Don McLean wrote the song "American Pie" in What do the Lyrics mean? A long, long time ago American Pie was written in and the time McLean is going to talk about is the 's. This seems like a long time ago 'cause of all the turmoil that occurred in the 60's. I can still remember how that music used to make me smile.
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Stretching the form itself — that is something rarely tried mostly. Mostly the mission becomes about working within the form, and the challenge of discovering something new within this limited space. Which is no small feat: there are so many disparate aspects to songwriting one must master before gaining the knowhow, power and ability to write any song well, so it makes perfect sense. Even those undisputed geniuses of song, from Gershwin, Stephen Foster, Woody Guthrie and Hank Williams to Dylan and The Beatles, Paul Simon and beyond, all had to master the form itself before doing their greatest work. None of them invented a new form. He picked up old forms common in folk music both Irish and American, which in turn echoed traditions of romantic poetry: long, rhymed epics that tell compelling, often dark, spiritual, and mysterious narratives which gain momentum in meter, with slowly unfolding force. Released in from the album of the same name, it went to number one in America, where it stayed for four weeks. And did the same around the world. Always a great vocalist, he became a inspired interpreter of folk songs, learning the delicate art of transforming history into song.
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Recorded and released on the American Pie album in , the single was the number-one US hit for four weeks in and also topped the charts in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. In the UK, the single reached number 2, where it stayed for 3 weeks, on its original release and a reissue in reached No. The song was listed as the No.