Les cançons llargues: “American Pie”, de Don McLean (1971).

(La sèrie comença aquí)

L’octubre de 1971 es va publicar “American Pie”, el segon disc de Don McLean, un cantautor nascut el 1945 a l’estat de Nova York.

La cançó que obria la cara A  –i que donava títol al disc–  era una peça de vuit minus i mig  (vegeu aquí) que de seguida va adquirir una enorme popularitat. Sobretot als Estats Units perquè allí es podia capir perfectament un dels valors de la cançó que, quan va arribar aquí, no vàrem saber interpretar. O, més exactament, no vàrem saber desxifrar.

Em refereixo a la lletra que, amb un llenguatge carregat de símbols i frases enigmàtiques, feia referència a unes quantes fites de la història del rock. Començant pel que McLean denomina en diverses ocasions com “el dia que la música va morir” (vegeu aquí). És a dir, el dia de febrer de 1959 que un accident d’avió va acabar amb la vida de Buddy Holly i altres músics que l’acompanyaven com, per exemple, Ritchie Valens, el creador de “La Bamba”.

Si voleu conèixer tots els secrets (o quasi) que s’amaguen en la lletra d’“American Pie” us recomano la lectura d’aquest article que val la pena de llegir atentament perquè és ple d’informació interessant.

No s’acaben, però, aquí les sorpreses del disc de Don McLean ja que una mica més endavant en la mateixa cara A ens espera una altra meravella  –en aquest cas curta: no arriba als quatre minuts–  titulada “Vincent” i dedicada, és clar, al pintor Vincent van Gohg.

Us deixo ara amb la cançó i tot seguit amb la lletra original.

I per culminar el plaer del cap de setmana al final de tot trobareu incrustada “Vincent” i la seva lletra original.

 

American Pie

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’d deliver
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
Something touched me deep inside
The day the music died
So

Bye, bye Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
And them good ole boys were drinking whiskey and 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?
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’

Bye, bye Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
And them good ole boys were drinking whiskey and rye
Singin’ this’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die

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 Lennon 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’

Bye, bye Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
Them good ole boys were drinking whiskey and rye
And singin’ this’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die

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’

Bye, bye Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
Them good ole boys were drinking whiskey and rye
And singin’ this’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die

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

Oh 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’

Bye, bye Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
Them good ole boys were drinking whiskey and rye
Singin’ this’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die

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

Bye, bye Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
And them good ole boys were drinking whiskey and rye
Singin’ this’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die

They were singing
Bye, bye Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
Them good ole boys were drinking whiskey and rye
Singin’ this’ll be the day that I die

 

(La sèrie continua aquí amb més cançons llargues)
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