revival that started the modern folk on the radio right now....witch is ok.

    20 Mar 2014 Reply
  • TWHsr

    It's a classic

    8 Mar 2014 Reply
  • thecreator7577

    The "Music" went up on the Stairway to Heaven.

    23 Feb 2014 Reply
  • Fun-n-Flirty

    La Bamba.

    12 Feb 2014 Reply
  • mcook4

    I wish more songs today were written with the same lyrical brilliance as this

    3 Feb 2014 Reply
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