Monday, April 1, 2013

A is for...American Pie

The song. Not the movie.

It's a little late in the game to say this, but I'm not sure where I'm going with this whole A-Z challenge thing. On the one hand, I really want to do it. On the other hand, I just got this blog all up and organized to work on my 5 Paths To Happiness, and this doesn't really fit. Until I work that all out, I'm going with my original plan, which was to write about music.

It was the fall of 1989, and I was a freshman at a tiny college in the middle of nowhere. My greatest joy was listening to a friend of mine play his guitar and sing, songs like One Tin Soldier and American Pie. I remember buying the sheet music just so I could tell him the lyrics he didn't know for sure. I typed them out on our old typewriter and gave it to him--that might have been the last thing I ever used that typewriter for, come to think of it.

Summer of 1990, and he and I end up working in the same building--I worked in a gift shop, and he was a host at a fancy restaurant. I would accost him when things were slow and ask him to sing American Pie to me without a guitar. The next year, at a bigger college, my roommate Suzi and I would meander around campus, singing American Pie. I love those memories.

Fast forward a decade, and I had children of my own. American Pie was always part of their life, but it was fun to have them grow up and start understanding the symbolism. When you catch that, it's like hearing it for the first time again. Then we found the Weird Al Star Wars version. Now we sometimes sing both versions at the same time to see who messes up first.


  1. American Pie is part of my history too. I used to spin wool while I listened to the song. Those were the days of youth.

  2. I grew up listening to American Pie because I was born and raised in the town where Buddy Holly died. Like it's our fault, so we have tributes all the time. But I have a memory of one of my best friends and I singing the song at the top of our lungs when we were riding a Ferris Wheel at the carnival. Thanks for the memories!

    Hi from Nagzilla bloghopping A to Z

  3. Welcome to the A to Z!

    Just hearing the title, and American Pie works it way into my brain. Although I've never understood the tune entirely, it has such amazing imagery (and energy) everyone can relate to it on some level. My favorite—and I've no idea why:

    Well, I know that you're in love with him
    Cos I saw you dancing in the gym
    You both kicked off your shoes
    Man, I dig those rhythm and blues

    ~VR Barkowski

  4. What a lovely post to kick off A to Z!! A bit of Americana!! Loved that song, and so did lots of people, and so happy it has special meaning to you.

  5. I love how music can conjure up memories. I hear some songs and it really does feel like I'm back in the past, just for a couple of minutes.

  6. I love American Pie, but I've only heard the Don Mclean version.

    Have a great A to Z month!

  7. Wow. I remember American Pie when I was in 5th-6th grade back in 1970 or 1971. - Barbara
    Life & Faith in Caneyhead