American Pie Album

Artist(s): Don McLean

Cover Art

Don McLean American Pie Cover Art

Tracklist

American Pie

length: 8:34
producer: Ed Freeman
piano: Paul Griffin
performer: Don McLean
engineer: Tom Flye
electric guitar: David Spinozza
composer: Don McLean
lyricist: Don McLean

A long long time ago
I can still remember how
That music used 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 for a while
But February made me shiver
With every paper I delivered
Bad news on the doorstep
I couldn't take one more step
I can't remember if I cried
When I read about his widowed bride
But something touched me deep inside
The day the music died
So

[Chorus]
Bye, bye Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
Them good ole boys were drinking whiskey in Rye
Singin' this'll be the day that I die
This'll be the day that I die

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 him
Cause I saw you dancin' in the gym
You both kicked off your shoes
Man, I dig those rhythm and blues
I was a lonely teenage broncin' buck
With a pink carnation and a pickup truck
But I knew I was out of luck
The day the music died
I started singin'

[Chorus]

Now, for ten years we've been on our own
And moss grows fat on a rolling stone
But, that's not how it used to be
When 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 thorny crown
The courtroom was adjourned
No verdict was returned
And while Lenin read a book on Marx
The quartet practiced in the park
And we sang dirges in the dark
The day the music died
We were singin'

[Chorus]

Helter skelter in a summer swelter
The birds flew off with a fallout shelter
Eight miles high and falling fast
It landed foul on the grass
The players tried for a forward pass
With the jester on the sidelines in a cast
Now the half-time air was sweet perfume
While sergeants played a marching tune
We all got up to dance
Oh, but we never got the chance
Cause the players tried to take the field
The marching band refused to yield
Do you recall what was revealed
The day the music died?
We started singin'

[Chorus]

Oh, and there we were all in one place
A generation lost in space
With no time left to start again
So come on Jack be nimble, Jack be quick
Jack Flash sat on a candlestick
Cause fire is the devil's only friend
And as I watched him on the stage
My hands were clenched in fists of rage
No 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 laughing with delight
The day the music died
He was singin'

[Chorus]

I met a girl who sang the blues
And I asked her for some happy news
But she just smiled and turned away
I went down to the sacred store
Where I'd heard the music years before
But the man there said the music wouldn't play
And in the streets the children screamed
The lovers cried, and the poets dreamed
But not a word was spoken
The church bells all were broken
And the three men I admire most-
the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost-
They caught the last train for the coast
The day the music died
And they were singing

[Chorus: x2]

Till Tomorrow

length: 2:16
producer: Ed Freeman
engineer: Tom Flye
composer: Don McLean
arranger: Don McLean
What can this be?
Can you tell me?

Would you like to discover why we're not free, to be lovers?
I've been wanting to ask you

Where has all the love gone and what have we become?
Storm clouds full of thunder move silent as they drum.
And when they're gone, we'll be fine, till tomorrow.
Though I hope it won't rain.

You will be mine and my sorrow will take wings in the morning.
High above the heavens a rainbow paints the sky.
White doves sing their songs of love.
I watch them as they fly and wonder.
What can this be? Can you tell me?
Would you like to discover why we're not free, to be lovers?

Vincent

length: 4:01
producer: Ed Freeman
engineer: Tom Flye
composer: Don McLean
lyricist: Don McLean
Starry, starry night
Paint your palette blue and gray
Look out on a summer's day
With eyes that know the darkness in my soul
Shadows on the hills
Sketch the trees and the daffodils
Catch the breeze and the winter chills
In colors on the snowy linen land

Now I understand what you tried to say to me
And how you suffered for your sanity
And how you tried to set them free
They would not listen, they did not know how
Perhaps they'll listen now

Starry, starry night
Flaming flowers that brightly blaze
Swirling clouds in violet haze
Reflect in Vincent's eyes of China blue
Colors changing hue
Morning fields of amber grain
Weathered faces lined in pain
Are soothed beneath the artist's loving hand

Now I understand what you tried to say to me
And how you suffered for your sanity
And how you tried to set them free
They would not listen, they did not know how
Perhaps they'll listen now

For they could not love you
But still your love was true
And when no hope was left inside
On that starry, starry night
You took your life as lovers often do
But I could have told you, Vincent
This world was never meant
For one as beautiful as you

Starry, starry night
Portraits hung in empty halls
Frameless heads on nameless walls
With eyes that watch the world and can't forget
Like the strangers that you've met
The ragged men in ragged clothes
A silver thorn, a bloody rose
Lie crushed and broken on the virgin snow

Now I think I know what you tried to say to me
And how you suffered for your sanity
And how you tried to set them free
They would not listen, they're not listening still
Perhaps they never will


Thanks to kim for the correction

Crossroads

length: 3:40
producer: Ed Freeman
piano: Warren Bernhardt
engineer: Tom Flye
composer: Don McLean
lyricist: Don McLean
I've got nothing on my mind: Nothing to remember,
Nothing to forget. And I've got nothing to regret,
But I'm all tied up on the inside,
No one knows quite what I've got;
And I know that on the outside
What I used to be, I'm not anymore.

You know I've heard about people like me,
But I never made the connection.
They walk one road to set them free
And find they've gone the wrong direction.

But there's no need for turning back
'Cause all roads lead to where I stand.
And I believe I'll walk them all
No matter what I may have planned.

Can you remember who I was? Can you still feel it?
Can you find my pain? Can you heal it?
Then lay your hands upon me now
And cast this darkness from my soul.
You alone can light my way.
You alone can make me whole once again.

We've walked both sides of every street
Through all kinds of windy weather.
But that was never our defeat
As long as we could walk together.

So there's no need for turning back
'Cause all roads lead to where we stand.
And I believe we'll walk them all
No matter what we may have planned.

Winterwood

length: 3:11
producer: Ed Freeman
engineer: Tom Flye
composer: Don McLean
arranger: Don McLean
No-one can take your place with me,
And time has proven that I'm right.
There's no place I'd rather be,
Than at your place for the night.

No time can pass your sight unseen.
No moment steals away unfound.
Lifetime lived in such a dream,
Floats like a feather to the ground.

[Chorus]
And for the first time I've been seeing
The things I'd never notice, without you.
And for the first time I'm discovering
The things I use to treasure, about you.

The birds like leaves on Winterwood,
Sing hopeful songs on dismal days.
They've learned to live life as they should.
They are at peace with natures ways.

You are as natural as the night,
And all that springs from you is good.
And the children born beneath your light,
Are like the birds on Winterwood.

[Chorus]

Empty Chairs

length: 3:27
producer: Ed Freeman
engineer: Tom Flye
composer: Don McLean
arranger: Don McLean
I feel the trembling tingle of a sleepless night
Creep through my fingers and the moon is bright
Beams of blue come flickering through my window pane
Like gypsy moths that dance around a candle flame

And I wonder if you know
That I never understood
That although you said you'd go
Until you did I never thought you would

Moonlight used to bathe the contours of your face
While chestnut hair fell all around the pillow case
And the fragrance of your flowers rest beneath my head
A sympathy bouquet left with the love that's dead

And I wonder if you know
That I never understood
That although you said you'd go
Until you did I never thought you would

Never thought the words you said were true
Never thought you said just what you meant
Never knew how much I needed you
Never thought you'd leave, until you went

Morning comes and morning goes with no regret
And evening brings the memories I can't forget
Empty rooms that echo as I climb the stairs
And empty clothes that drape and fall on empty chairs

And I wonder if you know
That I never understood
That although you said you'd go
Until you did I never thought you would

Everybody Loves Me, Baby

length: 3:37
producer: Ed Freeman
engineer: Tom Flye
composer: Don McLean
arranger: Don McLean
One, two, three, four!

Fortune has me well in hand, armies wait at my command
My gold lies in a foreign land buried deep beneath the sand
The angels guide my ev'ry tread, my enemies are sick or dead
But all the victories I've led haven't brought you to my bed

You see, everybody loves me, baby, what's the matter with you?
Won'tcha tell me what did I do to offend you?

Now the purest race I've bred for thee to live in my democracy
And the highest human pedigree awaits your first-born boy, baby
And my face on ev'ry coin engraved, the anarchists are all enslaved
My own flag is forever waved by the grateful people I have saved

You see, everybody loves me, baby, what's the matter with you?
Won'tcha tell me what did I do to offend you?

Now, no land is beyond my claim when the land is seized in the people's name
By evil men who rob and maim, if war is hell, I'm not to blame!
Why, you can't blame me, I'm Heaven's child, I'm the second son of Mary mild
And I'm twice removed from Oscar Wilde, but he didn't mind, why, he just smiled

Yes, and the ocean parts when I walk through, and the clouds dissolve and the sky turns blue
I'm held in very great value by everyone I meet but you
'cause I've used my talents as I could, I've done some bad, I've done some good
I did a whole lot better than they thought I would so, c'mon and treat me like you should!

Because everybody loves me, baby, what's the matter with you?
Won'tcha tell me what did I do to offend you?

Everybody loves me, baby, what's the matter with you?
Won'tcha tell me what did I do to offend you?

Yeah, everybody loves me, baby, what's the matter with you?
Won'tcha tell me what did I do to offend you?

Sister Fatima

length: 2:35
producer: Ed Freeman
engineer: Tom Flye
composer: Don McLean
arranger: Don McLean
The spirit of Fatima still rules the Earth
She knows your future, she knows what it's worth
Sister Fatima has God-given powers
And on 42nd Street a shop that sells flowers
Is her palace, come and be healed

She knows all your business, your health and your ills
She'll counsel your weddings, divorces and wills
For full restoration five dollars an hour
And with each consultation a free holy flower
And if she likes you, well you can have two

And I came from nowhere like you and your friend
My searching and wandering went on without end
My future was dim, my spirit was crushed
In one sacred moment my questions were hushed

I'm a servant of fate in this garden of truth
A humble recruit of the taffeta booth
Where all things are known but few are revealed
Sins are forgotten and sickness is healed
For five dollars the flower is free

The Grave

length: 3:14
producer: Ed Freeman
engineer: Tom Flye
drums (drum set): Tom Flye
composer: Don McLean
arranger: Don McLean
The grave that they dug him had flowers
Gathered from the hillsides in bright summer colors
And the brown earth bleached white
At the edge of his gravestone
He's gone

When the wars of our nation did beckon
The man, barely twenty, did answer the calling
Proud of the trust
That he placed in our nation
He's gone

But eternity knows him
And it knows what we've done

And the rain fell like pearls
On the leaves of the flowers
Leaving brown, muddy clay
Where the earth had been dry

And deep in the trench
He waited for hours
As he held to his rifle
And prayed not to die

But the silence of night
Was shattered by fire
As the guns and grenades
Blasted sharp through the air

One after another
His comrades were slaughtered
In the morgue of marines
Alone, standing there

He crouched ever lower
Ever lower, with fear
â??They can't let me die
They can't let me die here!

I'll cover myself
With the mud and the earth
I'll cover myself
I know I'm not brave!

The earth, the earth
The earth is my grave.â??

The grave that they dug him had flowers
Gathered from the hillsides in bright summer colors
And the brown earth bleached white
At the edge of his gravestone
He's gone

Babylon

length: 1:42
producer: Ed Freeman
engineer: Tom Flye
arranger: Don McLean, Lee Hays
writer: [traditional]
By the waters, the waters of Babylon
We lay down and wept, and wept, for thee Zion
We remember thee, remember thee, remember thee Zion
By the waters, the waters of Babylon
We lay down and wept, and wept, for thee Zion
We remember thee, remember thee, remember thee Zion
By the waters, the waters of Babylon
We lay down and wept, and wept, for thee Zion
We remember thee, remember thee, remember thee Zion