Do You Believe in Rock and Roll?

Essays on Don McLean’s “American Pie”

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About the Book

Since its release in 1971, Don McLean’s song “American Pie” has become an indelible part of U.S. culture. It has sparked countless debates about the references within the lyrics; been celebrated as a chronicle of American life from the late 1950s through the early 1970s; and has become iconic itself as it has been remade, parodied, and referenced within numerous texts and forums. This volume offers a set of new essays that focus on the cultural and historical significance of the song. Representing a variety of perspectives and fields of study, the essays address such topics as historical and literary interpretations of the song’s lyrics, its musical qualities, the commentary the song offers on rock and roll history, the continuing significance of the song, and the ways in which the song has been used by various writers and artists.
Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.

About the Author(s)

Raymond I. Schuck is an assistant professor of communication in the Department of Humanities at Bowling Green State University Firelands in Huron, Ohio. His published works examine the cultural significance of various forms of popular culture.
Ray Schuck, a retired museum director, is a visiting assistant professor of history at Ohio Northern University in Ada, Ohio, where he established and teaches courses in the Public History/Museum Studies Program. He lives in Milan, Ohio.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Raymond I. Schuck and Ray Schuck
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 221
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2012
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7105-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0036-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

“American Pie” ix
Preface 1
Introduction: Far from Dry, Far from Gone
RAYMOND I. SCHUCK and RAY SCHUCK      9

1. A Long, Long Time Ago: A Lyrical Interpretation
JOSEPH E. BURNS      15
2. A Line by Line Analysis of a Classic Song
RAY SCHUCK      49
3. The Perception of Race in Rock and Roll
RICHARD J. MCGOWAN      76
4. Lyrical History: There Is More to Music Than Making the People Dance?!
RUSS CRAWFORD      87
5. Eight-and-a-Half Minutes Is a Long, Long Time
WILLIAM B. ROBISON      100
6. Rock and Roll Grows Up
HARRY EDWIN EISS      135
7. A Generation Lost in Space
ROBERT MCPARLAND      150
8. A Tale of Two Sagas
RAYMOND I. SCHUCK      157

Bibliography      173
About the Contributors      195
Index      197