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    American Pie

    Don McLean

    Chorus Strum: D   D U D   D U

                  1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +

    Folk Strum:   D   D U   U D U

                  1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +


    Chord Guide

          3    4

    G:    3x0003


    D:    xx0232


    Em7:   020000


    Am:   x02210

           32 1

    C:    x32010


    Em:   022000


    D7:   xx0212

            1 2

    A7:   x02020

            2 1

    Am7:  x02010


    Verse 1 (hold each chord):

         (½)          (½)            

    A [G]long [D] long [Em7] time ago [Am] I can still re[C]member

                                                              (2)                       (½)                 (½)

    how that [Em]music used to make me [D]smile And [G]I knew [D]if I had


    [Em7]my chance that [Am]I could make those [C]people dance and


    [Em]maybe they'd be [C]happy for a [D]while.


    [Em]But February [Am]made me shiver [Em]With every paper [Am]I'd

               (½)                      (½)                

    deliver [C]Bad news [G]on the [Am]doorstep I c[C]ouldn't take one

                            (½)                 (½)

    [D]more step I [G]can't re[D]member if I [Em]cried When I [Am7]read

                                                     (½)                         (½)                            (2)

    about his [D]widowed bride. But [G]something [D]touched me [Em]deep


    inside The [C]day the [D7]Music [G]Died



     (½)            (½)                      (½)                     (½)                              (½)

    [G]bye [C]bye Miss A[G]merican [D]Pie Drove my [G]Chevy to the

     (½)                           (½)                       (½)                                 (½)                    (½)

    [C]levy But the [G]levy was [D]dry.  And them [G]good old [C]boys were

                 (½)                             (½)                          

    drinking [G]whiskey and [D]rye.  Singin' [Em hold]this'll be the day that


    I [Am hold]die [Em hold]this'll be the day that I [D7 riff]die.


    Verse 2 (w/ Folk Strum):



    [G]Did you write the [Am]book of love And do [C]you have faith in


    [Am]God above?  [Em]If the Bible [D]tells you so. [D riff]  Do

     (½)                (½)                                          

    [G]you be[D]lieve in [Em]Rock 'n Roll?   Can [Am7]music save your


    [C]mortal soul? And [Em]can you teach me [A7]how to dance [D]real




    Well, I [Em hold]know that you're in [D hold]love with him 'cause I [Em

                                                                             (½)                           (½)

    hold]saw you dancin' [D hold]in the gym.  You [C]both kicked [G]off your

                               (½)                     (½)                    

    [D] shoes Man, I [C]dig those [G] rhythm and [D7]blues.  I was a

      (½)              (½)                               

    [G]lonely [D]teenage [Em]broncin' buck With a [Am]pink carnation and a

                                    (½)               (½)                 

    [C]pickup truck. But [G]I knew [D]I was [Em]out of luck The [C]day the

                      (½)           (½)    (½)                        (½)

    [D7]music [G]died [C] [G] I started [D7]singin'




    Verse 3 (w/ Folk Strum):


    [G]Now for ten years we've been [Am]on our own And [C]moss grows fat


    on a [Am]rollin' stone [Em]  But that's not how it [D]used to be

                                (½)              (½)

    [D riff] When the [G]jester [D]sang for the [Em]King and Queen.  In


    a [Am7]coat he borrowed [C]from James Dean And a [Em]voice that


    [A7]came from [D]you and me. [D riff]



    Oh, and [Em hold]while the King was [D hold]looking down The [Em

                                                                               (½)                        (½)

    hold]jester stole  his [D hold]thorny crown  The [C]courtroom [G] was


    ad[D]journed No [C]verdict was re[D7]turned And while [G]Lennon


    [D]read a [Em]book of Marx The [Am]court kept practice [C]in the park. 

           (½)                    (½)

    And [G]we sang [D]dirges [Em]in the dark The [C]day the [D7]Music

    (½)               (½)    (½)                       (½)

    [G]Died. [C] [G] We were [D7]singin'




    Verse 4 (w/ Folk Strum):


    [G]Helter-Skelter in a [Am]summer swelter The [C]Byrds flew off with a


    [Am]fallout shelter.  [Em]Eight Miles High and [D]falling fast

                    (½)                 (½)

    [D riff] It [G]landed [D]foul out [Em]on the grass. The


    [Am7]players tried [C]for a forward pass But the [Em]jester's [A7]on


    the sidelines [D]in a cast. [D riff]



    Now the [Em hold]half-time air was [D hold]sweet perfume While the [Em

                                                                                (½)                       (½)

    hold]sergeants played a [D hold]marching tune  [C]We all got [G]up to


    [D]dance But we [C]never got [D7]the chance.  'cause the [G]players


    [D]tried to [Em]take the field The [Am]marching band re[C]fused to

                          (½)        (½)

    yield.  Do you [G] re[D]call what [Em]was reveiled the [C]day the

                     (½)               (½)    (½)                           (½)

    [D7]Music [G]Died? [C] [G] We started [D7]singin'




    Verse 5 (w/ Folk Strum):


    Oh, and [G]there we were all [Am]in one place A [C]generation


    [Am]Lost in Space [Em]With no time left to [D]start again [D riff]


    So come on, [G]Jack be nimble.  [Em]Jack be quick Jack [Am7]Flash sat


    on a [C]candlestick 'cause [Em]fire is the [A7]Devil's only [D]friend



    Oh, and [Em hold]as I watched him [D hold]on the stage My [Em

                                                                                   (½)                    (½)

    hold]hands were clenched in [D hold]fists of rage  [C]No angel [G]born in


    [D]hell Could [C]break that Satan's [D7]spell  And as the [G]flames


    climbed [D]high in[Em]to the night To [Am]light the sacri[C]fical rite. I

            (½)                 (½)

    saw [G]Satan  [D]laughing [Em]with delight The [C]day the [D7]Music

    (½)              (½)   (½)                      (½)

    [G]Died [C] [G] He was [D7]singin'




    Verse 6 (hold each chord):

      (½)                 (½)

    I [G]met a [D]girl who sang the [Em]blues And I [Am]asked her for some

                                                                                      (2)                 (½)

    [C]happy news.  But [Em]she just smiled and turned [D]away I [G]went


    down [D]to the sacred [Em7]store.  Where I'd [Am]heard the music


    [C]years before But the [Em]man there said the [A7]music wouldn't





    And in the [Em]streets the children [Am]screamed The [Em]lovers cried,

                                                         (½)              (½)  

    and the poets [Am]dreamed.  But [C]not a [G]word was [Am]spoken The

                                                                     (½)                       (½)

    [C]Church bells all were [D7]broken And [G]three men [D]I


    ad[Em]mire most The [Am7]Father, Son and the [G]Holy Ghost.  They

    (½)                          (½)

    [G]caught the [D]last train [Em]for the coast The [C]Day the [D7]Music


    [G]Died.  And they were singing




    (continue Chorus Strum)

    They were singing

    (½)            (½)                      (½)                     (½)                              (½)

    [G]bye [C]bye Miss A[G]merican [D]Pie Drove my [G]Chevy to the

     (½)                           (½)                       (½)                                 (½)                    (½)

    [C]levy But the [G]levy was [D]dry.  And them [G]good old [C]boys were

                  (½)                           (½)                           (½)                             (½)

    drinking [G]whiskey and [D]rye.  Singin' [G]this'll be the [D]day

               (½)                     (½)

    that I [G hold]die [C hold] [G hold]

    This file is the author's own work and represents his interpretation of this song. It's intended solely for private study, scholarship or research.