This is a repost of a blog I wrote last year in honor of The Day the Music Died.

Since childhood, Don McLean‘s “American Pie” has been one of my favorite songs. My parents raised me with good music, not that 80s crap that a lot of my friends grew up with.  I grew up listening to my parents’ Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, the Temptations, and Elvis records, along with a host of other great records from the 50s, 60s, and 70s.  “American Pie” is one of the finer songs of the 70s.

Don McLean

“American Pie” is a little piece of cultural history.  You might not know it by its title, but I’m sure you know the chorus:

Bye Bye Ms. American Pie

Drove my Chevy to the levy but the levy was dry

And good ‘ole boys were drinking whiskey and rye

Singing, “this’ll be the day that I die”

“This’ll be the day that I die”

(These lyrics are the sole property of the composer. I quote them here to give honor to the song. No lawsuits please.)

(Also, as a student at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary I cannot promote the consumption of whiskey and rye. I can, however, recommend coffee and espresso.)

Ever since its release in 1972, “American Pie” has intrigued listeners with its veiled references to major cultural events.  Many people have posted their interpretations, like this one:

You might ask, “Aslan, why all the Don McLean talk today?”  Well, today is the 52nd anniversary of The Day the Music Died.  On this day in 1959, Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper were killed in a plane crash in Clear Lake, Iowa.


Thankfully, I don’t think music really died that day as is evidenced by the lives of some of the artists I mentioned earlier, as well as Johnny Cash, the Avett Brothers, and Danny Elfman to name a few.  So, give “American Pie” a listen today.  Go listen to a song or two from Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper. Then, go celebrate all the great music that came after those guys.  Until later friends…

PS: “American Pie” the song has no relation to that piece of junk movie series bearing the same name. For Aslan and the Volunteer State in no way supports or promotes smut like that.