Tag Archives: music

Please Pardon Me Don McLean

Today I found myself singing American Pie. (And I even know most of the words.) It has always been a song that in its despair and sadness somehow brought me hope and comfort. Sad songs do that. The blues is all about that. A voice in the darkness, pure and without judgement, saying “yes, what you are feeling is real, and no, you are not alone.” That is the magic of sad songs. They lighten the load.

But today, I became a little annoyed with this old friend. I thought, ‘I’ve had enough of singing this sad song that I have sung for so many years.’ So I took it upon myself to change the lyrics. So, please pardon me Don McLean while I revise your very brilliant song American Pie.

American Pie (revised for my own personal pleasure)

A long, long time ago
And I can still remember how that music came 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 a long while

And Springtime came and made me quiver
With every paper I’d deliver
Good news on the doorstep
I took so many steps

I can’t remember if I sighed
When I read about his brand new bride
But something touched me deep inside
The day Margaret Thatcher died

[Chorus]
So hi-hi, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee, ‘cause the levee is dry
And them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
Singin’ “This’ll be the day that I fly
This’ll be the day that I fly”

Did you write the book of love
And do you have faith in God above
If the Bible tells you so?
Now do you believe in rock and 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 me
‘Cause we did go dancin’ in the sea
We both kicked off our shoes
Man, I dig those rhythm and blues

I was a happy teenage broncin’ buck
With a pink carnation and a pickup truck
And I knew I was full of luck
The day Margaret Thatcher died

[Chorus]
So hi-hi, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee, ‘cause the levee is dry
And them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
Singin’ “This’ll be the day that I fly
This’ll be the day that I fly”

Now for ten years we’ve been on our own
And moss don’t grow on a rollin’ stone
And that’s just how it should be
As 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 phoney crown
The courtroom was adjourned
No verdict was returned

And while Lennon sang a song of love
A quartet practiced with a dove
And we sang of promise from above
The day Margaret Thatcher died

[Chorus]
So hi-hi, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee, ‘cause the levee is dry
And them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
Singin’ “This’ll be the day that I fly
This’ll be the day that I fly”

Ob-la-da in a Spring thaw
The birds flew off so full of awe
Eight miles high and flying fast
They landed softly on the grass
The players tried for a forward pass
With the jester laughing hard and laughing last

Now the halftime air was sweet perfume
While the sergeants played a marching tune
We all got up to dance
We finally got our chance

When the players tried to take the field
The marching band refused to yield
So everyone just danced with zeal
The day Margaret Thatcher died?

[Chorus]
So hi-hi, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee, ‘cause the levee is dry
And them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
Singin’ “This’ll be the day that I fly
This’ll be the day that I fly”

Oh, and there we were all in one place
A generation moving in space
Preparing ourselves to start again
So come on, Jack be nimble, Jack be quick
Jack Flash put out that candlestick
‘Cause fire is the devil’s only friend

Oh, and as I watched him on the stage
My hands were clenched in fists of rage
This 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 burn to my delight
The day Margaret Thatcher died

[Chorus]
So hi-hi, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee, ‘cause the levee is dry
And them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
Singin’ “This’ll be the day that I fly
This’ll be the day that I fly”

I met a girl who sang the blues
And I told her I had some happy news
She just smiled and changed her ways
I went down to the sacred store
Where I’d heard the music years before
And the man there said the music was here to stay

And in the streets, the children played
The lovers kissed and the poets swayed
For now the word was spoken
The church bells no longer broken

And the three men I admire most
The Father, Son and the Holy Ghost
Their boat came in upon our coast
The day Margaret Thatcher died

[Chorus]
So hi-hi, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee, ‘cause the levee is dry
And them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
Singin’ “This’ll be the day that I fly
This’ll be the day that I fly”

[Chorus]
So hi-hi, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee, ‘cause the levee is dry
And them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
Singin’ “This’ll be the day that I fly”

My One True Love

Oh music! My solace! My love! When did we first meet? It was certainly long before that day the sky thundered, the lightning flashed, the hail pounded and I came screaming into this world, searching for only you…my one true love. And through it all, never have you denied nor deserted me. By your unwavering constancy you made me yours and yours alone…forever.

…and I am certainly not the only one who feels this way. How many times have I seen emotionally charged comments by posters declaring how a song saved them, changed them, gave them strength or comforted them in their darkest hour. It’s irrefutable. Music is something!

So, where did this mystery come from?

Modern American music, undeniably the most powerful music on earth, was born from a broken heart. It was born from the broken heart of a people torn from their homes and denied every basic human right. People dehumanized to the point where their spirits had nothing left but to reach out past the humanity denied them, and towards something far far greater. In their desperation, they cried out for a miracle and received it. It was music. And since that time, their miracle has quickly grown and spread around the world.

Music is blind and makes no judgement. It has no respect for the rules or social restrictions of mankind. Its only mission is to find and fill broken hearts. It doesn’t mind being carried by fools and opportunists, if it can reach its goal. If Jay-Z thinks he controls things by making a triangle with his hands or Madonna thinks she saves the world by showing her bum, it does not matter. Music just laughs and stays the course as it always has. No one can hold music down.

Some of the finest songs that ever inspired me were in misheard lyrics. Certainly, music is the wittiest jester…the prophet-jester who makes us fools…makes us wise…makes us over…makes us lovers. There is no escape from a jester’s court, and who would want to? How else are we to heal the cracks in our weary hearts if not by the magic of laughter and trickery?

So what more can possibly be said about music? Perhaps only, “who put the bomp in the bomp bah bomp bah bomp? Who put the ram in the rama lama ding dong? Who put the bop in the bop shoo bop shoo bop? Who put the dip in the dip da dip da dip? Who was that man? I’d like to shake his hand. He made my baby fall in love with me, yah!!!”