American Pie by Don McLean

Conclusion
Educational
Resources
Archive Guestbook

Don McLean rarely gives interviews about the meaning of the song. However in the 70's while American Pie was at number one in the charts, he gave an interview that was broadcast on radio.

"American Pie really was......well, it started to actually happen as an idea in my head after I thought about the death of Buddy Holly.....and that whole period of my life when I was a teenager. And I began to just tune-in, rather naturally, on the feelings that I had about the period of my life. And from that, I developed an idea which I was going to turn into a parable....a story with a moral....which originally had nothing to do with Bob Dylan, The Beatles, or The Stones."

"It was a story about America. And the fact that people were drawn into the song as a result of symbols that I chose to use, was the reason I chose to use those symbols in the first place." - Don McLean

"…which has in a sense this central theme which is American Pie, this anthem which I wanted to write and then its almost like, now I am going to tell you little side stories about this little dream that you just come out of after you heard this song, so that was the idea of the record" - Don McLean, BBC Radio 2 interview, November 4th 1993

"I try to create music that represents me - where I came from and who I am. I'll sing about my experiences, growing up white and middle class in New Rochelle." - Don McLean (Ref: internet)

With little else said about the song from Don McLean himself this perhaps adds to the mystery of it. There were rumours that he also refused to play the song for several years. It is thought that he started singing it again after seeing the lyrics printed on the cover of the final issue of the original LIFE Magazine. However, Don refutes this. (Ref: Tom Ware)

"Because of an offhand funny comment I made backstage at a concert years ago, a story circulated that the song {American Pie} has been a burden and even that I didn't sing it for a while. That's completely false. I am very proud of 'American Pie' and the many satellites that grow from it and revolve around it. For many years I carried my songs around and now they carry me around. I have always sung 'American Pie' for my audience and would never think of disappointing them since it is they who have given me a wonderful life and untold affection for almost 30 years." - Don McLean 1999

Please, please.... Sign My Guestbook  it is really great to hear where
people are from, how you heard about the site etc.

 

Alternatively, feel free pass on your comments,
interpretations and suggestions:

Fill out my Feedback Form
<< back | intro | verse 1 | verse 2 | verse 3 | verse 4 | verse 5 | verse 6 | conclusion