American Pie

Words & Music:

Don McLean


  G     D    Em       Am            C               Em                    D

A long, long time ago I can still remember how that music used to make me smile.

      G         D      Em          Am                 C

And I knew if I had my chance that I could make those people dance

    Em              C           D

And maybe they'd be happy for a while.

    Em       Am                  Em          Am

But February made me shiver with every paper I'd deliver.

C        G      Am           C                 D

Bad news on the doorstep.  I couldn't take one more step.

  G       D      Em                Am7            D

I can't remember if I cried when I read about his widowed bride,

G         D          Em              C       D7    G   C  G

Something touched me deep inside the day the music died.



   G   C            G     D

So bye-bye, Miss American Pie.

         G            C             G         D

Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry.

     G        C                  G           D

Them good ole boys were drinkin' whiskey and rye

               Em                        A7   Em                        D7

And singing, "This'll be the day that I die.  This'll be the day that I die.


G                 Am                  C                 Am          Em                     D

Did you write the book of love and do you have faith in God above?  If the Bible tells you so.

       G      D       Em

Now do you believe in rock and roll? 

    Am              C                 Em               A7                D7

Can music save your mortal soul?  And can you teach me how to dance real slow?

       Em                  Am                     Em              Am

Well I know that you're in love with him 'cause I saw you dancing in the gym,

    C           G        A7             C                    D7

You both kicked off your shoes.  Man, I dig those rhythm and blues!

        G      D       Em                    Am                   C

I was a lonely teenage broncin' buck, with a pink carnation and a pick-up truck.

    G      D     Em              C       D7    G  C  G         D7

But I knew I was out of luck the day the music died. I started singing....




Now for ten years, we've been on our own and moss grows fat on a rolling stone,

But that's not how it used to be.

Cause when the jester sang for the King & 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 court room was adjourned -- no verdict was returned.

And while Lenin read a book on Marx the quartet practiced in the park

And we sang dirges in the dark the day the music died

I started singin'...



Helter skelter in the summer swelter the birds flew off with a fallout shelter.

Eight miles high and falling fast it landed foul on the grass.

The players tried for a forward pass with the jester on the sidelines in a cast.

The half time air was sweet perfume while the sergeants played a marching tune.

We all got up to dance but we never got the chance.

'Cause the players tried to take the field, but the marching band refused to yield.

Do you recall what was revealed the day the music died.

I started singin'...




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.

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.

We were singin'...




I met a girl who sang the blues so I asked her for some happy news,

But she just smiled and turned away.

I went down to the sacred store where I heard the music years before.

But the man there said the music wouldn'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.

And they were singing...




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