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1[[quoteright:200:]]께->''"Bye-bye, Miss American Pie..."''께By far best known for "American Pie" (which was voted Number 5 of the 365 Songs of the Century by the Recording Industry Association of America and the National Endowment for the Arts), Donald [=McLean=] III (born October 2, 1945) is an influential folk-rock singer/songwriter. He reached the height of his success in the 70s with his album, ''Music/AmericanPie'', which contained the titular hit as well as the other notable single, "Vincent."께"American Pie" was written in memory of Music/BuddyHolly, Music/RitchieValens, and Music/TheBigBopper, who were killed in a plane crash in 1959. The song popularized the phrase "The Day the Music Died" in reference to the event. The lyrics also reflect the impact that event had on [=McLean's=] childhood and the song is semi-autobiographical in nature. It reached number one on the charts for four weeks in 1972 and holds the record for the longest song to occupy that slot, with a run time of 8 minutes 36 seconds (though only half the song was on the A-side; the other half was on the B-side).께After "American Pie," [=McLean=] continued to write and perform songs. He found further success in the UK, but never again saw such popularity in the States. He is known for covering the songs of Music/BuddyHolly, for obvious reasons, and also Music/RoyOrbison--his substantial vocal range fits Orbison's repertoire well.께An interesting sidenote regarding [=McLean=] is that, according to songwriter Lori Lieberman, he is the unnamed singer in [[ "Killing Me Softly With His Song"]] (a song Lieberman wrote that was later a hit for both Roberta Flack and Music/TheFugees). The song was inspired when Lieberman saw him perform at a club and was struck by his sad breakup song "Empty Chairs". For decades, [=McLean=] was totally unaware he was the inspiration for this song. When he found out, he said, "I'm absolutely amazed. I've heard both Lori's and Roberta's version and I must say I'm very humbled about the whole thing. You can't help but feel that way about a song written and performed as well as this one is."께'''Albums'''* ''Tapestry'' (1970)* ''Music/AmericanPie'' (1971)* ''Don [=McLean=]'' (1972)* ''Playin' Favorites'' (1973)* ''Homeless Brother'' (1974)* ''Prime Time'' (1977)* ''Chain Lightning'' (1978)* ''Believers'' (1981)* ''Love Tracks'' (1987)* ''For the Memories Vols I and II'' (1989)* ''Headroom'' (1990)* ''Christmas'' (1991)* ''The River of Love'' (1995)* ''Christmas Dreams'' (1997)* ''Sings Marty Robbins'' (2001)* ''You've Got to Share: Songs for Children'' (2003)* ''The Western Album'' (2003)* ''Rearview Mirror: An American Musical Journey'' (2005)* ''Addicted to Black'' (2009)----!!He/His work contains examples of:%% Zero-Context Examples are not allowed on this wiki. All such examples have been commented out. Please add context to these examples before uncommenting them.* AmericanTitle: "American Pie"* CoverVersion: Typically one or two per album, with some {{Cover Album}}s as well. His version of Music/RoyOrbison's "Crying" gave him a comeback hit in 1980. Continuing with the theme established on "American Pie", he's done several Music/BuddyHolly covers, the best known being "Everyday" and "Fool's Paradise".* CynicismCatalyst: Amidst all the WordSaladLyrics, "Music/AmericanPie" repeatedly references "[[ the day the music died]]" -- the day of the plane crash that killed rock and roll musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J. P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson.* GoMadFromTheRevelation: Similar to the Total Perspective Vortex from ''Franchise/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy'', "Infinity" appears to be about being confronted by the [[InsignificantLittleBluePlanet smallness of Earth in the universe]].* GriefSong:** The chorus of "American Pie" grieves for the three victims of The Day the Music Died. The entire song is a eulogy for the musical scene of the '50s and '60s and the cultures surrounding it, and is grieving for more reasons than just Buddy Holly's death.** "Vincent" mourns the tragic life of Creator/VincentVanGogh ** "The Grave" for the unnamed soldier and his comrades.* IAmGreatSong: The narrator in "Everybody Loves Me, Baby" claims that he's got everything in the world, except the person who he's singing the song to.* IntelligenceEqualsIsolation: "Vincent" sings how Van Gogh was a creative genius ahead of his time, but that this made him a recluse too, misunderstood by others.* LastChorusSlowDown: The final verse of "American Pie".* LyricalColdOpen: "American Pie"* LyricalDissonance: "Have You Seen Me?" is a rollicking number about... child soldiers.%%** "Primetime" (Please correct the indentation when you add context to and uncomment this one.)* MoralityBallad: "American Pie," sort of. Faithful fans and analysts of the song have more-or-less concluded it's a warning about the cultural breakdown of TheSixties--that America had been severely damaged by it.* RearrangeTheSong:** Music/{{Madonna}}'s version of "American Pie" took a few liberties, to say the least. [=McLean=] himself gave it a positive review, however, saying that the album's cover was "a gift from a goddess", and that her version was "mystical and sensual".** [=McLean=] himself did this with his own "Castles in the Air", and wound up having a much bigger hit with the remake.* RefrainFromAssuming:** There are some people who know "American Pie" as "The Day the Music Died".** Also, the song "Vincent" is ''not'' "Starry Starry Night".* SelfPlagiarism: "Vincent" and "Empty Chairs" are ''very'' similar in structure, tempo and chords, and both come from the same album.* SomethingSomethingLeonardBernstein: As mentioned above, the part of "American Pie" most people know (aside from the chorus) is "the day the music died".%%* SomewhereSong: "Castles in the Air"* TeenageDeathSongs: "The Grave", about a young Marine dying in the UsefulNotes/VietnamWar.%%* ThreeChordsAndTheTruth* TitledAfterTheSong: ''Film/AmericanPie''* TheWalrusWasPaul: On the subject of "American Pie," the only concrete explanation [=McLean=] has ever given is that it means he'll never have to work again. He has admitted that the line "February made me shiver/with every paper I'd deliver" was about him learning about the deaths of Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper, and Ritchie Valens while he was folding papers for his paper route.----->''"This will be the day that I die."''


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