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Real meaning to the words of Don McLean's 'American Pie?

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Old 02-10-2012, 04:34 PM   #1
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Question Real meaning to the words of Don McLean's 'American Pie?

The meaning of Don Mclean-American Pie explained
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Old 02-10-2012, 05:43 PM   #2
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I hate this effing song...
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Old 02-10-2012, 05:55 PM   #3
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That song was always hard to figure out, it's been said there's stuff about the Kennedy's in there, Kent State and I even kinda' wondered if Mclean was referring to the old 'Lost in Space' TV show. Then sometimes I'd think he was just inserting words/phrases that would rhyme because he had written himself into a corner ... but here's a pretty funny conclusion to a pretty standard interpretation of the song by some guy named Rich Kulawiec that should help muddy the waters even more ...

"Andrew Whitman brings a sense of perspective to all of this by noting: As to what they threw off the bridge (Ode to Billy Jo), Bobbie Gentry once went on record with the statement that it was the mystery that made the song, and that the mystery would remain unsolved. Don McLean later used the same device to even greater >success with "American Pie," which triggered a national obsession on figuring out the "real meaning" of the song. Well, probably not a national obsession, but certainly the life's work of many talented scholars.

According to the latest edition of the "American Pie Historical Interpretive Digest" (APHID), noted McLean historian Vincent Vandeman has postulated that cheezy country songs may have played a much more prominent role in the epic composition than had originally been thought. In particular, the "widowed bride," usually supposed to be either Ella Holly or Joan Rivers, may in fact be Billie Jo.

According to this radical exegesis, the "pink carnation" of McLean's song is probably what was thrown off the Tallahatchie Bridge, and was later found by the lonely, teenaged McLean as he wandered drunkenly on the levee. Of course, such a view poses problems. McLean vehemently denies any knowledge of Choctaw Ridge, and any theory linking the two songs must surely address this mysterious meeting place of Billie Jo and her husband Billy Joe. Vandeman speculates that Choctaw Ridge may have been the place McLean drove his Chevy after drinking whiskey and rye, and that McLean may have been unaware of the name because of his foggy mental state.

Still, there appear to be many tenuous connections in Vandeman's interpretation - Tammy Wynette as the girl who sang the blues, the proposed affair between Wynette and Billie Joe which later led to d-i-v-o-r-c-e and Billy Joe's suicide, the mysterious whereabouts of George Jones, and why McLean insisted on driving a Chevy to the levee instead of a more economical Japanese car. My own view is that none of it makes much sense.

Vandeman's theory is intriguing, but it seems far more logical to hold to the traditional interpretation of "American Pie" as an eschatological parable of nuclear destruction and the rebirth of civilization on Alpha Centauri. [ Thanks, Andrew. I'll take it under advisement. Oh, and I've forwarded this to Mulder and Scully for their take on it. ---Rsk ]"


... so, if you weren't confused by the song before, you should be now. Just do what I've been doing for 30/40yrs ... mix yourself a good stiff drink, sit back, enjoy the tune and try not to think about it too much,

... this space intentionally left blank ...

Last edited by SloMotion; 02-10-2012 at 05:57 PM.. Reason: grammar
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Old 02-10-2012, 06:36 PM   #4
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Way to much info. for my noggin'.
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Old 02-11-2012, 07:13 AM   #5
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... it's more of a 'spoof' on the meaning of the song anyway ...
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Old 02-11-2012, 06:15 PM   #6
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Lost me....I guess I am not meant for the intellectual stuff. Maybe more into the party music like Van Halen or something.
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