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What has Don McLean himself had to say about the song?

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Question: What has Don McLean himself had to say about the song?
Answer: Quotes from the singer himself about his legendary recording:

(from his official website) "In Don's life the transition from light (the innocence of childhood) to the darker realities of adulthood probably started with the death of Buddy Holly and culminated with the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963 and the start of a more difficult time for America."

"'American Pie' speaks to the loss that we feel. That's why that song has found the niche that it has."

"The song was written as my attempt at an epic song about America, and I used the imagery of music and politics to do that. Also, I was really influenced by the Sgt. Pepper album, and the American Pie album was my attempt to do that, but the song totally overshadowed the album."

"'American Pie' was part of my process of self-awakening; a mystical trip into my past."

"In a sense, 'American Pie' was a very despairing song, but it can also be seen as very hopeful."

"Because of an off-hand funny comment I made backstage at a concert years ago, a story circulated that the song has been a burden and even that I didn’t sing it for a while. That’s completely false. I am very proud of ‘American Pie’ and the many satellites that grow from it and revolve around it. For many years I carried my songs around and now they carry me around. I have always sung ‘American Pie’ for my audience and would never think of disappointing them since it is they who have given me a wonderful life and untold affection for almost 30 years."

"I have never said a bad thing about the song, I was poor when I wrote it, and it made me a millionaire overnight. Believe me, I'm not upset about this song."

"People ask me if I left the lyrics open to ambiguity. Of course I did. I wanted to make a whole series of complex statements. The lyrics had to do with the state of society at the time."

"I'm very proud of the song. It is biographical in nature and I don't think anyone has ever picked up on that. The song starts off with my memories of the death of Buddy Holly. But it moves on to describe America as I was seeing it and how I was fantasizing it might become, so it's part reality and part fantasy but I'm always in the song as a witness or as even the subject sometimes in some of the verses. You know how when you dream something you can see something change into something else and it's illogical when you examine it in the morning but when you're dreaming it seems perfectly logical. So it's perfectly okay for me to talk about being in the gym and seeing this girl dancing with someone else and suddenly have this become this other thing that this verse becomes and moving on just like that. That's why I've never analyzed the lyrics to the song. They're beyond analysis. They're poetry."

"As you can imagine, over the years I've been asked many times to discuss and explain my song "American Pie." I have never discussed the lyrics, but have admitted to the Holly reference in the opening stanzas. I dedicated the album American Pie to Buddy Holly as well in order to connect the entire statement to Holly in hopes of bringing about an interest in him, which subsequently did occur... You will find many "interpretations" of my lyrics but none of them by me. Isn't this fun? Sorry to leave you all on your own like this but long ago I realized that songwriters should make their statements and move on, maintaining a dignified silence."

"Madonna is a colossus in the music industry and she is going to be considered an important historical figure as well. She is a fine singer, a fine songwriter and record producer, and she has the power to guarantee success with any song she chooses to record. It is a gift for her to have recorded 'American Pie.' I have heard her version and I think it is sensual and mystical. I also feel that she's chosen autobiographical verses that reflect her career and personal history. I hope it will cause people to ask what's happening to music in America. I have received many gifts from God but this is the first time I have ever received a gift from a goddess."

"When people ask me what 'American Pie' means, I tell them it means I don't ever have to work again if I don't want to."

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