Tuesday Tunes - Don McLean

Posted: Tuesday, March 06, 2007 by Travis Cody in
13

This is just a little different from my normal Tuesday Tunes. Usually I'll just post five random songs. Every once in awhile there might be a theme that ties the five songs together.

Today I thought I'd share one of my favorite singer/songwriters, Don McLean. And there are only two songs to hear today. That's because I got tired of fighting with the site to get the dang things to play. Luckily, two of my favorites did work.

I've always thought that this song demonstrated the brilliance of an artist. McLean showcases his songwriting ability while lyrically painting the genius of Van Gogh's art. The vivid imagery in the lyrics evokes the tapestry of the paintings.


Vincent (Starry Starry Night)
By Don McLean
BestAudioCodes.com


This is a very simple melody and lyric poignantly penned not only as a tribute to love, but in wonder and gratitude for requited love.


And I Love You So
By Don McLean
BestAudioCodes.com


One of the most analyzed and interpreted pop songs of all time, American Pie really has a very simple meaning. The song is McLean's anthem for America, inspired by the plane crash in 1959 that took the lives of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and JP "Big Bopper" Richards. In February 1972, Bob Dearborn produced what is widely considered to be the definitive analysis of the lyrics. I encourage you to check it out here. Audio codes has the song, but alas "the music wouldn't play". So here are the lyrics.

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,
But 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.
And them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
Singin’, "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?
Do you believe in rock ’n 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 dancin’ 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 singin’,
"bye-bye, miss american pie."
Drove my chevy to the levee,
But the levee was dry.
Them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
And singin’, "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 rollin’ 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
And 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 lennon read a book of 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 old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
And singin’, "this’ll be the day that I die.
"this’ll be the day that I die."

Helter skelter in a 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 half-time 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 old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
And singin’, "this’ll be the day that I die.
"this’ll be the day that I die."

Oh, 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.

Oh, 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 old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
And singin’, "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,
But 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 lovers 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.
And them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
Singin’, "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 old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
Singin’, "this’ll be the day that I die."

13 comments:

  1. Skittles says:

    I've always liked the first two songs, and had my kids singing American Pie as soon as they could learn it :)

  1. Mags says:

    My Mom used to sing me American Pie when I was little. I love that song.

  1. Turnbaby says:

    I love these. I drive the DH nuts singing all of the words to American Pie--I hate it when they play the 'short' version. Thanks sugar!

    Smooch

  1. Matt-Man says:

    Starry Starry Night is an incredibly well written song. Interesting read on the American Pie analysis Travis. Cheers!!

  1. sigh....now I'm gonna have American Pie in my head all day long (smile)

  1. julie says:

    Oh Travis...great picks as always dear! And I Love You So....who else did that? Don singing it just doesn't sound like how I remember it. Did someone else make it popular?

    American Pie....a "must know" for lyrics! One of the best songs ever written!

  1. wolfbaby says:

    Thanks for the link that was a really interesting read!!!

  1. Angell says:

    I love Don McLean - I used to HATE American Pie with a passion (one of the most oversung songs at karaoke), but now that I've stopped living at karaoke shows, I can enjoy it again.

    Don's a brilliant songwriter and lyricist. Thanks for sharing today. :D

  1. Anndi says:

    Excellent tunes dear! I've always loved Don. Just the thing to keep me coming back over and over.

    Hugs and a kiss bro...

  1. No doubt you've noticed my mug popping up on your bloglog several times, and there has not been a corresponding comment! So sorry - been called away from my cruisin' several times today.

    You know, now I've got "American Pie" stuck in my head...

  1. JohnH985 says:

    American Pie is one of my favorite songs of all time. Great song.

  1. JAM says:

    American Pie and Vincent are both wonderful songs. They remind me of a certain time of my youth. Now that I'm older, the bittersweet tone of boths songs, is compounded by the nostalgia I feel when I hear them. Don McLean is a wonderful guitarist too. I love to watch films of him performing. Music is the backdrop of our lives and these two songs are powerful reminders of times past.

  1. Janna says:

    I love Starry Starry Night and American Pie!

    P.S. I finally made the origami cranes....