To Orwell Today,
re: Reader sends link to American Pie interpretation

Hi Jackie,

thanks for including Amandas link to the official interpretation of this fine song, with all its historical significance.

Its also quite ironic that there was a record label called Pye records. I wonder who sat on their board of management.


Greetings Raymond,

Actually you are incorrect when you say the link most recently sent (compiled by Rich Kulawiec) is the official interpretation of the song.

The original interpretation was done by Don Dearborn in 1972 and is linked off of Don McLean's website. I previously discussed it and put the link in my essay AMERICAN PIE NOT AIRPLANE.

Go to BOB DEARBORN'S ORIGINAL ANALYSIS of Don McLean's 1971 Classic "American Pie".

There has been controversy about the meaning of the lyrics for years but my interpretation, as described in BYE, BYE AMERICAN PIE, is new and original and is not at all popular among adherents of the old versions. Everyone seems to think that there is only ONE meaning to the words (although they disagree among many details).

I have tried to point out that there is an overt (open) meaning and a covert (covered-up) meaning behind the song. My interpretation exposes the covert meaning even though it is blatantly out in the open for everyone to see as indicated by the words I've bolded and underlined.

The most recently-sent version, the one that you adhere to, contains a common false premise in that it spells the word "Lenin" as "Lennon" whereas in the original lyrics the word is "Lenin" as in the Communist Lenin, not the freedom-loving anti-Communist Lennon as in John Lennon.

I notice that Don McLean's website no longer has a working link to the lyrics, which is what I used for my translation. The only link that works now is the chordpro one which eroneously uses "Lennon" instead of "Lenin" as in the original.

Even with the name incorrectly spelt "Lennon" instead of "Lenin" my interpretation still holds. It doesn't mean that the song isn't still about Buddy Holly and Mick Jagger and Bob Dylan and the Hell's Angels and everything else. It just means that it is ALSO about a take-over of America by the adherents of Marx and the Devil (embodiment of evil).

All the best,
Jackie Jura

PS - Take another read of the lyrics, reading just the bolded and underlined words, and see if you recognize the overt covert translation:

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
And them good old boys were drinkin' whiskey and rye
Singin' 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 'n roll
Can music save your mortal soul
And can you teach me how to dance real slow
Well, 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 singin' bye-bye, Miss American Pie...

Now for ten years we've been on our own
And moss grows fat on a rollin' 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
Oh, 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 of Marx
The quartet practiced in the park
And we sang dirges in the dark
The day the music died

We were singing bye-bye, Miss American Pie...

Helter Skelter in a summer swelter
The birds flew off with a fallout shelter
Eight miles high and falling fast
It landed foul
out on the grass
The players tried for a forward pass
With the jester on the sidelines in a cast
Now the half-time air was sweet perfume
While the Sergeants played a marching tune
We all got up to dance
Oh, but we never got the chance
'Cause 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 bye-bye, Miss American Pie...

Oh, 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
Oh, 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's spell
And as the flames climbed high into the night
To light the sacrificial rite
I saw Satan laughing with delight
The day the music died

He was singing bye-bye, Miss American Pie...

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 woudn'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 bye-bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my chevy to the levee
But the levee was dry
Them good old boys were drinking whiskey and rye
Singin' this'll be the day that I die

~ lyrics from Don McLeans's official website

Jackie Jura
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~