I’ve just been reading about the shootings at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. It was a gay venue that was attacked by a lone gunman. Twenty people were thought to have been killed. And so their music died.
The song itself is a reflection on the great American dream. The hope that sprang up in the fifties stemmed from a lot of the population finding themselves more affluent and able to afford the things their parents could only dream of.
Funny that isn’t it? This great American dream was happening against the backdrop of the civil rights campaign. Racism had led to countless atrocities against the black community. How many were living the dream only to sneak away at night to don their KKK uniforms, before rocking up with their burning crosses at some family’s home because the father was seen to be making a success of his life? How many people were shot or hanged because their son was black and one of the young white girls in the town had taken a shine to him?
Thus, the ambiguity of the Don Mclean lyrics opens up a whole host of topics for debate. I had originally meant this post to be about the time when English music died. It died along with Henry Purcell on 21st November 1695. But that’s now another story.
I just want to say that the words of that song never really go away and there are a lot of areas it can relate to. Despite the title, it transcends international boundaries; I could relate many parts of that song to points of social development in the United Kingdom.
All I can think of now is the plight of victims and relatives, regardless of being in the news or not. Why are so many people’s dreams shattered by others?
Isn’t the world big enough for everyone’s dreams?
Thank-you for reading.