Miss American Pie

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Re: Miss American Pie

Post by dragon » Thu Jul 12, 2018 6:30 pm

vinny, okay, so some of them are drinking bourbon and some are drinking rye. but like ME, don thinks of bourbon as whiskey whiskey, whereas rye is rye whiskey.
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Re: Miss American Pie

Post by snowgirl » Thu Jul 12, 2018 6:34 pm

I've never cared for the song. Hth.
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Re: Miss American Pie

Post by EMG » Thu Jul 12, 2018 6:35 pm

I liked the song as a kid but never knew what the hell they were talking about.

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Re: Miss American Pie

Post by ManchVegas » Thu Jul 12, 2018 6:45 pm

Yeah, You're too young to get a lot of the references EMG. Do a google search for Helter Skelter. That was a very nasty time in the US. Many people claim that's when we lost our innocence as a nation. Other's claim it was JFK. Either way it was nasty.
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Re: Miss American Pie

Post by GLimpet » Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:01 pm

korgy wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 6:18 pm
leela wrote:
Wed Jul 11, 2018 8:39 pm
I haven't watched the video, but how are people supposed to look while listening to American Pie? It's hardly a 'woop woop' song.
you should watch it leela. i have never seen an audience at any non-classical concert so rigid.
ManchVegas wrote:
Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:05 pm
Lol. No. That's a patently British expression. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with it but I get it everytime I'm in the UK.
BeatRaven wrote:
Wed Jul 11, 2018 10:53 pm
Half of English women have that blanked out facial expression most of the time.
that audience looks very uncomfortable -- like they know they are being filmed by the BBC. is that really typical for Brits?

i'm guessing a more current audience -- 4 1/2 decades later-- wouldn't look like that. i hope, anyway.
Not even then - this clip is from TOTP in the same year:



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Re: Miss American Pie

Post by Lost Soul » Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:54 pm

VinnyD wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 5:10 pm
"Drinking whiskey and rye" never made a lot of sense to me either. Rye is whiskey. It's like saying "eating fruit and apples".

And I don't get "but the levee was dry" either. Levees are supposed to be dry, at least on the landward side, anyway, aren't they? Why were they (apparently) hoping for the levee to be wet when they drove there?
I did a little research and discovered that the levee probably refers to the name of the bar near his home in 1971. That 47 year old mystery has finally been cleared up.

Anyway, here is the definitive meaning of the lyrics as only some OC aspie could decipher.

They revolve around the plane crash in 1959, of course (the name of the plane carrying Buddy Holly to the laundromat in Fargo was American Pie). But they are a rather harsh look back at how screwed up the 60s were. Also, the singer is showing a fondness for the 50s music of his youth rather than Dylan, the Beatles, Jagger, the Byrds, Janice Joplin, etc.

Enjoy. http://whrc-wi.org/americanpie.htm
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Re: Miss American Pie

Post by GLimpet » Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:13 pm

Most of it doesn't make sense, even Don McLean says that - he just wrote it down as it came to him mixing memories, musings and incidents and has refused to try and analyse it.

The picture I had in my mind was that he drove to the levee to swim but the water was too low.
That made sense to me because I was living with friends from northern Victoria irrigation country when the song came out and swimming in the irrigation channels up there was a common thing with them.

McLean was actually a paper boy when the news of Buddy Holly's crash came out. One thing that McLean and others agree on though - the plane was not called American Pie, or anything as far as anyone knew.

I doubt UK audiences found it any more baffling than American ones.
They'd certainly have been no strangers to fallout (or bomb) shelters - most neighbourhoods still had them - and Manson's Helter Skelter atrocities were worldwide news.

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Re: Miss American Pie

Post by Lost Soul » Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:23 pm

GLimpet wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:13 pm
Most of it doesn't make sense, even Don McLean says that - he just wrote it down as it came to him mixing memories, musings and incidents and has refused to try and analyse it.
I disagree. He knew exactly what he was writing about, but purposely left some things vague. Like the names of his fellow musicians he was dissing.
“Basically in ‘American Pie,’ things are heading in the wrong direction,” he told Christie’s, as the Newcastle Herald reported. “It is becoming less idyllic. I don’t know whether you consider that wrong or right but it is a morality song in a sense.”
“It was an indescribable photograph of America that I tried to capture in words and music.”
“People ask me if I left the lyrics open to ambiguity,” McLean said in an early interview, as the Guardian reported. “Of course I did. I wanted to make a whole series of complex statements. The lyrics had to do with the state of society at the time.”
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/mor ... 5611a80290
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Re: Miss American Pie

Post by Unwashed_Pom » Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:28 pm

Whenever I hear it I turn it off.

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Re: Miss American Pie

Post by GLimpet » Thu Jul 12, 2018 10:03 pm

Unwashed_Pom wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:28 pm
Whenever I hear it I turn it off.
And the music dies.

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Re: Miss American Pie

Post by BulletPark » Thu Jul 12, 2018 10:18 pm

VinnyD wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 5:55 pm
Rye is whiskey whiskey, like bourbon. To say "some were drinking rye and some were drinking whiskey" is like saying "Some were eating apples and some were eating fruit."

If you drove to a levee along, say, the Mississippi, climbed up onto the levee, and discovered that the Mississippi river bed was dry, would you describe the situation by saying "The levee was dry"? (Substitute Lake Pontchartrain or another lake or whatever for the Mississippi if you like.) My suspicion is that MacLean liked the sound of "drove my Chevy to the levee" and didn't bother to learn what a levee was.
For

fuck's

sake.

The levee is associated with New Orleans and the source of the Creole/Blue/Jazz/Cajun sound.

It is "dry" because the music died.

Symbolism 101.

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Re: Miss American Pie

Post by VinnyD » Thu Jul 12, 2018 10:24 pm

Symbols usually have a literal meaning, which stands for something else. In fact they always do; that's what a symbol is. I am asking about the literal meaning. You are giving one possible explanation of the symbolic meaning, which is not an answer to my question at all.

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Re: Miss American Pie

Post by ManchVegas » Thu Jul 12, 2018 10:28 pm

Or he was just high and made up a bunch of shit. You have to remember LSD was big around that time frame. As was angel dust and their ilk. College students were flying of the tops of buildings thinking they had sprouted wings!
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Re: Miss American Pie

Post by VinnyD » Thu Jul 12, 2018 10:32 pm

I will give you another example, from Shakespeare's Sonnet 73:

That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.

At the symbolic level, he is talking about his old age. Literally he is talking about the fall. He compares the trees now bare of leaves to ruined choirs, like those of a monastery or abbey abandoned since Henry VIII dissolved them, in which birds sang as monks did in literal choirs. If he had said "bright blue leaves" instead of "yellow leaves", the passage would be open to objection, because leaves don't turn bright blue in the autumn.

Manch, that doesn't mean we can't criticize it.
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Re: Miss American Pie

Post by ManchVegas » Thu Jul 12, 2018 10:41 pm

Lol. Of course not Vincent. That would be anti-Stew!

The one lyric I don't get at all is "Moss grows fat on a rolling stone." WTF. I thought the saying was "A rolling stone gathers no moss."
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Re: Miss American Pie

Post by dragon » Fri Jul 13, 2018 12:41 am

I thought he was saying that the Stones were getting old.
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Re: Miss American Pie

Post by ManchVegas » Fri Jul 13, 2018 12:53 am

LOL. No It was only 1972! They were still young.
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Re: Miss American Pie

Post by dragon » Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:06 am

True. But he felt they weren't rocking and rolling, I guess.
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Re: Miss American Pie

Post by ManchVegas » Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:01 am

I have to add a disclaimer here for my female British friends. You actually have a very nice style. I find you use make-up in moderation and tend to have a nice fashion sense. Just enough fragrance so it's not overpowering etc.

And you know I'm being sincere and not just trying to get laid!
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Re: Miss American Pie

Post by korgy » Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:06 am

Vinny's issue here is like his notorious issue with "All Along the Watchtower". clearly, Chevy rhymes with levee and is a better lyric than "river bed" or something else.
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Re: Miss American Pie

Post by Lost Soul » Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:08 am

Yes, and the name of Don's local bar is not "river bed", it is The Levee.
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Re: Miss American Pie

Post by Unwashed_Pom » Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:11 am

Good thing he wasn't trying to find a way of, taking the Lamborghini to the Mississippi. That would never have flown.

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Re: Miss American Pie

Post by avalon_ » Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:24 am

I think he just needed a good rhyme. Good thing the good old boys weren't drinking whiskey and stye! Or botfly!

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Re: Miss American Pie

Post by Lost Soul » Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:29 am

Everclear and beer.
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Re: Miss American Pie

Post by dragon » Fri Jul 13, 2018 3:42 am

whiskey and pie sounds good.
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Re: Miss American Pie

Post by VinnyD » Fri Jul 13, 2018 12:12 pm

korgy, that is exactly what I said in my first post on the subject:
VinnyD wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 5:55 pm
Rye is whiskey whiskey, like bourbon. To say "some were drinking rye and some were drinking whiskey" is like saying "Some were eating apples and some were eating fruit."

If you drove to a levee along, say, the Mississippi, climbed up onto the levee, and discovered that the Mississippi river bed was dry, would you describe the situation by saying "The levee was dry"? (Substitute Lake Pontchartrain or another lake or whatever for the Mississippi if you like.) My suspicion is that MacLean liked the sound of "drove my Chevy to the levee" and didn't bother to learn what a levee was.
I myself think it is a good thing if a lyric makes sense as well as rhyming. In ancient times, before my generation ruined things, one person would write the lyrics, another would compose the music, another would sing the resulting song, and yet others would play instruments. You thus had a reasonable chance of all four aspects being well done: e.g. in general the lyrics both rhymed and made sense, and the singers had better voices. Expecting one person to be good at writing music, writing lyrics, singing, and playing an instrument is asking too much.
Last edited by VinnyD on Fri Jul 13, 2018 12:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Miss American Pie

Post by VinnyD » Fri Jul 13, 2018 12:16 pm

LS, let us suppose for the sake of argument that you are right and that MacLean was talking about a bar called the Levee. Two questions:

1. How was anyone supposed to know that?

2. What does it mean to say "the Levee was dry"? I have never heard a bar described as being dry. Have you?

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Re: Miss American Pie

Post by BeatRaven » Fri Jul 13, 2018 12:17 pm

Don McLean was asked the meaning of American Pie.

He said, "It means I never have to work again."

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Re: Miss American Pie

Post by ManchVegas » Fri Jul 13, 2018 12:24 pm

To me the song is appeaing because of the visuals. I normally do like a song to make sense and have continuity etc. but things like "The half time air was sweet perfume." really take you there.
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Re: Miss American Pie

Post by Lost Soul » Fri Jul 13, 2018 12:37 pm

VinnyD wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 12:16 pm
LS, let us suppose for the sake of argument that you are right and that MacLean was talking about a bar called the Levee. Two questions:

1. How was anyone supposed to know that?

2. What does it mean to say "the Levee was dry"? I have never heard a bar described as being dry. Have you?
Vinny, the website I linked above says it all.

You can try to make me say more, but I didn't write the website.

Carry on, until the music dies.
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Re: Miss American Pie

Post by Lost Soul » Fri Jul 13, 2018 12:39 pm

BeatRaven wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 12:17 pm
Don McLean was asked the meaning of American Pie.

He said, "It means I never have to work again."
And then he went and did 'Vincent'.

What was the point?
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Re: Miss American Pie

Post by BeatRaven » Fri Jul 13, 2018 12:42 pm

The woman I dated who had a collection of weeping ceramic clowns (the pathos!) started quietly crying when Vincent came on in a restaurant we were eating in.

How he suffered for his sanity. THEY would not listen, THEY did not know how, but she sure did.

Obviously, that was some off the charts sex.

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Re: Miss American Pie

Post by VinnyD » Fri Jul 13, 2018 12:45 pm

From your link:
The levee business shows that America wasn't fertile anymore (at least in the sense of music). "Chevy" rhymes with "levee."

. . . .

Another interesting note brought to my attention by Scott Tilles, is that the Levee was a bar in Purchase, NY near McLean's hometown. There is also a Levee, NY which is about 15 minutes from the school he attended.
Even assuming all that is true (and I can't find any reference to a town called Levee, NY), it doesn't answer either of my questions. And most people think that the song is not referring to Westchester County, New York.

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Re: Miss American Pie

Post by ManchVegas » Fri Jul 13, 2018 12:48 pm

Ha! Yes, that slightly demented personality type is good for that Raven.
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Re: Miss American Pie

Post by Lost Soul » Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:00 pm

VinnyD wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 12:45 pm
From your link:
The levee business shows that America wasn't fertile anymore (at least in the sense of music). "Chevy" rhymes with "levee."

. . . .

Another interesting note brought to my attention by Scott Tilles, is that the Levee was a bar in Purchase, NY near McLean's hometown. There is also a Levee, NY which is about 15 minutes from the school he attended.
Even assuming all that is true (and I can't find any reference to a town called Levee, NY), it doesn't answer either of my questions. And most people think that the song is not referring to Westchester County, New York.
I, too, looked up Levee, NY and found that it was dry. Which means that I went with The Levee as a bar, as reported above, ad infinitum.

Stay with me here, Vinny. Al Gore is not your friend anymore.
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Re: Miss American Pie

Post by VinnyD » Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:07 pm

But it is the same source that says that there is a town called Levee NY that says that there was a bar called The Levee in Purchase.

In other words, the source is not reliable. But then you don't need no stinkin' evidence for your beliefs, do you?

(And my two questions, which assumed for the sake of argument that thee was such a bar, are still unanswered.)

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Re: Miss American Pie

Post by VinnyD » Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:09 pm

The source also says that the plane that crashed was called "American Pie", which is false, althugh in that case it does add "at least according to legend".

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Re: Miss American Pie

Post by BeatRaven » Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:12 pm

I want to know where on God's green earth Don Mclean found people who didn't like Vincent Van Gough.

They would not listen, they did not know how -seriously, I have my doubts about this curiously unnamed They.

I think he was just a little too self-backpatting over liking a Sunflower painting.

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Re: Miss American Pie

Post by Lost Soul » Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:13 pm

VinnyD wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:07 pm
But it is the same source that says that there is a town called Levee NY that says that there was a bar called The Levee in Purchase.

In other words, the source is not reliable. But then you don't need no stinkin' evidence for your beliefs, do you?

(And my two questions, which assumed for the sake of argument that thee was such a bar, are still unanswered.)
The source has allowed for some speculation; as the source himself, and his reporter on here, averred.

This should not cause any short circuits within you, Vinny. Wasted words, I know.
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Re: Miss American Pie

Post by Moethebartender » Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:15 pm

VD is going to VD yet another thread. For his next trick, perhaps we can revisit Apocolypse Now.
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Re: Miss American Pie

Post by Lost Soul » Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:16 pm

BeatRaven wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:12 pm
I want to know where on God's green earth Don Mclean found people who didn't like Vincent Van Gough.

They would not listen, they did not know how -seriously, I have my doubts about this curiously unnamed They.

I think he was just a little too self-backpatting over liking a Sunflower painting.
Nobody liked Vincent, nor even his paintings; not even his brother Theo.

And then he died.
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Re: Miss American Pie

Post by VinnyD » Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:17 pm

Why do you think there was a bar called The Levee in. Purchase, NY?

Why were the good old boys from Westchester County drinkig at a dry bar?

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Re: Miss American Pie

Post by Lost Soul » Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:20 pm

VinnyD wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:17 pm
Why do you think there was a bar called The Levee in. Purchase, NY?
Because the website says so. And it makes perfect sense.

If you disagree, you should vehemently object by building your own website.
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Re: Miss American Pie

Post by BeatRaven » Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:21 pm

So, Lost Soul, you count yourself among the Perhaps They'll Listen Now-crowd?

Just a tad too smug and belaboring the obvious at this late date for me.

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Re: Miss American Pie

Post by ManchVegas » Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:22 pm

Lol. I'm still cracking up over the demented sex that Raven must have had with that chick. I imagine a lot of biting and slurping going on.
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Re: Miss American Pie

Post by Lost Soul » Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:36 pm

BeatRaven wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:21 pm
So, Lost Soul, you count yourself among the Perhaps They'll Listen Now-crowd?

Just a tad too smug and belaboring the obvious at this late date for me.
Perhaps on the paintings.

And the bar makes a lot of sense, contextually, as per the levee lyrics.

A note for Vinny furiously googling: the Levee was the name of the bar in 1971. Chill before you pop.
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Re: Miss American Pie

Post by dragon » Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:39 pm

She is a great-kneed person.

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Re: Miss American Pie

Post by VinnyD » Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:50 pm

Thank you, dragon.

LS, sometimes things you read on the Intrnet are not true.

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Re: Miss American Pie

Post by Lost Soul » Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:53 pm

VinnyD wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:50 pm
Thank you, dragon.

LS, sometimes things you read on the Intrnet are not true.
Thank you for that.

And they may remain untrue even after you furiously failed to prove them untrue.

Carry on.
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Re: Miss American Pie

Post by VinnyD » Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:56 pm

You haven't read dragon's link, have you?

It's not my job to prove a negative. But there is certainly no reason to believe the bar story, and good reason to disbelieve it.
Last edited by VinnyD on Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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