EXCLUSIVE Interview: Don McLean

Genius
ADVERTISEMENT

Don McLean, born in New Rochelle, New York on October 2nd, 1945 is a name synonymous with classic American Rock and Roll. His most popular song, American Pie broke traditions lasting more than 8 minutes. Don McLean is a living legend in the folk-rock community an official member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

DoYouRemember? has had the honor of interviewing many talented bands and musicians. Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers, and other legends blessed us with once in a lifetime opportunities to ask questions we’ve been dying to know. McLean’s interview will always stand out as it was one of our first major interviews.

ADVERTISEMENT

 

American Pie

A song by American folk-rock singer and songwriter Don McLean. Recorded and released on the American Pie album in 1971, the single was the number-one US hit for four weeks in 1972. In the UK, the single reached No. 2 on its original 1972 release and a reissue in 1991 reached No. 12. The song was listed as the No. 5 song on the RIAA (Recording Industry Association Of America) project Songs of the Century. The song was covered by Madonna in 2000 and reached No. 1 in several countries, including the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia. (Cont.)


“American Pie”

ADVERTISEMENT

[Intro]
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 whileBut February made me shiver
With every paper I’d deliver
Bad news on the doorstep
I couldn’t take one more stepI can’t remember if I cried
When I read about his widowed bride
But something touched me deep inside
The day the music died[Chorus:]
So bye, bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
And them good ole boys were drinking whiskey ‘n rye
Singin’ this’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die[Verse 1]
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 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

[Chorus:]
I started singing bye, bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
Them good ole boys were drinking whiskey ‘n rye
Singin’ this’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die

[Verse 2]
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 Lenin read a book on Marx
The quartet practiced in the park
And we sang dirges in the dark
The day the music died

[Chorus:]
We were singing bye, bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
Them good ole boys were drinking whiskey ‘n rye
Singin’ this’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die

[Verse 3]
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 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?

[Chorus:]
We started singing bye, bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
Them good ole boys were drinking whiskey ‘n rye
And singin’ this’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die

[Verse 4]
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

[Chorus:]
He was singing bye, bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
Them good ole boys were drinking whiskey ‘n rye
And singin’ this’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die

[Outro]
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

[Chorus:]
And they were singing bye, bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
And them good ole boys were drinking whiskey ‘n rye
Singin’ this’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die

[Chorus:]
They were singing bye, bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
Them good ole boys were drinking whiskey ‘n rye
And singin’ this’ll be the day that I die

(Source: AZ Lyrics)

The repeatedly mentioned “day the music died” refers to the 1959 plane crash which killed early rock and roll performers Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper, and Ritchie Valens. (The crash was not known by that name until after McLean’s song became a hit.)

The Day the Music Died, and Took With It Big Bopper, Buddy Holly And Ritchie Valens

The meaning of the other lyrics has long been debated, and for decades, McLean declined to explain the symbolism behind the many characters and events mentioned. However, the overall theme of the song is the loss of innocence of the early rock and roll generation as symbolized by the plane crash which claimed the lives of three of its heroes.

In 2017, McLean’s original recording was selected for preservation in the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or artistically significant”.

 


“Vincent (Starry, Starry Night)”

Starry, starry night
Paint your palette blue and gray
Look out on a summer’s day
With eyes that know the darkness in my soulShadows on the hills
Sketch the trees and the daffodils
Catch the breeze and the winter chills
In colors on the snowy linen landNow I understand
What you tried to say to me
And how you suffered for your sanity
And how you tried to set them freeThey would not listen, they did not know how
Perhaps they’ll listen nowStarry, starry night
Flaming flowers that brightly blaze
Swirling clouds in violet haze
Reflect in Vincent’s eyes of china blue

Colors changing hue
Morning fields of amber grain
Weathered faces lined in pain
Are soothed beneath the artist’s loving hand

Now I understand
What you tried to say to me
And how you suffered for your sanity
And how you tried to set them free

They would not listen, they did not know how
Perhaps they’ll listen now

For they could not love you
But still your love was true
And when no hope was left in sight
On that starry, starry night

You took your life, as lovers often do
But I could’ve told you Vincent
This world was never meant for
One as beautiful as you

Starry, starry night
Portraits hung in empty halls
Frame-less heads on nameless walls
With eyes that watch the world and can’t forget

Like the strangers that you’ve met
The ragged men in ragged clothes
The silver thorn of bloody rose
Lie crushed and broken on the virgin snow

Now I think I know
What you tried to say to me
And how you suffered for your sanity
And how you tried to set them free

They would not listen, they’re not listening still
Perhaps they never will

(Source: AZ Lyrics)


“Castles In The Air”

And if she asks you why you can tell her that I told you
That I’m tired of Castles in the Air
I’ve got a dream I want the world to share an’ castle walls
Just leave me to despairHills of forest green where the mountains touch the sky
A dream come true, I’ll live there ’til I die
I’m asking you, to say my last goodbye
The love we knew, ain’t worth another trySave me from all the trouble and the pain
I know I’m weak but I can’t face that girl again
Tell her the reasons why I can’t remain
Perhaps she’ll understand if you tell it to her plainOh, but how can words express the feel of sunlight
In the morning in the hills away from city strife
I need a country woman for my wife
I’m city born but I love the country lifeFor I will not be part of her Cocktail-Generation Partner’s Waltz,
Devoid of all romance
The music plays and everyone must dance
I’m bowing out, I need a second chance

Save me from all the trouble and the pain
I know I’m weak but I can’t face that girl again
Tell her the reasons why I can’t remain
Perhaps she’ll understand if you tell it to her plain

And if she asks you why you can tell her that I told you
That I’m tired of Castles in the Air
I’ve got a dream I want the world to share an’ castle walls
Just lead me to despair


“Crying”
I was alright for a while
I could smile for a while
But when I saw you last night
You held my hand so tight
When you stopped to say ‘hello’
And though you wished to me well
you couldn’t tellThat I’d been
Crying, over you
Crying, over youThen you said so long
Left me standing all alone
Alone and crying.
Crying
Crying
CryingIt’s hard to understand
That the touch of your hand
Can start me cryingI thought that I, was over you
But it’s true, so true
I love you even more, than I did before
But, darling, what can I do

While you don’t love me
And I’ll always be
Crying, over you
Crying, over you

Yes, now you’re gone
And from this moment on
I’ll be crying
(crying)
Crying
(crying)
Crying
(crying)
Crying over you
Over you
Over you

 

(Souces: DoYouRemember.com & Wikipedia & AZ Lyrics)

 

 

What do you think?

ADVERTISEMENT
surgery

Hospital Lets Kids Drive Toy Cars To Their Surgery To Reduce Anxiety

best dating apps

Top 5 Dating Sites From The Comfort Of Your Own Phone