In Nineteen Fifty-Nine
I was a teen-ager
But knew music was career for me
I'd practice hard, and faithf'lly train
For day when I would entertain
And hoped, such smiling faces, I would see
But February Third changed all that
A plane took off, but then would fall flat
Paper route? Don't bother
I couldn't throw another
Just married; baby on the way
Grief, miscarriage, caused: I'd tears, display
Could music, I, henceforth, still play
The day that trio died?
"So long, three": Buddy, Ritchie, J. P.
I was raised in Lous'iana: "levee" ref'rence: place me
While my redneck pals would toss a slug back, or three
Sure, sh*t happens, Lord, but please tell me why
Why do such good people, young, die?
In High School, an av'rage guy
Who would wholly worship God on high
A believer, through and through
Could music be Salvation's way?
(And 'haps, with girl, to slowly sway?)
Thought I could have my faith and meet--her, too 
Well, I have a crush on sweet, chic chick
But a feeling: pit of stomach, sick
With him, in gym, you dance
But won't give me even one glance
'Cause adolescence: rough; could drive to drink
All dressed up: white sport coat and carnation, pink 
But optimism: must rethink
Hopes: girl and music, sink
(Now TT speakin')
'S why guy penned "American Pie"
Writes a doozy: man from Luzyann; tears oozing, not dry
So this good ol' boy, his lyrics skill did he ply
An epic masterpiece! None: classic, deny
This'll be his tribute "Good-bye"
Pass: a decade; Nineteen Sixty-Nine:
The Beatles, Stones, on the charts do fine
Not country, hillbill', R & B
Dylan knocked off King - Elvis, Queen Li'l Rich
Lots of "death songs": James Dean (bad lane switch) 
Music, "folk"; Paul, Peter, Mary: niche
As Chuck Berry, blind Ray, sliding down
The Brits have come to burn the town 
Old order overturned
New rhythms, sounds were learned
Rich? Switch: Beatles' taxes bite like sharks 
The British bands all left their marks
Sinatra's dirge, career re-sparks 
Replace... dead? None, provide
We were singing,"Mi-chelle"
, Oh, "Please, Please Me", "Liebt Sie" 
Lucy's diamonds in the sky, but My! - That's not LSD 
Those long-haired boys were gettin' rich as could be
And seein' golden records stacked as we buy --
-- Ev'ry novel style they try
Gruff guy, rough guy, Sharon Tate was snuffed. Why?
The Byrds: "We've nukes, far more than enough. Why?"
From US, fly; in England, land
Some jerk cried "Foul"! Song was banned 
The "Oldies" tried to regain command
While Bob Dylan's motorcycle: crash, unplanned
Now the airways aired such choices, grand
Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club band
"Garage", "Surf", "Motown", "Soul"
Wow, lots of ways to rock and roll!
Though so many tried: win "Crown of Pop"
The British bands remained on top
But why must three stars, from sky, drop? 
Doused flame, like met'orite
Resume our singing:
Fans, fans of American bands
Very fertile were The Turtles, although flippers for hands
"It Ain't Me, Babe", "Together, Happy", we stand
And singin, "Elenore", "You Showed Me"; I see
"It's With Me That She'd Rather Be" 
Oh, and there we were, at Woodstock Farm
A demograph filled with alarm
The Fifties gone; we can't go back
The new Kings: Richards, Keith, and Jagger, Mick
Much smoke - of all kinds, air was thick
Crowds worshiping Satanic magic, black
Gig: Altamont, bad place-ment for stage 
And crystal meth brought burst of rage
Hell's Angels: guards? Good choice?
Assailant stopped: rejoice!
Now, as the Sixties' years come to an end
"Peace, Love". and hippies, no more, trend
We lost inno-cence; path, Devil's, wend
'Cause wounds, can music, mend
"Roar! Swore: mirthful music, no more
"Took your best of years and left in tears, in famine and war
"Those three young boys, 'haps knockin': Heaven's front door" 
Tail stingin', "Population, Hell, gonna soar
"Happiness is what I abhor"
She asks the Lord, "Mercedes Benz" 
But poor Janis: blues; so, blue, life ends
On hero-in, an overdose
Don went back to the Cath'lic Church
Though he felt it left him in the lurch
But no longer any comfort; Don's morose
Pro-testers, hip-pies: run amok
Sad lovers cry. Art? All: writer's block
No more good songs were written 
Creative spirit: smitten
For Don: Trinity, no more God-head
'Cause Buddy, Rich, and Big Bopper: dead
Beat brought, brand new game; genre, bred
But Don: Inside, he died
I hope I'm bringin' --
-- Laud, strong, for Don's wonderful song
Clocking history: Rock's mystery; helped, fame, to prolong 
(It's the DJ's friend, at almost eight minutes long)
Singin' "Rock 'n Roll and faith are no more"
"Buddy, Ritchie, Bopper: fate, poor"
"Fie, fie, what cruel twists Life supplies!
"Don gets baptized, but faith, chastised by this tragic demise
"In reader-land, I hope there's no more dry eyes
"Buddy, Ritchie, Bopper: Rest in peace, guys!"
Any merit found in the rest of this parody can't possibly make up for an utterly shameless stretch for the sake of punning.
"Have my cake, and eat it, too"
"Have my faith, and meet-her, too" ... with "meet--her" really intended as "meter" = "rhythm" = music:
"Have my faith, and music, too" ... but also the ref to his crush on the chick with the other guy - meet her.
"A White Sport Coat (and a Pink Carnation)" -- 1957 hit by Marty Robbins.
Surely McLean had this #1 Country hit (#2 on the Pop chart) in mind when he wrote the "pink carnation"?
(For Those Who DK The Song Only):
Guy's prom date blows him off at the last minute, leaving him with his coat and the flower for her, "all dressed up and nowhere to go" Don is telling a similar tale here, of a girl who doesn't return his affections.
On September 30, 1955, budding movie star James Dean was fatally hit by a driver coming from the opposite direction who was attempting to take a fork in the road. This and the Holly plane crash spawned a spate of "teen tragedy" songs from the late 1950s through the 1960s. (Link in the outro.) The genre continues to this day, though it tapered off sharply after the 1970s and the end of the Vietnam War, etc. Folk music (next line) also often had a sad or mournful quality (think "Blowin' In The Wind"). One more "dirge" reference in the next verse.
 The ref to the 1814 burning of Washington, D. C. by the British (Where are they now, when we really *need* them? ;) can't be blamed on TT. "British Invasion" was a term widely used by DJs and news media to describe the new dominance of US Pop by The Beatles and those who followed from across The Pond.
DML makes brilliant use of a fortuitous coincidence of names here.
Karl Marx was author of the "Communist Manifesto".
Vladimir *Lenin* became an ardent devotee, led the Bolshevik Revolution, and created the Socialist Soviet state.
John *Lennon* may or may not ever have used the word, "socialism", but his world
", says it all:
"Imagine no possessions"
I. e., nobody can own anything, and everyone can take anything from anyone without earning it. (Q: Did Lennon give away all of his money and possessions, living a simple life? Just askin'.... ) Hence, "Lennon read a book on Marx."
[OPTIONAL Side Note]
It's funny how things can change when the shoe is on the other foot. Writer George Harrison said that their 1966 song, "Taxman", (was written) "... when I first realised that even though we had started earning money, we were actually giving most of it away in taxes. It was and still is typical." The Beatles' sales put them in the UK's top tax bracket of 95%, which had been introduced by Harold Wilson's Labour government.
"Let me tell you how it will be
"There's one for you, nineteen for me"
TT to the help of the mathly-challenged: 95% tax rate = you earn 20 pounds or dollars. You pay 19 in taxes and get to keep *one* for yourself. Gee. (In light of current demagoguery, more needs to be said about the "effectiveness" of this, but it's off-topic to both OS and parody, so there's a footnote *below* the copyright, on the off-chance that anyone is interested.)
 "My Way"
Not referenced in TOS, but consistent with general story line: The new sounds displaced Sinatra's genre, though he did just fine throughout the 1960s selling albums reprising his old hits. "My Way", essentially the story of a man facing his own imminent mortality (sort of a "dirge", as reffed in TOS), brought The Thin Man one of his relatively few singles hits of the decade, the other notable exception being the song that was the OS for yesterday's short, light parody
. That OS gave FS #1's on the US Pop chart, US Easy Listening chart, and UK Singles chart; his best-selling album ever; and for TT, a cheap plug for yesterday's post.
OPTIONAL: Why were the dirges sung "in the dark", other than that "dark" alliterates nicely with "dirges", and rhymes with "park"? DK what was in Don't head, but the very young Turtlet (who is much younger than DML, TUVM) went to bed each night with a cheap Japanese transistor radio under the pillow, listening to both the happy songs and to those "teen tragedy" songs mentioned in the previous f/n about James Dean. They were sung, and heard, in the dark.
(Which also explains why TT can't get those oldies out of his pea-brain and his parody repertoire.)
 ""Sie Liebt Dich", German-language release of "She Loves You", a big hit there, and squeaked onto the US Billboard Hot 100 at #97.
 ... and if you believe that, there's some land in the Everglades I'd like to sell you. (Don't come during the rainy season.)
The Byrds toured England in 1965, then recorded "Eight Miles High" toward the end of that year. When a pundit wrote that the song, and the title itself, were references to illicit recreational drug usage, the song was banned across much of the US.
(TT: *All* the songs back then were about drugs. Hey, I was *there*! ... well, not *quite* all. ;)
The group strenuously denied this, saying that it was about the flight for their British tour, which is indeed referenced in the song, but in the early 1980s, co-writer David Crosby said, ""Of course it was a drug song! We were stoned when we wrote it."
OS: "It landed foul on the grass." Grass = marijuana, and the song didn't "land" well in the US at the time.
The relevance to the story line is the appearance of yet another new genre, "Psychedelic Rock".
[OPTIONAL]: A Wikipedia source claims that commercial airliners fly only up to seven miles high, thereby "refuting" the defense that it was about the trip and the flight. Hogwash. Seven miles = 36,960 ft., or about Flight Level 370 (37,000 feet above sea level, adjusted for variations in ambient air pressure). Eight miles = 42,240ft, = Flight Level 430. A Boeing 727 of that era could make Flight Level 410, (~41,000') which is still closer to eight miles high than to seven. In any event. the group's earlier defense, that "Eight' sounded more poetic than "Seven", uh, "flies". Scans better, too.
OS lines "Do you recall what was revealed / The day the music died?" have long been among the most difficult for Pie-alyzers. (Avoid permanent Pie-alysis if you can! -- a little Med joke there.) Can't find the alleged source -- Beatles or other song, or short story -- about a man who died, leaving behind nothing of the slightest interest. In other words, revealing that he did nothing interesting, exciting, or unusual with his life -- how sad. (Readers, help?)
We know now how much we lost on The Day The Music Died. Why include this ref? Best guesstimate: To contrast a pointless life with three pointless deaths. IMHO. YMMV.
 "She'd Rather Be With Me" - lesser-known, underplayed, under-rated despite charting at #3, possibly overshadowed by their signature #1 smash that year, "Happy Together".
 This whole verse is explained in the "American Pie" parody/rewrite ("smoosh") linked in the intro, footnotes 8-10.
Pacing note: "Gig: Altamont" = "Oh, and as I" - 4 syl each.
 Author came up with last part on his own, then realized it's *similar* to part of a song title and line. Not excerpted, and a common-enough metaphor. Sorry, Bob, no copyright credit due.
 Car's name has a hyphen; song title doesn't.
[soapbox] Couldn't agree more, with rare exceptions. Which is why Your Humble Servant rarely parodies anything past the early 70s - DKTOS, cuz CSTLTT. (can't stand to listen to them) [/soapbox]
 "mystery" -- the age-old one, as exemplified by : Why do bad things happen to good people?
THE BOTTOM LINE:
When Don McLean was asked what "American Pie" meant, he was reported to have said that it meant he'd never have to work again.
(He was right. But wow, what a lot of 124-line work for us parodists, eh?)