Definition

One must make a distinction however: when dragged into prominence by half poets, the result is not poetry, nor till the autocrats among us can be “literalists of the imagination”—above insolence and triviality and can present for inspection, imaginary gardens with real toads in them, shall we have it.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Kerry Says ~ Bye, Bye Miss American Pie

Miss American Pie by laFada 

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
Continue reading HERE

I came across an interesting on-line article written by James Waller (2014), entitled "The Day the Music Died". "For a monster hit, singer-songwriter Don McLean’s “American Pie” was an unusual record: Clocking in at more than eight and a half minutes, it outdistanced the Beatles’ seven-minute “Hey Jude” and took up more airtime than another superlong 1970s standard, Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven.” Plus, its preternaturally catchy tune features lyrics—five verses, an intro and a refrain—as obscure as they are memorable. Partly an oblique autobiography, partly an allegory about the first generation raised on rock and roll, “American Pie” amounts to a riddle that listeners have relished trying to solve since its release."

Album Cover (Fair use)


Most critics, fans, music buffs tend to agree that "the “long, long time ago” of the song’s intro refers to the February day in 1959 when a plane carrying Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper went down in an Iowa cornfield" but they are not the only iconic personalities who have become associated with the song:
"Among those appearing in poetic disguise are Bob Dylan (as “the jester”), Elvis Presley (“the king”) and the Beatles (“the sergeants,” after their album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band). Three lines of the song’s final and most haunting verse may describe Janis Joplin: I met a girl who sang the blues / And I asked her for some happy news / But she just smiled and turned away." Don McLean has not proffered an in depth interpretation of his lyrics, saying: "They're beyond analysis. They're poetry."

Our challenge today is to consider the role of iconic people in society, how they shape memory and history; how they come to represent an era or a country; what they give to group identity or reveal of the human condition. You may speak of their passing, their legacy, their fall from grace. You may choose to make your icon recognizable or enigmatic.

For those who would like to listen to the song and review the lyrics, I have included this video.






11 comments:

Marian said...

this is lovely and queues up perfectly Friday's music prompt, Kerry! as though we planned it or something. what are you wearing today? maybe we match. :)

Heidi said...

Didn't this song inspire the song "Killing Me Softly" as well?

Kerry O'Connor said...

Black denims and a cream knit sweater.

:-)

I'm always a bit scared to rely too heavily on the music in the same week as your prompt, Marian, so I'm glad these prompts will go hand-in-hand.

Helen said...

A highlight of my life ~ standing on stage, Anchorage Alaska, 1994, Don McLean by my side .. singing American Pie! What an incredible rush that was! I am officially swamped with Humbug, the play.

Last night I agreed to taking on the musical component directing the carolers who perform pre-show, during intermission and post-show. Let me just say I have a few vocalists who struggle with staying on key. What was I thinking? Immediately after the run ends, I leave town returning the end of January. Writing is no longer on the back burner ~~ stove is out of gas!

Kerry O'Connor said...

Stove may be out of gas - but your creativity is still finding an outlet. We'll see you in the new year, Helen.

Lolamouse said...

Wrote this one yesterday for another prompt, but Kerry suggested I post it here as well! A bit of cynicism for your perusal.

Katy Magee said...

This has been brewing in my heart all week. Thanks for lighting the spark.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Hi kids, my head is above water, more or less, and your prompt spoke to me, Kerry. Thanks for the trip back. I do a lot of that these days!

Hannah said...

This is an in depth challenge and I feel I merely skimmed the surface but I appreciate the energy and thought that went into this, Kerry. Thank you!

Susan said...

Talk about American Pie --- I'm not entirely happy with this poem, but really, Don McLean said it all ...

Carrie Van Horn said...

Was able to kill 2 birds with this one. Happy Thursday everyone. :-)