Posted by: cindybythesea | February 2, 2010

Times are changing – part 2


In November 1971, Don McLean introduced the enigmatic “Bye, Bye Miss American Pie” to the american public on his American Pie album, a song which quickly became a number one hits single in 1972 staying at the top of the charts for four weeks in a row.  The song, if you have ever heard it (and who hasn’t ?????)  has a catchy tune, one  you can’t stop humming long after the record has stopped spinning.   It also had the kind of lyrics that stuck with you in a kind of puzzling, sad sort of way.  There is something very familiar about this song, something that seems to resonate with every one who hears it, something that strikes a chord, even though we may not understand why.

Pop culture is fascinating, to say the least, and everywhere we look, we are awash in it.  I think in many ways it provides a fair barometer for where we’re at today.   Many people have tried to interpret the lyrics to American Pie, something Don McLean himself  has not even done, at least publicly, for reasons known only to himself.  But, for those who have sought to interpret the song, I would venture to guess, their interpretations are most likely quite accurate.  Almost of all the lyrics when looked at closely seem to correspond with events from the sixties.  Its an easy analysis, but, the soul, the mood of the song, I think calls for more.  I believe there is an underlying message, a message of a spiritual sort, perhaps even a warning that calls for a deeper and wider interpretation than is seen on the surface; one that perhaps even the writer is unaware.


Feb 3, 1959 a small plane crashed in Iowa killing 3 well know american musicians, Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and Jiles P Richardson, also known as “the big bopper”.  These three were known from sock hop to sock hop around the country.  Every teenager in America knew these three.  Following the end of world war II, America had the world by the tail and it seemed like every one was either prosperous, happy or both.  It was the last of the age of innocence, the last year before the decade that would change America, the decade of the turbulent sixties.   When Don McLean penned these lyrics in 1971, I think he penned an ode to the loss of American Innocence.  While the death of Buddy Holly in February 1959 framed one side of that decade, November 1971 framed the other  – and America, would never be the same.

Its been a long road since those days and much has happened. Philosophers and historians take note and try to make sense of it all – trying to determine where it is we came from and where it is, we’re headed.  While marked with imperfections, the American past was one of childlike innocence, the kind of carefree innocence a child has knowing they have the security of the arms of loving parents to fall in to should they fail.  During the decade of the sixties every effort was made to sever any and all apron strings,  we rebelled against civil authority (“hell no, we won’t go“) we rebelled against parental authority,(don’t trust any one over 30)and, we rebelled against God (God is dead)  we traded our age of innocence for what we thought was the age of freedom, what we got instead, was the age of bondage.

Its been 51 years since “the music died”.  A lot of water has gone under the bridge in this country most of which has not been nice.  We’ve long since ousted God from the public arena and for most people God has become  either non existent or a relic on the shelf.  Our founding Father’s sought the blessing of God and from the windows of heaven God poured forth. The blessings enjoyed by this country have been rich and full.  We have lived a life that most of the rest of the world could only envy.  But, the Bible is clear, to whom much is given, much is required.”   And sadly to say, in those years following the turbulent sixties, we, for the most part have squandered those blessings. All signs point to this:  its a free ride no longer.

This coming Sunday is Superbowl Sunday, a day when an estimated 151 million americans will have their eyes turned toward Miami for the match up between the Colts and the Saints. With more eyes on a pig skin than eyes toward God, this  match up is just begging for spiritual interpretation.

The 44th annual superbowl, during the year of our 44th president.  Forty the scriptural number for judgment, trial and rebellion ……  “Bye, Bye Miss American Pie, drove my Chevy to the levy, but, the levy was dry, those good old boys were drinking whiskey and rye, singing, this will be the day that I die”

 …… more next post – probably wednesday – in the meantime, if you havem’t listened to this great song in a while, you can check it out here   :


  1. Well written, insightful, sobering and bold. I say bold because it uses a non-Christian song effectively to point out where we are as a country. They [the unsaved] said it themselves…bye bye American Pie. Only the songs’ “real” author [the adversary] would know the mysterious meaning/implications…McLean was merely and unwittingly just taking dictation.

    • Hi Mike, I appreciate your comment and couldn’t agree more. In the next few days, I’ll be posting more on those fascinating lyrics … Super bowl 44 and more …. stay tuned! Cindy

  2. Excellent post, the song brings to mind many thoughts about the times we live in and the spiritual battle we face.

    In the song “drove my chevy to the levy but the levy was dry”

    this reminds me of how the holy spirit is represented often by water and a levy is something that holds in water, some think they can drive their own “vehicle” to heaven or to God but when they get there they find the levy to be dry because Jesus is the only way, the only “vehicle” by which we can be saved and enter heaven.
    Water also represents life and through Jesus we have life eternal, without the living water our well or levy is dry.
    Just a thought on my spiritual interpretation of that particular lyric.
    Great blog looking forward to the rest.

    • Great observation Kara! I’ll be exploring more along those lines in the next few posts.

  3. Great post, very intriguing. I am excited to read the next posts that you have, you have touched on a few things that I will be interested in hearing about.

    • Thanks Kristin for your encouragement, it means alot to me!

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