The death of innocence: The meaning behind the lyrics of “Bye Bye Miss American Pie” Was this a peek into our future?

Will this be the day that you die?

 

Remember, tomorrow is promised to no one.

The same goes for civilization and civilized countries.

The Doobie Brother’s likely said it best with their hit, “Listen to the Music.”

From The 1950s by David Halberstam

July 26, 2017

 

In the autumn of 1971, Don McLean’s elegiac American Pie entered the collective consciousness, and over thirty years later remains one of the most discussed, dissected and debated songs that popular music has ever produced.

A cultural event at the peak of its popularity in 1972, it reached the top of the Billboard 100 charts in a matter of weeks, selling more than 3 million copies; and at eight and a half minutes long, this was no mean feat.

 

But this was no ordinary song, either: boldly original and thematically ambitious, what set American Pie apart had a lot to do with the way we weren’t entirely sure what the song was about, provoking endless debates over its epic cast of characters.

And these controversies remain with us to this day.

But however open to interpretation the lyrics may have been, the song’s emotional resonance was unmistakable: McLean was clearly relating a defining moment in the American experience, something had been lost, and we knew it.

 

 

Opening with the death of singer Buddy Holly and ending near the tragic concert at Altamont Motor Speedway, we are able to frame the span of years the song is covering—1959 to 1970—as the “10 years we’ve been on our own” of the third verse.

It is across this decade that the American cultural landscape changed radically, passing from the relative optimism and conformity of the 1950s and early 1960s to the rejection of these values by the various political and social movements of the mid and late 1960s.

Coming as it did near the end of this turbulent era, American Pie seemed to be speaking to the precarious position we found ourselves in, as the grand social experiments of the 1960s began collapsing under the weight of their own unrealized utopian dreams, while the quieter, hopeful world we grew up in receded into memory.

As 1970 came to a close and the world this generation had envisioned no longer seemed viable, a sense of disillusion and loss fell over us; we weren’t the people we once were.

But we couldn’t go home again either, having challenged the assumptions of that older order. The black and white days were over.

Bye bye, Miss American Pie.

The 1950s are fondly remembered as a kind of golden age in American history, a charmed moment in time when the country seemed more confident and hopeful than it has ever been.

A period of unprecedented economic prosperity, it was the era when the majority of Americans, freed from the constraints of the Great Depression and World War II, took some time off from the uncertainties of life to simply enjoy themselves; and in a long, giddy parade of marriages, babies, automobiles, suburban homes and kitchen appliances, celebrated their achievement of the American Dream.

Never before had the wealth of a nation been so widely distributed.

 In America, the 1950s are fondly remembered as a kind of golden age in American history, a charmed moment in time when the country seemed more confident and hopeful than it has ever been.

Never before had the wealth of a nation been so widely distributed. But American

A period of unprecedented economic prosperity, it was the era when the majority of Americans, freed from the constraints of the Great Depression and World War II, took some time off from the uncertainties of life to simply enjoy themselves,

In a long, giddy parade of marriages, babies, automobiles, suburban homes and kitchen appliances, celebrated their achievement of the American Dream.

Never before had the wealth of a nation been so widely distributed.

But American enthusiasm during these years were rooted in more than just the good things that money could buy.

Allied victories in World War II had been great moral victories for the country as well, and as the United States rose to economic and political world dominance in the postwar years, national pride went soaring right along with it.

Americans at mid-century were mighty impressed with America—and happy for awhile:

In that era of general good will and expanding affluence, few Americans doubted the essential goodness of their society.

After all, it was reflected back at them not only by contemporary books and magazines, but even more powerfully and with even greater influence in the new family sitcoms on television.

These, in conjunction with their sponsors’ commercial goals, sought to shape their audience’s aspirations.

However, most Americans needed little coaching in how they wanted to live.

They were optimistic about the future.

And we still are!

 

THE END

 

 

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About JCscuba

I am firmly devoted to bringing you the truth and the stories that the mainstream media ignores. Together we can restore our constitutional republic to what the founding fathers envisioned and fight back against the progressive movement, Obama and the liberal media.
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6 Responses to The death of innocence: The meaning behind the lyrics of “Bye Bye Miss American Pie” Was this a peek into our future?

  1. Pamela says:

    Another song that actually reached a milestone-50 year mark-this year is “Nights In White Satin” by The Moody Blues. I have always loved this haunting and romantic song which seem so very different from the acid/psychedelic music of the late 1960’s. The lyrics I always remember the most are said at the very end of the song:

    Cold- hearted orb that rules the night,
    Removes the colours from our sight.
    Red is grey and yellow white,
    But we decide which is right.
    And which is an illusion?

    Given the uncertain condition of our nation today, were the 1950’s merely an illusion of prosperity in America?
    While I think that 1950’s America was a time of great post-war economic boom, with more jobs, more homes being built, more people getting married and raising families-this has always been part of the American Dream- I can’t help but remember what old school conservative journalist, Joseph T. Flynn observed about this time of prosperity and economic growth in America.
    Regarding the building of housing developments and suburban sprawl, he said, “Every house in the tract looks exactly alike, right down to the basketball hoop in driveway.”
    Flynn believed the sameness, or everybody having what everybody else had, was actually a covert introduction of Communism in America. In 1948, Flynn published a book called, “The Roosevelt Myth” in which he outed the sainted recently deceased former President Franklin D. Roosevelt as a communist sympathizer. Flynn wrote that FDR not only prolonged the Great Depression, but, needlessly drug the nation into World War II which seriously comprised American liberties.
    I myself have never understood why, after sending our brave men over to rid Europe of the Nazis that Roosevelt allowed Russian dictator Joseph Stalin to take over all of eastern Europe and suppress thousands of people under the tyranny of Communism.
    Furthermore, I believe it was FDR’s successor, President Harry Truman, who first eluded to a secret cabal or what we call today a “shadow government” at work within the hallowed halls of power in Washington DC which was seeking, through various underhanded schemes, to systematically destabilize and destroy the United States of America.
    I think President John F. Kennedy was aware of this hidden conspiracy too and perhaps this is the real reason why he was assassinated, before he could expose the truth of what was going on to the American people.
    Notice how after he was killed, all hell seem to break loose in this nation.
    I believe this was spiritual as well as a physical reality.
    Despite the efforts of future leaders like President Ronald Reagan, who tried to give Americans back the liberties being undermined, the cabal has remained to this day. The same secret group that plotted against Reagan are now plotting against President Donald Trump. I do not think a “usual suspects” list is necessary here. We who are really paying attention to what is going on pretty much know who is running the show behind the scenes.
    This is why I believe it is so important to pray daily for President Trump, for his and his family’s personal safety, and for him to receive daily the Godly wisdom he needs in making crucial decisions for our nation.
    The future of America depends on it.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Simply Linda says:

    One of my favorite songs…and fond memories…my dad use to drive us down to the levy in a chevy. Honest. He also claims that Brown Eyed Girl is “our” song. He even requested it at my wedding and my brothers weddings –he calls it the father /daughter dance song. ALTHOUGH, some of the lyrics are not appropriate. He would always request a certain part be bleeped.

    ANYWAYS, I agree with Pamela’s comment. smiles

    Like

  3. Stealth General says:

    Most of us who grew up in the 50’s and 60’s feel that those were the best years America had to offer. Such fond memories or at least unbridled experiences to look back on to measure our successes and failures in life!

    Today’s generations unfortunately never experienced the freedoms, hardships, and idealism that made us great. Today’s generations have grown up under a controlling government and have greatly abused (in a large part) the gifts of prosperity we have handed them. They have never experienced hardship and wanting, the motivators we had to drive our successes. Is it any wonder that they find the stifiling repression of today normal and acceptable? And not only that, but ask for more socialism so they will not have to accept responsibility for their own actions!

    Yes, “American Pie” does depict that lost era, and conjures up visions and and memories of a once great American dream that today just leaves us scratching our collective heads and wondering “what happened?”

    Like

    • JCscuba says:

      Thanks, General, particularly well said and as usual on the nails. I’m reminded of Janis Joplin’s Me and Bobby McGee. “Freedom’s Just Another Word for Other folks to Use.

      One would think the could still keep busy writing fake stories about the Trump administration.

      Liked by 1 person

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