American Pie Lyrics Quiz

The 1971 Don McLean song, not the movie about horny teens.
Quiz by burntfrost
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Last updated: February 27, 2016
First submittedJune 10, 2014
Times taken13,144
Rating4.52
8:00
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Verse 1
A long, long time ago
I can still remember
How that music used to make me smile
And I knew if I had my chance
That I could make those people dance
And maybe they'd be happy for a while
But February made me shiver
With every paper I'd deliver
Bad news on the doorstep
I couldn't take one more step
I can't remember if I cried
When I read about his widowed bride
But something touched me deep inside
The day the music died
 
Chorus
So bye, bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
And them good ole boys were drinking whiskey and rye
Singin', "This will be the day that I die
This will be the day that I die"
 
Verse 2
Did you write the book of love
And do you have faith in God above
If the Bible tells you so
Do you believe in rock and roll
Can music save your mortal soul
And can you teach me how to dance real slow
Well I know that you're in love with him
'Cause I saw you dancin' in the gym
You both kicked off your shoes
Man, I dig those rhythm and blues
I was a lonely teenage broncin' buck
With a pink carnation and a pickup truck
But I knew I was out of luck
The day the music died
 
Verse 3
Now for ten years we've been on our own
And moss grows fat on a rolling stone
But that's not how it used to be
When the jester sang for the king and queen
In a coat he borrowed from James Dean
And a voice that came from you and me
Oh and while the king was looking down
The jester stole his thorny crown
The courtroom was adjourned
No verdict was returned
And while Lennon read a book on Marx
The quartet practiced in the park
And we sang dirges in the dark
The day the music died
Verse 4
Helter skelter in the summer swelter
The bird flew off with a fallout shelter
Eight miles high and falling fast
It landed foul on the grass
The players tried for a forward pass
With the jester on the sidelines in a cast
Now the half-time air was sweet perfume
While the sergeants played a marching tune
We all got up to dance
Oh, but we never got the chance
Cause the players tried to take the field
The marching band refused to yield
Do you recall what was revealed
The day the music died
 
Verse 5
Oh, and there we were all in one place
A generation lost in space
With no time left to start again
So come on, Jack be nimble, Jack be quick
Jack Flash sat on a candlestick
'Cause fire is the devil's only friend
Oh and as I watched him on the stage
My hands were clenched in fists of rage
No angel born in hell
Could break that Satan's spell
And as the flames climbed high into the night
To light the sacrificial rite
I saw Satan laughing with delight
The day the music died
 
Verse 6
I met a girl who sang the blues
And I asked her for some happy news
She just smiled and turned away
I went down to the sacred store
Where I'd heard the music years before
But the man there said the music wouldn't play
And in the streets, the children screamed
The lovers cried, and the poets dreamed
Not a word was spoken
The church bells all were broken
And the three men I admire most
The Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost
They caught the last train for the coast
The day the music died
+5
Level 53
Sep 25, 2015
Why isn't this quiz featured?
+4
Level ∞
Feb 25, 2016
Now it is!
+2
Level 75
Mar 13, 2016
Here's the quiz to write out every word of American Pie.
+3
Level 90
Feb 25, 2016
The "Music Died" at the end of the first verse isn't blanked out, but given in brackets. Also, I always thought it was 'last plane' to continue the reference to the death of Buddy Holly, etc. Been singing it wrong for years.
+2
Level ∞
Feb 26, 2016
Fixed
+2
Level 79
Feb 26, 2016
Classic song! It took me a while to figure out that "nimble" and "quick" had to be entered together. Other than that, nice quiz!
+1
Level 65
Feb 27, 2016
Great quiz, but you're right. I entered "nimble" and "quick" separately, and then figured I must have remembered wrong.
+1
Level ∞
Feb 27, 2016
Changed it so that only nimble has to be entered.
+1
Level 73
Feb 28, 2016
Fun quiz, especially for baby boomers. Got em all but took almost the whole last minute to get As the flames "CLIMBED" high.....Good quiz!
+2
Level 61
May 11, 2016
Average score: 48/84. My score: 79/84. Points earned = 3/5. I understand the mechanics behind JetPunk points, but it sure doesn't make any sense. If they're going to integrate a points system, it should be based on how well you do, regardless of the comparison to everyone else.
+4
Level 90
May 11, 2016
Ah, the decades old complaint about curve grading.
+3
Level 61
Jun 6, 2016
And yet, less than a month after posting a suggestion, the grading system is changed :) thank you for listening and being open, QM.
+1
Level 44
Jun 3, 2019
But then you could just take the easy quizzes and everyone would get 5. The points are about how well you do compared to the norm.
+1
Level 69
May 11, 2016
Missed the "it landed foul on the grass". I always thought it was "out on the grass".
+1
Level 78
May 11, 2016
With the fuzzy sounds from our radios back then I'm surprised we actually got any of the lyrics correct. I'm often amazed when hearing the oldies on the clear channels now, at how badly we botched so many lyrics.
+2
Level 63
May 11, 2016
100% easily, I love this song. And by the way, it's "Lenin" as in Vladimir Lenin, not "Lennon."
+6
Level 66
May 11, 2016
No, McLean has very purposely avoided clarifying whether the lyric references John Lennon or Vladimir Lenin. Lennon's worldview had Marxist tendencies, and when one considers that the song itself is a paean to the music of that age, it's easy to think it could be John Lennon. The "jester" is thought to be Bob Dylan, and the fifth verse is thought to reference the Rolling Stones' concert at Altamont ("Jack Flash"...as in "Jumpin' Jack Flash" and "no angel born in hell" as in the Hell's Angels, who famously did security detail and murdered a crowd member at that show.
+2
Level 82
May 11, 2016
Plus the quartet mentioned in the next line is the Beatles. Also, Lenin had been dead for a while, so him doing anything during the '60s would be unlikely.
+2
Level 73
May 11, 2016
Can someone make one of the Weird Al parody for Star Wars Episode I? I would do much better on that :-)
+1
Level 54
May 20, 2016
So would I, I fear...
+1
Level 85
Jul 7, 2018
How on Earth does Weird All look so much younger than he did in 1983?
+2
Level 71
Jan 11, 2020
I’ve long suspected Weird Al is a vampire.
+1
Level 65
May 11, 2016
5:17 remaining
+1
Level 85
Jul 25, 2016
Which is longer: the song or the time given to finish this quiz? :-\ Sorry, never been a fan of this song; wrong generation I guess. I've heard it done at karaoke a couple times and it goes on forever!
+3
Level 82
Oct 28, 2017
It's a great song, but not for karaoke. Karaoke isn't like a concert, where the people go expecting to sit and listen. They go expecting to participate. Doing a 7 1/2 minute song at karaoke is very inconsiderate, IMO.
+1
Level 85
Jun 10, 2021
Go easy. He didn't start the fire.
+1
Level 31
Mar 31, 2021
I'm 12 and got 69 - you're not from the wrong generation!
+1
Level 53
Aug 27, 2016
I have finally found a style of quiz that I am ROCKIN' - lyrics etched forever in my mind....a sign of a misspent youth?
+1
Level 82
Oct 27, 2016
Them good ol' boys were not drinking "whisky AND rye". Rye IS whisky. (that would be like saying they were drinking soda and Pepsi, which wouldn't make any sense) They were drinking "whisky IN Rye", as in Rye, NY. As in, the town about 4-5 miles from New Rochelle, NY, where Don McLean was born. Listen carefully. He's not saying "and", he's saying "in".
+1
Level 71
Jan 11, 2020
Genius hedges all its bets and has it as “whiskey ‘n rye”! Quizmaster and/or burntfrost, maybe this is a line to be generous, and allow both ‘and’ and ‘in’ (and ‘n’, for that matter)?
+1
Level 82
Oct 28, 2017
The lyrics are still wrong. Should be "in Rye", not "and rye".
+1
Level 35
Jan 7, 2018
I knew the first three verses perfectly. The last three - not so much.

Fun quiz.

+1
Level 44
Jun 3, 2019
While *Lenin* read a book on Marx, not John Lennon
+1
Level 43
Jan 15, 2020
My whole life I thought it was "Buy buy this American Pie." SMH
+1
Level 31
Mar 31, 2021
Hahahahahahahahahahaha
+1
Level 65
Feb 13, 2020
Had no trouble finishing this one (I'm of the right age, I suppose), but I did learn that I've been singing a line in the third verse wrong for 48 years. Always thought it was "the court kept practice in the park" (because he was just singing about a courtroom that was adjourned). You learn something new every day!
+1
Level 56
Apr 29, 2020
"King and queen" only works if you spell out "and," but not if you use an ampersand instead. Could this please be fixed?
+1
Level 72
Oct 31, 2020
Or you could just write "and".
+1
Level 30
May 23, 2020
hi great quiz i was wondering if it was ok if i made a quiz but all the words
+1
Level 74
Mar 10, 2021
I was able to make a quiz with all 868 words in the song. Check it out: https://www.jetpunk.com/user-quizzes/1316680/american-pie-by-don-mclean-all-868-lyrics
+1
Level 40
Mar 21, 2021
I only Madonna's abbreviated cover.
+2
Level 31
Mar 31, 2021
I scored 69 at 12 years old. I'm pretty happy with that!!
+1
Level 54
Jun 22, 2021
I always thought it was Lenin reading the book on Marx - not Lennon.
+1
Level 39
Jul 13, 2021
Btw is was feautred in Black Widow (2021)
+1
Level 59
Jul 24, 2021
Dirges? For my entire life I've though they were singing dirties in the dark, which I assumed meant ribald shanties. Mondegreen.
+1
Level 55
Aug 22, 2021
If you are interested, check out my lyrics quiz for the Weird Al parody "A Saga Begins"

https://www.jetpunk.com/user-quizzes/1444104/weird-al-a-saga-begins-lyrics

+1
Level 85
Sep 10, 2021
No matter what you will end up mumbling the lyrics like Dwight and Michael Scott at a beautiful chair model's fresh grave.