“AMERICAN PIE” IS NOW AGAIN – Marilyn Armstrong

FOWC with Fandango — Handle


It’s possible I included this song (twice, no less) entirely because I wanted to hear it. Oddly, though, when I googled “handle” this is the song which came up half a dozen times.

Was it a sign? I took it as such.

When I was first working (at that point, for my father, which I should add didn’t last long) — getting paid badly because no one pays you worse than your family — this was the song of the year. They always played it at the end of my relatively short commute and I would sit in the car and wait until the song was over. I can still sing along with it.

A friend of mine one day sat me down and explained every single line in the song and what it meant. I still see all of our music encapsulated in this one, elegant song. And because sometimes, two versions really are better than one, please watch this one. The sound isn’t as good, but it’s our story. Or maybe, my story. Yours too?

What is really eerie about the song is its relevance. Satan was originally Mick Jagger … but I think we all know who Satan really is.

McClean had the right idea, just the wrong character.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. Retired! Yay!

17 thoughts on ““AMERICAN PIE” IS NOW AGAIN – Marilyn Armstrong”

    1. I know it by heart too and that’s a lot of years of remembering. It seems somehow relevant these days. But we watched a rerun of “Third Rock From the Sun” and THAT was relevant. What goes around, comes around and around and around.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. every time I see that video, I weep. I was about 12 when they were killed. From what he said, Waylon Jennings n ever quite got over how close he came to being one of them. Im not surprised. And I think we take from those images he used, what we need of them.

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  2. I grew up listening to that song, still know the words. I appreciate the 2nd video because it places the song in a “time capsule” if you will that really spoke to what was happening at the time. It’s brilliant! Both the song and the explanation. Thank you, I so enjoyed this.

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  3. I came to be after that crash happened. And there was a teenaged boy I knew a very long time ago who explained his opinion of what the lyrics meant. I’ve listened to it for over 45 years now and I still love it. It wasn’t ‘exactly’ my generation, but the impact of all that sure made a difference in my generation and going forward. I suspect I know whom you’re referring to by saying Jagger wasn’t “Satan” but X was/is. I don’t know though. I always thought it was the incredible stupidity that grew and grew and continues to grow unchecked that was the real devil. That X person is just a symptom, but not the main disease.

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  4. The time capsule video was very interesting (or verrrrrrry eenteresting, to use a catch phrase of the time period, which was well before my time period). I know American Pie was highly symbolic, and was familiar with what some of the references were supposed to be to, but was quite surprised when the video cues came up at all of the clever references that’d never occurred to me. Thanks for posting it…

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    1. I knew about many of them, but there were a few that caught me off-guard too. But also, that was slightly retrospective. Some of the things that were included had not yet happened … but I thought it was a pretty good bit of video intercutting. I wish the audio had been better, but YouTube stuff — if you can hear it at all — is considered good 🙂 I still know all the words.

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  5. I enjoyed both these videos, the second one especially. I was 14 when this song was released and it was on the radio a lot. In fact I think it was the first time our local radio stations ever played a single that ran over seven minutes although sometimes they would play a four minute version. You really need to hear the whole song to appreciate how clever the lyrics are though.

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      1. I don’t think our local DJ’s had ever played a seven minute pop song before that time but it certainly helped get them ready for 15 minutes of Dire Straits “Telegraph Road” a decade later.

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  6. I have a friend who saw Don McLean perform a number of years ago. He played American Pie as his encore. Prior to playing it, he would point out how so many people have suggested what it means. He then followed up by saying “I’m going to tell you what this song means. It means I’ll never have to work another day in my life!

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