McLean’s classic song takes on a baseball flavor

Published 12:53 am Monday, June 28, 2010

I’ve always thought that Don McLean wrote the greatest song ever with “American Pie.”

It had a great melody and was great listening, but the main thing was the construction of the song. Every line meant something. It was a once in a lifetime masterpiece.

But, of course, I guess it’s time to take the song and use it to express my own ideas. It’s not meant to disrespect McLean and his work, it just appears that way. In fact, I actually put a lot of thought into this writing out of respect to him.

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I have always been a baseball fan and I still am, despite all the problems the game has endured. I have studied the past history of the game and just want it to be the simple, pure American game it was meant to be. You know, America is mom, apple pie and baseball.

Although I love the game, I am a realist and that is why I give you my version of American Pie, except it’s a baseball version instead of rock and roll.

Apple Pie

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 turn, I could make them crash and burn

And maybe they’d be quiet for a while.

But February made me shiver, cause Congress made all them fibbers.

Bad news on the doorstep, Mays traded to New York Mets.

I can’t remember if I lied when questioned by the FBI

Bud Selig’s face can make men cry

The day the music died. (Chorus)


Bye, bye Miss Apple Pie, drove my Plymouth o’er the limit and got a speeding ticket

Them good ol’ boys could no longer fix it, saying “This’ll be the day that you fry. This’ll be the day that you fry.”

Did you read the book of rules that said gambling is just for fools?

But you did it anyway.

Now did you believe in all those polls that a home run derby saved baseball’s soul?

Heard they used an H-G-H.

Well, I know that you still love the game cause you even watched it in the rain.

Ya gotta believe those polls. The ballparks are almost full.

I was a baseball loving teenage kid with tickets to this Sunday’s gig

And it was something I could really dig

The day the music died. (Chorus)

Now for 10 years we’ve been on the juice, home run records have been abused

But that’s not how it used to be.

When the Babe played in those big ballparks, you didn’t see games after dark

And the cheers all came from you and me.

Oh, and while the king was looking down the jester stole his home run crown.

The court failed in its case, so the verdict went to waste.

And while Jose fingered Mark, Clemens just practice in the park,

And a hundred names were in the dark

The day the music died. (Chorus)

I went down to the trading card store, where I’d bought bubble gum cards years before

But the license fee was just too much to pay.

And in the streets the children cried. Ticket costs kept them outside.

Big business in the rich suites, true fans were in the cheap seats.

And the three men I admire most, Aaron, Bench and Babe Ruth’s ghost

Made this game great from coast to coast

The day the music died. (Chorus)

Play ball!


Jim Walker is sports editor of The Ironton Tribune.