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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Music (03/08/07)

TITLE: The Day the Music Died (i)
By Michelle Burkhardt


When was the day the music died? According to Don McLean, the author of the 1972 hit song, “American Pie,” it was in 1959 when three famous musicians, Buddy Holly, Ricki Valens, and The Big Bopper were killed in a plane crash. Upon doing some research, I found that many sociologists have tried to interpret the lyrics from this #1, 70’s hit. Even though McLean was a proclaimed pantheist, (the belief system that the universe, nature and God are all equivalent) I believe God used this song to reach many Americans for His kingdom because the song, although written for secular reasons, has several stanzas pointing in God’s direction. Below, I will illustrate three that I believe are the most significant.

“Can music save your mortal soul? And can you teach me how to dance real slow?” is one of first ways that God used this song to reach people. It was once believed that music was capable of saving the soul. Recognizing that Christ is the only way to salvation, one must admit that praise and worship, hymns, and musical instruments are capable of grabbing a non-believer’s attention. My mother is a perfect example, she would attend church with me and it was the songs that would tug at her heart. I knew God was whispering in her ear through His music because tears would run down her face. The music helped to draw her in, but it was the message that brought her back to Christ.

“Did you write the book of love…And do you have faith in God above, If the Bible tells you so?” These lines were believed to be referring to “The Book of Love” by the Monotones and “The Bible Tells Me So” by Don Cornell. Whatever might have been Mclean’s reasons, having God and the Holy Bible mentioned in this popular song is a fantastic way to send the message on how wonderful His Book of Love really is!

“And the three men I admire most The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. They caught the last train for the coast,” is said to be referring back to the famous singers that were killed the plane crash. However, the average person is not a poet, therefore, when the song came out and was repeated over the radio waves over and over again, people heard McLean’s exact words. His favorite men were The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Our God is an awesome God, especially, when he can use these last lines before the final chorus to show the trinity. These words have echoed in the minds of all who have heard it for over 30 years.

Can you remember when you last heard this famous song? What were your thoughts when this up beat tune hit the charts? I remember this song and have heard it periodically played on the radio since I was a little girl and a non-Christian. Don McLean was once asked to explain his lyrics and here was his response, "You will find many 'interpretations' of my lyrics but none of them by me...Sorry to leave you all on your own like this but long ago I realized that songwriters should make their statements and move on, maintaining a dignified silence.”2 Even though McLean was not clear with his meaning behind his lyrics, God’s meaning is unmistakable and that train that is headed to the coast with God in three persons is a train that I intend to be on. How about you? Christians, All Aboard!

Note: Ironically, Chevy dealers have a new commercial that I just saw on the television while writing this piece. The music is playing in the background as the excited Chevy truck owner is driving and smiling at the camera. If I had any doubts about writing this article, then, God just put me at ease. When He wants us to do something, He makes it loud and clear.

Reference: http://www.rareexception.com/Garden/Pie.php
2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Pie_%28song%29

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This article has been read 708 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jeanette Oestermyer03/15/07
I have always had some biblical thoughts connected to that song. I think your article is thought-provoking and interesting. Also, a joy to read. God Bless
Julie Ruspoli03/16/07
Your article gave so much interesting information. It was easy to read and well written. I think one more proofread would have made it perfect. Good job!