Friday, April 3, 2009

ഉ DON McLEAN, Tapestry|Vincent|American Pie|

Donald McLean, Jr. (born on October 2, 1945 in New Rochelle, New York) is an American singer-songwriter. He is most famous for his 1971 album American Pie, containing the renowned songs "American Pie" and "Vincent".

McLean recorded his first album, Tapestry, in 1969 in Berkeley, CA during the student riots. After being rejected by 34 labels the album was released by Mediarts and attracted good reviews but to little notice outside the folk community.

McLean's major break came when Mediarts was taken over by United Artists Records thus securing for his second album, American Pie, the promotion of a major label. The album spawned two No. 1 hits in the title song and "Vincent." American Pie's success made McLean an international star and renewed interest in his first album, which charted more than two years after its initial release.

Don McLean's most famous composition, "American Pie", is a sprawling, impressionistic ballad inspired partly by the deaths of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens (La Bamba) and J. P. Richardson (The Big Bopper) in a plane crash in 1959. McClean was a paperboy on February 3, 1959 when Buddy Holly's plane crashed. He was devastated by the news, since Holly was his idol. The song would popularize the expression The Day the Music Died in reference to this event. McLean has stated that the lyrics are also somewhat autobiographical and present an abstract story of his life from the mid-1950s until the time he wrote the song in the late 1960s.

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 delivered,
Bad news on the door step, 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...

The song was recorded on 26 May 1971 and "American Pie" reached number one on the U.S. Billboard magazine charts for four weeks in 1972, and remains McLean's most successful single release. The single also topped the Billboard Easy Listening survey. It is also the longest song to reach No. 1 with a running time of 8:36. Some stations played only part one of the original split-sided single release.

In 2001 "American Pie" was voted No. 5 in a poll of the 365 Songs of the Century compiled by the Recording Industry Association of America and the National Endowment for the Arts. [wikipedia]

*Bye, bye Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
Them good ol' boys were drinkin' whiskey 'n' rye
Singin this will be the day that I die.
This will 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.
And 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,
Cuz I saw you dancin' in the gym.
You both kicked off your shoes
And I dig those rhythm and blues.

I was a lonely teenage bronkin' buck,
With a pink carnation and a pick up truck
But I knew I was out of luck,
The day, the music, died.
I started singin...

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 Lennon read a book on Marx,
The quartet practiced in the park
And we sang dirges in the dark,
The day, the music, died. We were singin'...
Helter Skelter in a summer swelter,
The birds flew off with a fallout shelter,
Eight miles high and fallin' fast.
It landed foul 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.
As 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 singin'...
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 candle stick
Because fire is the devils only friend.
Oh and as I watched him on the stage,
My hands were clinched 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 singin'...
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 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 singin'...
They were singin'...
Bye, bye Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
Them good ol' boys were drinkin' whiskey 'n' rye
Singin' this will be the day that I die

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