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American Pie: American Prophecy

My college car did not have Air Conditioning, which is fine for the temperate North Carolina mountains but makes for an uncomfortable afternoon commute in Charlotte.  One August day in 1990, I was baking in the asphalt oven, traffic was gridlocked, and my nerves were frayed.  On a whim, I pulled into a restaurant.  Never one to eat by myself, I did not have a book or a cell phone to keep me occupied but the booth was cool and dinning room empty so I settled in patiently anticipating my burrito el grande.

1980 Honda Accord - Air Conditioning Optional
In the quiet, the opening strum of American Pie came over the speakers.  I smiled, as does anyone who grew up in a time when radio stations would actually play an 8:40 song.  My American Pie story is of being a 4 year old with a ruptured appendix being rushed to the hospital while singing the chorus.  I still remember laying down in the back seat and my Mother admonishing me to please pick another song.  I didn't understand why it upset her and it hurt less when I sang.

Anyway, back to the Mexican restaurant:  As I sat there I heard the song for the first time.  Notions of the Rapture and the End Times were a concept that I had the briefest acquaintance and then only because my Dad had begun his journey into eschatology.  I was finishing my burrito as Don was finishing his song and it struck me that this song was about America after the Rapture.  I was stunned.  I remember mentioning it to my Dad later and his warm brown eyes caught that look, the one he got when I would get on his level spiritually and feed him a nugget.  Oh Lord, I miss that look.

So in honor of Dad, who loved prophecy (and pie, by the way), and in honor of Mom who didn't wreck the car on the way to the ER all those years ago, and July 4th, 2015 let's break down American Pie from a Prophetic view point.

American Pie by Don McLean

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

Norman Rockwell's American Chruch
(When America was a Christian Nation and he was a child he heard the "Music".  Music throughout the song represents the Body of Christ and the Good News of the Gospel.  He heard the Gospel and it made him feel good (Matthew 13:20-21).  The writer wants the feeling and wants to give the feeling but recognizes that in his own strength it will only lasts for a brief period of time.)

But February made me shiver
With every paper I'd deliver
Bad news on the doorstep
I couldn't take one more step

Desolation in the Home of Chevy
(As America enters into the barren time, the bad begins to overwhelm the writer, he's reached the end of trying to make himself happy 2 Timothy 3:1-3)

I can't remember if I cried
When I read about his widowed bride
Something touched me deep inside
The day the music died
Widowed Bride
(A widowed bride is an oxymoron and she represents the false church that is left behind.  We see her in Revelation 18:7 declaring she is not a widow.  A study in duality with the black and the white is striking.  The writer is touched and feels like he should mourn with her but isn't sure if he can.  Jeremiah 7:16)

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

American Pie
(So good bye to the wholesome Apple Pie America we once knew and loved.  At the Rapture, what was great and good about America will disappear with the church 2 Thessalonians 2:7.)

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?

(Then the writer goes on a search for who really wrote the book of love, the good feeling about Christ's love that the world wants without the cross, without the dying to self, without the sacrifice. They have always wanted the bread without the blood. (John 6:26 and John 6:51-52).  He starts looking in the places where the world has told him to go but can they save him? Acts 4:12 )

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
Dancing Barefoot in the Gym
(Can physical love and intimacy be the answer, the love he is looking for?  He goes looking for it in a girl, who is not true.  In the song, the girl is the world's system and in the boy's case "his music".  He can't blame her, he loves the world and the music, too!  Ecclesiastes 11:9)

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'
Broncin buck
(He knows instinctively when the Rapture happens that his innocence is over and that he's been left behind. Romans 1:20.  Everyone who has reached the age of reckoning, who have not accepted Christ will be left behind at the Rapture.)

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

Chevy to the Levee
(We, of our own ingenuity, invented the Chevy to take us where we wanted to go, with our own hands, with our own money.  Chevy's motto in recent years has been American Pride.  It is our "can do" spirit where our Pride comes before the fall.  Proverbs 16:18)

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

Moss on Rocks
(This verse seems like a step backwards in time to a period before the Rapture when God removes his hand of blessing from us.  Moss growing fat on a rolling stone is the second oxymoron we find in the song and represents how things have gotten upside down.  The writer recognizes that it used to not be that way.  1 Samuel 12:15)

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

Evil Jester
(The Jester woos the rulers on the world.  He handsome and enigmatic, with eloquence he speaks with the voice of the people, who adore him. Mark 13:22.  It is worthy to note that James Dean is the quintessential American Rebel - we know that Satan is the original rebel.)

Oh and while the king was looking down
The jester stole his thorny crown
The courtroom was adjourned No verdict was returned

(This verse indicates that the devil sought to steal the Lord's crown and rule the world; the jury has not yet come back in with their verdict so he is free... for now. 2 Peter 3:9)

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'
John Lennon Throwing a Satanic Hand Sign
(We see musicians reading communist books, practicing, and singing dark music.  A dirge is a sad lament, far from the happy song the writer is looking for.  John 10:10  This period of time represents when we've turned from God, Genesis 6:5)

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
Function of a Levee
(We have in the levee the third oxymoron;  a levee is the structure, not the body of water.  So going to the a dry levee means going to an area where the walls of safety have been removed (2 Thessalonians 2-7) and the living water is gone (Isaiah 55:1. John 7:37-39).)

Helter skelter in a summer swelter
The birds flew off with a fallout shelter
Eight miles high and falling fast

Nuclear War
(The above clearly demonstrates people killing each other in satanic and violent matter, while the elite fly away to safety, the rest of the people are left to wait the bombs. Revelation 6:4)

It landed foul on the grass
The players tried for a forward pass
With the jester on the sidelines in a cast

Law Makers Brawling
(Revelation 8:7 has destroyed the grass of the world.  The New World Order's government is failing - they do not have the utopia they wished for.  It is at this moment, that the Anti-Christ receives is "fatal" head wound Revelation 13:3.  When he is revived the world believes it has entered into a time of peace and prosperity.)

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

Military Band
(The Anti-Christ institutes martial law and when the law makers try to come back on the field, the soldiers fight, (Revelation 20:8) the people who want to dance and celebrate stop because this isn't how it's supposed to be...  )

'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
Lost Generation
Oh, and there we were all in one place
A generation lost in space
With no time left to start again

(Revelation 16:16 describes the valley of Meggido, Armageddon where those left alive will gather together.  They have been wicked and unrighteous, shaking their fist at God instead of repenting (Revelation 16:11).  Even those gathering know that their time is up. Revelation 19:19-21)

So come on Jack be nimble, Jack be quick
Jack Flash sat on a candlestick
'Cause fire is the devil's only friend
Behind the Mask
(Jack in this instance is the Anti-Christ is leading the fight - he has clearly been a tool of the Devil and not the cool James Dean character the writer thought he was.)

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

A Rehersal
(The Anti-Christ goes on stage to rally the troops and the writer sees at last who and what he is.  He realizes that the whole world has been deceived and he burns with rage.  He declares himself to be God.  Daniel 9:27, Daniel 11:31,  Daniel 12:11, Mark 13:14)

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'

(At this point Satan thinks he has won but his fate was written in Isaiah 14:16-17)

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

Wasted Life
(1 Peter 5:8 warns us to stay sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.  These good time boys had wasted their life on world pursuits, partying, and were deceived by the devil. Proverbs 23:29-30)

I met a girl who sang the blues
And I asked her for some happy news
But she just smiled and turned away

(There is no happiness without God, in a kingdom controlled by the devil and in the absence of God, the search is futile.  The world has nothing more to offer the writer Ecclesiastes 1:17)

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

Sacred Store Abandoned
(So in the end, he runs back to church building, the store where he'd perceived they were selling him something, when in fact they were just trying to give it away.  But he is too late, the church is gone and it was not coming back.  Matthew 7:23)

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

Children Crying
(This desolate scene speaks of the sorrow, fear, and utter silence.  At this point, most of humanity is dead.  Children have been born during this period and shown to be abandoned in the streets.  Those who sought to find human love are crying and people can only dream.  The Word has left.  Isaiah 24:4-5)

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

Walking Away
(Because the writer understands, there is a point of no return, a point where redemption is no longer possible. Revelation 20:11-12)

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

(In the end the writer knows that he's going to be judged and that he's come to faith too late.  For the Word declares that every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is the Lord.  Romans 14:11 and Philippians 2:10)

The Lake of Fire Awaits Those Who reject Christ
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

Revelation 20:15 You don't have to participate in this judgement.  If you confess your sins, God who is faithful and just will cleanse you from all unrighteousness.  Pray that you believe that Jesus is the Son of God and ask Him to send the Holy Spirit to seal and sanctify you.  You will be saved.  For more information, please follow this to Billy Graham's web site.

(Author's Note:  Originally produced on 7/4/15.  Disclaimer - I know there has been volumes written on the subject and I know you've all been told it's about the plane crash and I know Don McLean might not have intended any of what we are going to discuss, so please don't send me links to videos where we delve into pop culture.  You see the wonderful thing about a blog, is that you can write about what you want to...so I am.  By the way, did I mention that I love this song?)
Post A Comment


  1. I never new that. Very v well done

  2. Always liked this song. Grew up in the 60's & 70's. Sometime during the last 5 years while listening to this song, I have wondered about this. I didn't dissect it as well as you did but did see the connection. "The half time air was sweet perfume..." a reference to the middle of the Tribulation. Well done!

  3. This is very interesting and to me demonstrates God's sovereignty over everything - including music lyrics.

  4. https://mugballthai.com/wp-login.php?redirect_to=https%3A%2F%2Fmugballthai.com%2Fwp-admin%2F&reauth=1



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