American Pie” by Don McLean is an unmistakable country classic, even those who aren’t country fans know about it.

“American Pie” The Don McLean Hit

The song was written and recorded by Don McLean back in 1971 as part of his album of the same name. This single was an instant hit among listeners around the world and it managed to reach the top spots of charts in many countries.

american pie, don mclean

screengrab via YouTube

It became a number one hit in the US where it stayed for four weeks in 1972. The song also managed to top the charts in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. Along with that, the song also made it to the number 2 spot in the UK where it stayed for three weeks in the UK in 1971.

The song is also listed as the 5th on the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) project’s song of the Century list.

“American Pie” A Song of Grief and Hope

Many of the lyrics of the songs are still up for interpretation at this point. Don McLean himself has not given any clear meanings behind the different symbolisms and characters present in the song. However, one set of lyrics that do remain clear is:

“The day the music died”

This set of lyrics refer to the tragic plane crash that sadly took the life of rock stars Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper, and Ritchie Valens. That tragic day officially became known as “the day the music died” thanks to this song.

The overall message of the song speaks of the great loss in rock and roll music due to the plane crash. According to the song, this tragedy resulted in the loss of innocence among the early rock and roll generation.

However, the end of the song does briefly speak about getting past this loss and knowing that they are in a better place especially with the lyrics:

“…they were singing…”

These lyrics show how hopeful we can still be despite a loss. We must push through because, at the end of the day, we know that they are still singing in a better place.