Uma música bem misteriosa | Nível avançado

A música American Pie, do estadunidense Don McLean, que ficou famosa na versão de Madonna, de 2000, conta uma história bem maluca, cheia de referências, metáforas e mistérios sobre os quais McLean nunca falou muito. Nos resta interpretar!


Este texto é de nível avançado.


As palavras grifadas têm explicação ao final do texto.

The mysteries of American Pie


American songwriter and singer Don McLean released American Pie in 1971 as a homage to three famous rock and roll stars: Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper, and Ritchie Valens. They all died when their plane crashed in 1959. McLean calls this day "the day the music died", as three of the time's young and promising talents of music were suddenly - and tragically - gone.


The overall theme of the song is the loss of innocence of the early rock and roll generation, symbolized by the plane crash that claimed the lives of three of its heroes.



The song has a very rich vocabulary and is a good way to practice advanced English. It also uses a lot of verbs in the simple past form, as he's talking about his memories. It's a very rich source of expressions from the 70's, and expresses the lifestyle (often with irony) of Americans at that time.


Have a look at the lyrics below, then listen to the song while reading them again.


American Pie

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

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

I can't remember if I cried When I read about his widowed bride Something touched me deep inside The day the music died

So, bye-bye, Miss American Pie Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry And them good old boys were drinking whiskey and rye Singing, "This'll be the day that I die This'll be the day that I die"


Did you write the book of love And do you have faith in God above If the Bible tells you so?

Now, do you believe in rock 'n' roll Can music save your mortal soul And can you teach me how to dance real slow?

Well, I know that you're in love with him 'Cause I saw you dancing in the gym You both kicked off your shoes Man, I dig those rhythm and blues

I was a lonely teenage bronckin' buck With a pink carnation and a pickup truck But I knew I was out of luck The day the music died

I started singing, bye-bye, Miss American Pie Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry And them good old boys were drinking whiskey and rye Singing, "This'll be the day that I die This'll be the day that I die"

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

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

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

And while Lenin read a book on Marx A quartet practiced in the park And we sang dirges in the dark The day the music died

We were singing, bye-bye, Miss American Pie Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry And them good old boys were drinking whiskey and rye Singing, "This'll be the day that I die This'll be the day that I die"

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

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

Now, the halftime air was sweet perfume While sergeants played a marching tune We all got up to dance Oh, but we never got the chance

'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 singing, bye-bye, Miss American Pie Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry And them good old boys were drinking whiskey and rye Singing, "This'll be the day that I die This'll be the day that I die"

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

So, come on, Jack be nimble, Jack be quick Jack Flash sat on a candlestick 'Cause fire is the Devil's only friend

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 spell

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 singing, bye-bye, Miss American Pie Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry Them good old boys were drinking whiskey and rye And singing, "This'll be the day that I die This'll be the day that I die"...

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

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

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

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, bye-bye, Miss American Pie Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry And them good old boys were drinking whiskey and rye Singing, "This'll be the day that I die This'll be the day that I die"

They were singing, bye-bye, Miss American Pie Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry And them good old boys were drinking whiskey and rye Singing, "This'll be the day that I die".




Madonna's short version

The song was a hit after its release, and when Madonna made her own new version in 2000, it became a hit once again. The song was recorded by the singer for the movie The Next Best Thing, in which she stars. It's a much shorter version, containing only part of Don McLean's original lyrics.


Read the lyrics below, then listen to the song while reading them again.


American Pie

Madonna


A long, long time ago I can still remember How that music used to make me smile

And I knew that if I had my chance I could make those people dance And maybe they'd be happy for a while


Did you write the book of love? And do you have faith in God above? If the Bible tells you so

Now do you believe in rock and roll? And can music save your mortal soul? And can it teach me how to dance real slow?


Well, I know that you're in love with him 'Cause I saw you dancin' in the gym You both kicked off your shoes (both kicked off your shoes) Man, I dig those rhythm and blues


I was a lonely teenage bronckin' buck With a pink carnation and a pick-up truck But I knew that I was out of luck The day the music died


I started singing Bye bye, Miss American Pie Drove my Chevy to the levy But the levy was dry And good old boys were drinking whiskey and rye Singing this will be the day that I die This will be the day that I die


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

Well, I went down to the sacred store Where I heard the music years before But the man there said the music wouldn't play


Well now, in the streets the children screamed (the children screamed) The lovers cried and the poets dreamed (the poets dreamed) But not a word was spoken (not a word was spoken) The church bells all were broken


And the three men I admire the most The father, son, and the holy ghost They caught the last train for the coast The day the music died


We started singing Bye bye, Miss American Pie Drove my Chevy to the levy But the levy was dry And good old boys were drinking whiskey and rye Singing this will be the day that I die This will be the day that I die


Bye bye, Miss American Pie Drove my Chevy to the levy But the levy was dry And good old boys were drinking whiskey and rye Singing this will be the day that I die This will be the day that I die


We started singing We started singing We started singing We started singing



Madonna's version also contains some irony, but she's talking about other themes (after all, she recorded her version 29 years after McLean). What do you think? Do you have your own theories about the meanings of this song? Share them with us in the comments below!


Você também pode ouvir o texto lido por mim aqui:


VOCABULARY


Widowed (verb in past participle, infinitive: to widow)

Someone who lost their husband or wife


Chevy (noun, informal)

A nickname for Chevrolet cars.


Levee (noun)

A specific type of quay to stop water from flooding (in Portuguese: dique)


(Good) ole boy (expression)

Expression: a typical white, conservative man from the South of the USA (attention: here "good" is used ironically)


Rye (noun)

Literally: a kind of grain (in Portuguese: centeio)

Here: probably refers to alcoholic drinks made with rye


Dig (verb/expression)

Literally: to make a hole on the ground, removing earth

Here, as an expression: to like, enjoy


Rythm and Blues (noun)

R&B, a style of music


Bronckin' buck (expression)

Expression: a wild horse


Carnation (noun)

A type of flower (in Portuguese: cravo)


Moss (noun)

A green short plant that grows on wet surfaces, making it slippery


Jester (noun)

A joker, a man who entertained people in royal courts


Thorny crown (noun)

A crown with thorns. Typically means the one worn by Jesus in his final moments.


Courtroom (noun)

A place where trials and justice processes take place


Adjourned (verb in simple past)

Often used with courtrooms, used to express the trial/process has ended


Dirge (noun)

A sad song played at a funeral


Helter Skelter (expression)

Original meaning: chaos, disorder

Also: a very famous song by the Beatles, Helter Skelter, about a ride in an amusement park

<--- This is a Helter Skelter.







Also: Charles Manson's racist theory of an apocalyptic war between black people and white people. He used this theory to brutally murder Sharon Tate and many others in 1969.


Swelter (noun)

An uncomfortably hot atmosphere


Fallout shelter (noun)

A building that protects people from natural disasters and bombings


Foul (adverb)

Unfairly, against the rules


Sidelines (noun)

The sides of a playing field, outside the game area, where players usually rest


Cast (noun)

The white material put by doctors around a broken leg or arm to stop it from moving, so it can heal


Halftime (noun)

The break time in between a sports match


Yield (verb)

To give way


Jack be nimble, jack be quick

From a famous English rhyme for kids:



This is the original Jack be nimble rhyme:


Jack be nimble,

Jack be quick,

And Jack jump over the candlestick


But in American Pie we hear:


Jack, be nimble,

Jack be quick,

Jack Flash sat on a candlestick


"Jack Flash" comes from the song Jumpin' Jack Flash by the Rolling Stones.





Clenched (verb)

Closed very tightly


Fist (noun)

A closed hand


Spell (noun)

A magic trick thrown on someone, usually an evil one


Rite (noun)

A ritual


Holy Ghost

The third person of the holy Trinity of Catholicism (in Portuguese: Espírito Santo)

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