Folk and Traditional Song Lyrics:
American Pie

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American Pie

American Pie
(Don McLean)

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 while.
But February made me shiver,
With every paper I'd deliver.
Bad news on the doorstep;
I couldn't take one more step.
I can't remember if I cried
When I read about his widowed bride,
But something touched me deep inside
The day the music died.
So . . .

Bye, bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
Them 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."

Did you write the book of love,
And do you have faith in God above?
If the Bible tells you so?
Do you believe in rock and roll;
Can music save your mortal soul,
And can you teach me how to dance real slow?
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.
I started singing . . .


Now for ten years we've been on our own,
And moss grows fat on a rolling 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.
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.
We were singing . . .
Helter Skelter in a summer swelter;
The birds flew off to a fallout shelter,
Eight miles high and falling fast.
Landed flat on the grass.
The players tried for a forward pass
With the jester on the sidelines in a cast.
The halftime air was sweet perfume
While the sergeants played a marching tune.
We all got up to dance,
But we never got a chance.
When the players tried to take the field;
The marching band refused to yield.
Do you recall what was revealed,
The day the music died?
We started singing . . .

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.
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 spell.
And as the flames climbed high into the night
To light the sacrificial rite,
I saw Satan laughing in delight,
The day the music died.
He was singing . . .


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.
They were singing . . .

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