So much has been written about this song and its lyrics. After it became a hit in America, our local newspaper, The Pittsburgh Press (or maybe it was the Post-Gazette) had an article with the song’s words in it. My sister, two years younger than me, told me that she’d memorize the lyrics. She seemed proud of doing that. The lyricist himself, Don McLean, has avoided analyzing the lyrics. He says they’re poetry. I recall McLean once said something like, the artist should put it out there and then keep a dignified silence when others ask what the song is about.
I but into that. People often uncover their own meanings in books, stories, movies, songs, and poetry. I like that, that people can take words, sounds, and images, anchor them to their lives and events, and affix unique interpretations to them.
Here it is, “American Pie,” from nineteen seventy-one. It’s a piece of Americana.