September 12, 2003

The Deeper Meaning of "American Pie"

He sticks in his thumb, and finds that it's dumb. When he's not bleating into the dry Minnesota wind, James Lileks can often be found hanging over the Backfence: Say goodbye to that American pie -- it's all dry

Singin' this'll be the day that I die / This'll be the day that I die

Cheery lads, eh? I've always wondered what prompted the Good Old Boys to belt out this assertion of imminent mortality. Think back to your own high school days, when perhaps you found yourself out with some people you didn't know as well as you thought you did. You're in the woods, or by the lake. You had no ride home. The driver, who is a friend of a friend of a friend and three years older than everyone else and doesn't go to school, has started shouting WOOOOO! for no good reason. Then he starts singing "This'll be the day that I die!" over and over again. And he wants everyone else to sing it, too. Go home? he grins, flicking his Bic. We're just gettin' started!

Posted by boswell at September 12, 2003 12:10 PM | TrackBack


Posted by: hhahhaha at October 19, 2003 01:49 AM

I believe that the line "Miss American Pie" refers to Marilyn Munroe. She was one of the most well known females of the time and was also known as a bit of a tart. This could be what "Pie" means. ie. Everyone had a piece of pie.

Posted by: Jessica at October 27, 2003 09:16 PM

Miss American Pie refers to the plane that Buddy Holly and others where on when they were killed.

Posted by: Melissa Mercer at November 21, 2003 07:42 PM

I think that in this case like most others the writher just found words that sounded like they had great thoughts behind them but in the end just went together with the rest of the song. No big thing.

Bob Wood

Posted by: Bob Wood at January 3, 2004 06:45 AM

I believe that the song is about music itself. It makes several references to musicians and groups in actual sequential order. If you listen it makes sense.

Posted by: val at July 13, 2004 10:31 PM

Miss American Pie refers to the good old American life in the 50's.

Posted by: Herminio Canal Jr. at November 13, 2004 03:40 AM
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