Saturday, November 15, 2014

The longest song I ever heard

The longest song I ever heard
but I remember every word,
and also I recall the day
the music died.

Over at the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, where I was once a toad myself, Kerry recently asked for poems about iconic people.

Many icons from my youth are said to be mentioned in the song Kerry posted in her challenge: American Pie by Don McLean. However, I've read that McLean hasn't agreed or disagreed with anyone's interpretation of what he calls "just poetry" so perhaps we'll never really know. On the other hand, I've also read online articles claiming they are McLean's explanation of the song.

"The day the music died" is said to refer to the day Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper (JP Richardson) died in a plane crash in 1959. I remember the three so well...

The first 45 rpm record I ever bought for myself was "Oh, Boy!" by Buddy Holly and the Crickets in 1958. Oh, boy, how I loved Buddy Holly!

Everyone thought The Big Bopper was a lot of fun and, believe it or not, his song "Chantilly Lace" was considered somewhat risqué, if not downright scandalous, by parents of the young crowd.

Ritchie Valens wasn't even 18 when he died, but his top song "La Bamba" reached a whole new audience when the movie of the same name was released in 1987.

Music is lovely
music is fine—
music is fatal
to fav'rites of mine:
Bobby Darin also died young
and Mama Cass as well.
Sam Cooke was shot
Otis Redding was not—
he died in a plane crash, too.
Accidents and overdoses,
claimed too many lives.
Brian Jones
of the Rolling Stones,
thought to be suicide.
Jim Morrison
and Janis Joplin,
Jimi Hendrix, too,
at twenty-seven
went to heaven,
all three far too soon.
The list goes on,
and on and on,
of singers dying young,
but in all, or many, cases
the music lives today.
The music
did not die,
after all.
Kay Davies, November, 2014                                                                                           


Red said...

One wonders what may have been produced if these people had lived. Yes! Buddy holly was awesome.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
KAY!!! Lovely to see you here... and I second what Red said. Big hugs, YAM xx

Sherry Blue Sky said...

This was a cool trip back, Kay. I had forgotten Chantilly Lace!!!!! Cool to dance to. Does seem like a lot of famous singers die nice to see you writing, my friend.

Small Kucing said...

I wonders too. So many of them gone.

Mara said...

What about that song by Carly Simon? You're so vain. She won't say who it is about and even though rumours are plenty, it is still not conclusive. I wonder if we will ever know!

Lisa Claro said...

Great post! I enjoyed this. I spent HOURS poring over American Pie trying to figure it out. Your poem is spectacular. I thought of Jim Croce, as well. *sigh*

Kay L. Davies said...

@ Lisa ...I forgot to mention Jim Croce, and he was wonderful. Great to hear from you.

Reader Wil said...

I was thinking of John Denver, who. also died in a plane crash.
Thanks for this post! Next week my post will be about toad stools.
Have a great weekend..
Wil, ABCW Team.

Powell River Books said...

They were just before my radio listening time, but remember the names and songs. The 60s and 70s lost many great musicians to drugs, alcohol, and fast lifestyles. Such a loss. - Margy

Leon Sims said...

I like your poem - it fits with my era.
There was also Tim Buckley on the same period of the Doors and same label from memory. Died young as did his singer songwriter son, Jeff Buckley.

Gattina said...

All singers who remind me my youth !
Long time I haven't heard from you !

Kay L. Davies said...

Thanks, all of you.
Wil, I forgot to mention John Denver, and I actually saw him perform. I had to make my way across a high catwalk to the press box. I froze several times (horrible fear of heights) but finally got there, and John Denver was wonderful. I've always been glad I forced myself across that catwalk and back.
Luv, K