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American Pie: 20 Things You Might Not Know About The Ultimate Boomer Anthem

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Contrary1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-04-12 03:46 AM
Original message
Damn. I'm getting old. How many here know the lyrics? I do. Not sure if that is a good thing.
Well; I'm still here to sing them. I guess it's a good thing after all! Happy 4th, friends. :patriot:

"Come the 4th of July, you can always expect to hear Neil Diamond's "Coming To America" or Lee Greenwood's "God Bless The USA" accompanying your local fireworks display. But for many, the ultimate contemporary "American" song is Don McLean's epic exploration of American culture in the '50s, '60s, and '70s, "American Pie." It's been covered by Madonna, embraced by Glenn Beck, parodied by Weird Al, and endlessly analyzed by millions of intrigued listeners trying to figure out just what McLean meant with his barrage of societal and spiritual allusions. Here are 20 facts (or, in a few cases, informed speculations) you might not know about the classic:

1. It's still the longest song ever to top the Billboard Hot 100, at a whopping eight minutes and 36 seconds. The 45rpm single had to be split into two parts, naturally, and some DJs only played one side or the other, although most acquiesced and played the uninterrupted album version, due to the song's phenomenal popularity. It includes no fewer than six verses. Subsequent cover versions tended to leave out multiple stanzas.

2. In a survey of the greatest Songs Of The Century, "American Pie" came in at number five. The end-of-the-millennium list was jointly sponsored by the National Endowment For The Arts and the RIAA in 2001. "Pie" was beat out in the list of 20th century classics only by "Over The Rainbow," "White Christmas," "This Land Is Your Land," and "Respect."

3. McLean has steadfastly refused to discuss the meaning of most of the lyrics. "As you can imagine, over the years I've been asked many times to discuss and explain my song 'American Pie,'" McLean wrote in an open letter to fans in 1993. "I have never discussed the lyrics, but have admitted to the 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."

The rest:

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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-04-12 03:55 AM
Response to Original message
1. I need more coffee. My first thought was, "Boomer? Is that movie really that old?"
Edited on Wed Jul-04-12 04:00 AM by No Elephants
Those best whatevers of the century tend to get skewed toward the favorite things of the majority of American adults who happen to be alive at the end of the century, which, at the end of 2000 was probably Booomers. Hence, Elvis came in ahead of Sinatra and "American Pie" ahead of "This land is your land."

Had the "Greatest Generation" been in the majority of adults alive at the close of the millenium, the results very likely would have been different.

By the same token, had folk younger than Boomers been in the majority of those alive circa 1999, the best of the century lists would also have looked much different than they did.

All in good fun, though.

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dtexdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-06-12 11:40 AM
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2. Great song. But one of only two good songs by McLean.
All the rest was trash.

Still, for "American Pie" and "Vincent" I am grateful.
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intheflow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-06-12 11:31 PM
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3. I absolutely remember all the lyrics!
We had a player piano and our parents bought this role. Pumping this song out all the way through was a workout and a half! But I loved, loved, loved it. :loveya:
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Contrary1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-07-12 12:11 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. Heard it on the car radio earlier...
Nailed it!

It's amazing to me that I can remember the lyrics from so many songs that were popular 40, and even 50 years ago.

Just don't ask me what I did yesterday. :hi:
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