Sunday, February 3, 2013

The DayThe Music Died

Buddy Holly by Eric May
@http://www.flickr.com/photos/ericmay/6900641299/





February 3

The Day The Music Died





Fifty four years ago our country tragically lost three of our most talented musicians of their time. Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bobber were in the middle of a three week tour covering 24 Midwestern states when the Cessna 180 plane they were traveling in crashed in a corn field outside Clear Lake, Iowa. There were no survivors. 


You can read more about the crash at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Day_the_Music_Died 

February 3rd was dubbed The Day The Music Died after the Don McLean song "American Pie".  American Pie was released in 1971 and was on a US hit for four weeks in 1972. 

  


Don McLean was born on October 2, 1945. Don was working his paper route when he read the headline announcing the plane crash that took the lives of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bobber. Their deaths greatly affected the young man. Many people have speculated the American Pie lyrics have held some cryptic message about the crash. Over the years reporters have asked him about the message he was trying to deliver with his song. Don would refuse to comment only to say the first verse of the song had released the the built up grief he had over the loss of Buddy Holly.  In 1993, Don McLean stated in an open letter to his fans. 

 "I have never discussed the lyrics, but have admitted to the [Buddy] Holly reference in the opening stanzas. I dedicated the album American Pie to Buddy Holly as well in order to connect the entire statement to Holly in hopes of bringing about an interest in him, which subsequently did occur... You will find many 'interpretations' of my lyrics but none of them by me. Isn't this fun? 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."


Despite the controversy, American Pie has become one of those iconic songs that has been embraced by generations. The song has been used in the show Brady Bunch and was used in the 2002 Chevy commercials. Madonna recorded the song in 2000. "Weird Al" Yankovic sung a parody of American Pie in his "The Saga Begins" song recounting the plot of the Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace from the point of view of Obi-Wan Kenobi in 1999. 

AMERICAN PIE 
by DON MCLEAN

A long, long time ago 
I can still remember how that music used to make me smile 
And, I knew if I had my chance that I could make those people dance, and... 
Maybe they'd be happy for a while 
But, February made me shiver with every paper I'd deliver 
Bad news on the doorstep - I couldn't take one more step 
I can't remember if I cried when I read about his widowed bride 
Something touched me deep inside the day the music died 

So, bye bye Miss American Pie 
Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry 
Them good ol' boys were drinking whiskey and rye, singing... 
This'll be the day that I die 
This'll be the day that I die 

Did you write the Book of Love and do you have faith in God, above? 
If the Bible tells you so 
Now, do you believe in Rock and Roll? Can music save your mortal soul? And... 
Can you teach me how to dance real slow? 
Well, I know that you're in love with him, 'cause I saw you dancing in the gym 
You both kicked off your shoes - man, I dig those rhythm and blues 
I was a lonely, teenage broncin' buck with a pink carnation and a pickup truck, but... 
I knew I was out of luck the day the music died 

I started singing, bye bye Miss American Pie 
Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry 
Them good ol' boys were drinking whiskey and rye, singing... 
This'll be the day that I die 
This'll be the day that I die 

Now, for ten years we've been on our own and moss grows fat on a Rolling Stone, but... 
That's not how it used to be 
When the Jester sang for the king and queen in a coat he borrowed from James Dean 
In a voice that came from you and me 
Oh, and while the King was looking down the Jester stole his thorny crown 
The courtroom was adjourned - no verdict was returned 
And, while Lenin read a book on Marx the quartet practiced in the park, and... 
We sang dirges in the dark the day the music died 

We were singing, bye bye Miss American Pie 
Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry 
Them good ol' boys were drinking whiskey and rye, singing... 
This'll be the day that I die 
This'll be the day that I die 

Healter Skealter in the summer swelter - the Birds flew off with a fallout shelter 
Eight Miles High and falling fast 
It landed foul on the grass 
The players tried for a forward pass with the Jester on the sidelines in a cast 
Now, the halftime air was sweet perfume while the Sergeants played a marching tune 
We all got up to dance, oh, but we never got the chance 
'Cause the players tried to take the field - the marching band refused to yield 
Do you recall what was revealed the day the music died? 

We started singing, bye bye Miss American Pie 
Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry 
Them good ol' boys were drinking whiskey and rye, singing... 
This'll be the day that I die 
This'll be the day that I die 

And, there we were, all in one place - a generation Lost in Space 
With no time left to start again 
So, come on, Jack be nimble, Jack be quick - Jack Flash sat on a Candlestick, 'cause... 
Fire is the Devil's only friend 
And, as I watched him on the stage my hands were clenched in fists of rage 
No angel born in Hell could break that satan's spell 
And, as the flames climbed high into the night to light the sacrificial rite, I saw... 
Satan laughing with delight the day the music died 

He was singing, bye bye Miss American Pie 
Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry 
Them good ol' boys were drinking whiskey and rye, singing... 
This'll be the day that I die 
This'll be the day that I die 

I met a girl who sang the Blues, and I asked her for some happy news 
She just smiled and turned away 
I went down to the sacred store where I'd heard the music years before, but... 
The man there said the music wouldn't play 
And, in the streets the children screamed, the lover's cried, and the poets dreamed, but... 
Not a word was spoken - the church bells all were broken 
And, the three men I admire most: the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost, they... 
Caught the last train for the coast the day the music died 

And, they were singing, bye bye Miss American Pie 
Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry 
Them good ol' boys were drinking whiskey and rye, singing... 
This'll be the day that I die 
This'll be the day that I die 

They were singing, bye bye Miss American Pie 
Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry 
Them good ol' boys were drinking whiskey and rye, singing... 
This'll be the day that I die


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