I was a kid when this song hit the radio, I was maybe 10 at the time. The song always struck a cord with me as did many songs of the time that addressed the war, something at 10 I new allot about as back then graphic news was normal and dead bodies would be flooded in ink on the local paper. Growing up then was a strange time, the world as it is right now was moving so fast that it was hard to imagine what was in the future. We lived very close to the levees where I was at and rode my Schwin Stingray I worked two summers mowing laws to buy. So of course this song kinda stuck in my head as much everything did. I like to think my generation was the very last end of innocence in America, by the time I was in my early 20's drives in were slowing down, people seldom cruised and life was moving fasters yet our personal lives were slowing and have all but stopped today. I heard this song play the other night as we had Graffiti week here in Roseburg, Oregon and the song stuck in my head I listened and knew over the years there are many variation of what the song meant even the singer left allot of imagination in the son, maybe that was the point. I can still smell the sweet ocean air near where we fished and would have our cheap radio tied with shoes strings to the handlebars and the song would be playing. Life was so much simpler then. Its hard to imagine kids not knowing what peace existed once for all children has turned into a liberal heap of bat crazy everyone gets a trophy world. So yes the song was open to interpretation the lyrics may have been, the song's emotional resonance was unmistakable: McLean was clearly relating a defining moment in the American experience—something had been lost, and we knew it then and know it now. we are able to frame the span of years the song is covering—1959 to 1970—as the "10 years we've been on our own" of the third verse. It is across this decade that the American cultural landscape changed radically, passing from the relative optimism and conformity of the 1950s and early 1960s to the rejection of these values by the various political and social movements of the mid and late 1960s. I am sure it also grips many outsides of these zones as well. Coming as it did near the end of this turbulent era, American Pie seemed to be speaking to the precarious position we found ourselves in and do now, as the grand social experiments of the 1960s began collapsing under the weight of their own unrealized utopian dreams, while the quieter, hopeful world we grew up in receded into memory. And as 1970 came to a close and the world this generation had envisioned no longer seemed viable, a sense of disillusion and loss fell over us; we weren't the people we once were. But we couldn't go home again either, having challenged the assumptions of that older order. The black and white days were over, or were they. They say those whom do not learn from their mistakes are destine to repeat them. Are we as a nation reliving 4 years ago ? The riots, protests its a different time in space but the sound is the same is it not. Different players but we are still the pawns. Paul PS. Included the songs vid with lyrics for your enjoyment.