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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Deconstructing McLean’s masterpiece

Most everyone knows the approximate chorus to “American Pie.”

Whether those “good ol’ boys” are drinking whiskey and rye, drinking whiskey and wine or if they drink their whiskey and cry, you don’t change the radio station on “Pie.”

You sing along – something you can do with Don McLean at Northern Quest Casino this Saturday at 8 p.m.

McLean’s 1971 hit so impacted American culture that Roberta Flack wrote the hit song “Killing Me Softly” about him, everyone and their moms have covered him, Hollywood titled a series of raunchy teen comedies after it and the piece landed at No. 5 on RIAA’s “Songs of the (20th) Century” list in 2001, according to

That’s No. 5, folks – ahead of The Beatles, the King and all the other alleged pieces referenced in McLean’s “American Pie.”

But while people hum-sing through the verses, waiting for that unforgettable refrain to come back around, do they even wonder what the song’s about?

McLean refuses to reveal the line-for-line meaning of the song. Subsequently, more Web sites exist on the subject than words in the 81/2 minute epic.

But by studying the correlations among the theories, it’s possible to make sense of the lines:

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