Listen to "American Pie" by Don McLean with lyrics HERE!
"American Pie" by Don McLean is an American classic. It is a great song for English learners because of it's cultural insight alone. Although, the multitude of vocabulary in this song is also a great reason for English learners to listen to it.
Even though I won't be able to cover anywhere near all the good, useful, and interesting vocabulary in this song... here are a few of the best vocabulary items to listen for in "American Pie" by Don McLean:
🌠 BONUS PHRASE: "Helter-skelter" means disorder, confusion, and chaos. The phrase has been used in English for over 400 years but became popular because a fairground attraction in England in the 1960's was called "Helter Skelter". (Take a look at the attraction here!)
"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"
Look at the full lyrics here!
A short but important backstory to this song...
This song is about a tragic day in 1959 commonly referred to as The Day the Music Died on which a plane crash killed 3 of the most influential musicians of the time. In the chorus (see quote above) when McLean says, "Them good ole boys..." he is talking about the three musicians that died in the plane crash: Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J. P. Richardson popularly known as 'The Big Bopper'. (read more about The Day the Music Died in this Wikipedia article)
This song is definitely a complicated song, I hope you enjoy it. If you're interested in understanding more about the meaning of this song read this fascinating BBC article!
Thanks so much for reading! If you like this article and are looking forward to the next song on the list of Top 5 Songs to Learn English please ❤️ heart ❤️ this article! Please leave a comment too, I'd love to hear what you think of the song and what YOU think are the best songs for learning English! 💬 🎵