The Day the Music Died

This song has always brought tears to my eyes. It discussed events that occurred before I was born, but which triggered changes that have been unfolding since, throughout all of our lifetimes. Now, this video has filled in all the holes in my contextual understanding, and made me more emotional about "the Day the Music Died" than ever:

But perhaps the most disturbing discovery was not in the video, but in the comments on YouTube. Most were quite complimentary. A few others questioned the veracity of the chosen images. But this one just about killed me:

i always thght it was a maddona song

Yikes. Ok, well, maybe I don’t have room to talk. My mom sent me the link to this video, and I once tried to tell her that Tommy James stole "I Think We’re Alone Now" from Tiffany. I’m so sorry.

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I once dated a girl in college who got all excited when "Twist and Shout" came on the Top 40 station we were listening to. She said, "Hey, check out this great new song!" I tried to explain that it was the Beatles and even that was a cover, but I don't think she got it.

This was in 1987 when the movei "Back to School" with Rodney Dangerfield came out and the song featured and crept back into the countdown for a couple of weeks.

Oh........ It takes me back, and it is hard not to shiver upon listening and watching. As Billy Connelly said, "I was thirteen when rock 'n' roll started. It doesn't get any fucking better than that."

By Killinchy (not verified) on 17 Jul 2007 #permalink

Heh. I'd always assumed the 'jester stole his thorny crown' referred to Lennon's 'bigger than Jesus' joke. You learn sth new every day

By Jonathan Vause (not verified) on 17 Jul 2007 #permalink

Some friends and I were just discussing this song two days ago. I never liked it, mostly because of the "whiskey AND rye" (rye is whiskey)and that darned dry levee. That, and it was too long. Still is for my crummy dialup, it's still loading. Nevertheless, I now hold it in higher regard since seeing (part of)this. Thanks for posting it, rb

Thank you Karmen, that is an awesome video and it will help my youngest (17) son understand why I love it so much. He is into classic rock but never really liked The Crickets. Understanding where the music comes from just makes it even more wonderful.

By CanuckRob (not verified) on 17 Jul 2007 #permalink

Thank you Karmen. Though I knew the general story of that song, and it always brings the threat of tears in me as well, I was unaware of the extent of the symbolism.

Wonderful video, I'm glad you found it for us.

Thanks, Karmen. I've always loved that song since I was very very young. It's wonderful to see the symbolism depicted that example of what "music videos" could be at their best (and when the music is good enough)

To all those who thanked me for this one, I'm just glad I could share it.

I might be a little late on this, but to respond to arby's comment, above, I saw the "whiskey" and "rye" issue being discussed in the comments on Youtube. (Somewhere before the Madonna line, I think.) Someone suggested that the line is actually "drinkin' whiskey IN Rye", referring to the town of Rye, NY, where whiskey is made. Supposedly Don McClean lived there, or visited. Of course, I'm repeating this all via word-of-mouth, so if you're curious, it might be best to look for a legitimate source.

I actually was able to write a paper about this song in high school, I convinced the teacher it was an important piece of American poetry (I was WAY into classic rock and oldies at the time). I think my degree of inspired writing has been all downhill since then (just ask the reviewers of the most recent paper I submitted).

On a related note : The dry levees and the whiskey and rye thing I have always heard comes from the 1964 murder of three civil rights workers in Philadelphia, Mississippi. Their bodies were all found in a "dry" levee (meaning the river level was low enough there was no water on the other side), and that the alibis for the main suspects were that they were drinking whiskey. Not sure about the rye thing..