What is the Meaning of Don McLean's American Pie?
I stumbled across this video the other day - click here It's a great watch- the whole song (today it's my favourite song) combined with images and text that attempt to explain the meaning of American Pie. It's a useful and fascinating insight into the song's symbolism but I'm not convinced it captures the full meaning...
The Death of the American Dream
American Pie was written 10 years after Buddy Holly's death in 1959. McClean was reflecting on Holly's death and the sixties. Looking back, McClean saw that the crash marked the end of fifties, the end of innocence and the death of the American Dream. Buddy was so wholesome, wide-eyed and innocent, full of life, energy, hope and optimism. Everybody believed anything was possible. The next 10 years saw the assassinations of Kennedy and MLK, the Bay of Pigs, the Vietnam war, the hippy movement and the drug culture. America had swallowed a truck full of apples from the Tree of Knowledge. American Pie is nostalgic for the naivety of the fifties but, at the same time, chronicles the events that mean there's no turning back. The death of the American Dream, the birth of cynicism.
Is it better to be blissfully ignorant, buoyed by uninformed optimism or is the loss of innocence inevitable? Is it possible to transcend cynicism and find the real American Dream?
What Do You Think is the Meaning of American Pie?
The above is just my take, and McLean himself said that the song will mean different things to different people. What's your take?
Image Credit » https://www.flickr.com/photos/usdagov/8454648438/in/photolist