Monday, October 20, 2008

Is Half a Song Better Than No Song At All or The Day the Music Died in Jordan

So, today HelperBean and I were listening to Mood fm and one of those amazing, awesome, wonderful songs came on. That's right, the sweet sounds of Don McLean singing American Pie came across the radio causing me to literally stop what I was doing and dance and sing along. And then... the music died (ironic given the lyrics to the song, no?). My first thought was that this was an odd bit of censorship, but now I'm not so sure. They had just finished the verse about the jester stealing the king's crown and another song started playing. No real break, nothing. I noticed this particularly because the last verse (and the one most likely to be censored?) is my favorite. You know, the one about the father, son, and holy ghost taking the last train to the coast... Okay, so maybe you don't know.

My curiosity piqued, I googled the lyrics and here's everything that was cut off. So, here are all the parts that were missing:

"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 half-time air was sweet perfume
While the 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.
Them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
And singin’, "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’s 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 drinkin’ whiskey and rye
And singin’, "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 drinkin’ whiskey and rye
Singin’, "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.
Them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
Singin’, "this’ll be the day that I die."

Since much of the cut parts refer to either church or Satan, perhaps it was censorship. Or maybe Mood fm's DJ just did a REALLY bad cut. Either way, it left me disappointed and unsatisfied. So, I'm dropping the YouTube in for those of you who would also like to hear it (song only, no video because the sound quality is so much better). Oh, and though Madonna's version wasn't bad, it could never compare to this.



When the song came on, HelperBean said, wow, it's like a story. It starts with a long, long time ago (you know like once upon a time...). For those who aren't aware, this song was written about the day that the plane bearing Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens (La Bamaba) and The big Bopper (Chantilly Lace) went down. That day (February 3, 1959) was known as the day the music died.

For me, this song is rather quintessentially American (like most of John Denver's music) and never fails to place me back home in Alabama (in my mind). It hearkens my childhood and early college days (it is a huge song for playing by amateur guitarists) and just has SO much going on in it. There are many interpretations (none by the author) that you can simply assume that no one knows what it means. But to me it's an interesting picture of Americana at the time of its writing and release (written in the very late 60s and released in like 1972). So, it's pretty much one man's view of the America I was born into...

I hope you've enjoyed it. I've listened 3 times now and may just repeat it a few more, teehee. Here's hoping that the next time I catch it on the radio, it will be complete.

Happy Cuttings!

5 Comments:

At 11:27 PM , Blogger Ali said...

I'm realy surprised, as I heard that song not only on Jordan's private music channels like BeatFM, Play, SPIN, but also on Jordan's Government owned English FM. But personaly knowing the guys at Mood, I wouldn't be surprised if they just cut it by mistake. No censorcship on music in Jordan.

 
At 11:40 PM , Anonymous kinzi said...

Ali, they put sleeves on HRH shirt visually, get all over mags that used the 'v' word verbally, I wouldn't put it past them.I never hear any indigenous Christian music on local stations.

Yet, it is a long song...but I think the US, it was an anthem of a generation, nothing would EVER have been cut out of it.

Thanks for listing those missing verses. The middle ones (before the last, which is my fav too, in a 'Godspell' kind of way) I had completely forgotten. SO MANY 70s icon-like statements!! I'm doing the penguin dance in my chair. :)

 
At 11:44 PM , Blogger MommaBean said...

Ali, as I said, originally I suspected some odd censorship, but then decided they just did an awesomelly bad cut. At any rate, I'm glad theyjogged my memory because I SO love that song.

Kinz, You're right, it IS a long song. Maybe the dj just got tired of it. Me, I could listen 100 times in a row a never get tired of it, but...

My bottom line is, if they aren't going to play the whole thing, don't bother at all :).

 
At 2:01 AM , Blogger Ali said...

I think they censor some words like Ass, Bitch, F word, N word. This morning I was listening to Eneregy FM and they were playing Glamarous and they censored the Ass word twice, my American sister in law noted out, I was driving and didnt notice that

 
At 2:59 AM , Blogger MommaBean said...

Yeah, if I hadn't been waiting for my favorite verse, I wouldn't have noticed this cut as the song is rather lengthy. And, I certianly don't mind them blocking out such words, especially if I listened to the radio much (which I don't) with the Beans present (almost never).

 

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