Don McLean's American Pie

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Jingle Jangle Jungle’s Guest Blogger Series
Week 39

Today's Guest is: Sissy Johnson

Hi, my name is Sissy Johnson. I am the author of the food blog, The Busy Cooking Momma. Besides my love of cooking and creating recipes, I am a huge music fan. I love all different genres of music. My music collection goes from Rock to Classical to Rap to Country and everything in between. I was the typical “band geek” in high school and college and miss those days terribly. I love that my love of music has been fostered in my child and it is definitely a bound that can never be broken between us. When in the kitchen creating, sitting working on my blog or driving down the road, you will find me with my music loud and me singing just as loudly. Music is my release and I love it! Have a blessed day.

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The Busy Cooking Momma

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Don McLean’s “American Pie”
By: Sissy Johnson

When I was young, my sister and I were exposed to what we at the time simply called “the oldies.” My parents listened to mostly music from the 60s and 70s in my younger years. Through this exposure, my music knowledge expanded way beyond the decade of my childhood, the 80s. Many songs shaped my love of music from the 60s and 70s. However, one song will always be considered “MY” song of those two important decades of music.

“American Pie” was recorded in 1971 and can be found on the album of the same name, American Pie. Don McLean’s 8+ minute iconic song spent 4 weeks at the top of the charts in 1972. “American Pie” was also chosen by the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) as the #5 song on their Songs of the Century. (source:

“American Pie” will always be included in my top 5 songs of all time. Every time Mr. McLean’s lyrical hit plays, I find myself belting it out as loud as possible. I remember one time when I was around 7 or 8, I was in the backseat of the family car just singing along with the song. I remember hearing my dad barely whisper to my mom, “Listen to her. She knows all the words.” I guess it shocked my parents that their daughter knew every word to an over 800 word song.

Throughout the years, I (like so many countless others) have often wondered the true meaning behind this iconic song. There are countless theories that circle throughout the internet about the “true” meaning of the song. People have often stated that the song talks about the Beatles, Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan and countless others. Some believe it is just a man telling a story about his childhood set to music. One site on the internet actually analyzes each line of the song and gives their interpretation of what Mr. McLean is singing about. One fact is certain in all of this, the only individual that will ever know the true meaning though, Don McLean himself, is not talking about the song’s true meaning.

The closest Mr. McLean has ever talked about the true meaning of the song came in April of this year when the song lyrics sold at auction for $1.2 million. According to McLean, the beginning of the song does speak to one definite tragic event in musical history, the deaths of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. Richardson aka “The Big Bopper” in a fatal plane crash. Hence, the iconic line “The day the music died.” However, past this revelation, Mr. McLean will give no other interpretation of the song and it’s meaning. (source).

So, whatever the true meaning of the song, who ever Don McLean is speaking of, one fact will ultimately remain, “American Pie” is a classic that will never die. So, let us get in our Chevys, turn the volume to 11 and drive down to the levy singing “American Pie.”

Thank you, Sissy, for being today’s Guest!

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