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Tabbed by Todd Christensen

American Pie – Don McClean          140 BPM                              

[Verse]
  G     D    Em7
A long, long time ago, 
Am            C               Em                    D (strum)
I can still remember how that music used to make me smile
    G      D    Em7
And I know if I had my chance,
     Am                 C                Em              C                  D Dsus4 D Dsus2 D
That I could make those people dance and maybe they'd be happy for a while
Em              Am              Em               Am
   But February made me shiver, with every paper I'd deliver
C        G      Am          C                 D
Bad news on the doorstep, I couldn't take one more step
  G       D      Em                Am7            D
I can't remember if I cried when I read about his widowed bride
G         D          Em
Something touched me deep inside
    C       D7    G  
The day the music died

[Chorus]
   G    C        G        D
So bye, bye Miss American Pie
         G            C            G        D
Drove my Chevy to the levy but the levy was dry
         G        C                  G           D
And them good old boys were drinkin' whiskey and rye
        Em                          A7   Em                          D7  Dsus4 D Dsus2 D
Singin' this will be the day that I die, this will be the day that I die

[Verse]
G                   Am      
  Did you write the book of love
       C                 Am         Em              D             Dsus4 D Dsus2 D
And do you have faith in god above,    if the bible tells you so?
G                   Em
  Do you believe in rock and roll
    Am7            C                    Em                  A7         D     Dsus4 D Dsus2 D
Can music save your mortal soul and can you teach me how to dance real slow?
       Em                  D                     Em              D
Well I know that you're in love with him  'cuz I saw you dancin' in the gym
    C           G        A7           C                    D7
You both kicked off your shoes, man I dig those rhythm and blues
        G      D       Em                   Am                   C
I was a lonely teenage broncin' buck with a pink carnation and a pickup truck
    G      D     Em              C       D7    G    C  G
But I knew I was out of luck the day the music died,      I started singin'

[Chorus]
   G    C        G        D
   Bye, bye Miss American Pie
         G            C            G        D
Drove my Chevy to the levy but the levy was dry
         G        C                  G           D
And them good old boys were drinkin' whiskey and rye
        Em                          A7   Em                          D7
Singin' this will be the day that I die, this will be the day that I die

[Verse]
        G                    Am              
Now for ten years we've been on our own,
    C                   Am                Em                        D  
and moss grows fat on a rolling stone but that's not how it used to be
          G      D           Em
When the jester sang for the king and queen 
     Am7              C                    Em                   A7      D Dsus4 D Dsus2 D
in a coat he borrowed from James Dean in a voice that came from you and me
    Em                D                  Em               D
And while the king was looking down, the jester stole his thorny crown
    C         G     A7          C             D7
The courtroom was adjourned, no verdict was returned
          G     D      Em                Am               C
And while Lenin read a book on Marx, the quartet practiced in the park
    G        D     Em              C         D7     G  C  G
And we sang dirges in the dark the day the music died,       we were singin'

[Chorus]
   G    C        G        D
So bye, bye Miss American Pie
         G            C            G        D
Drove my Chevy to the levy but the levy was dry
         G        C                  G           D
And them good old boys were drinkin' whiskey and rye
        Em                          A7   Em                          D7  Dsus4 D Dsus2 D
Singin' this will be the day that I die, this will be the day that I die

[Verse]
G              Am
Helter skelter in a summer swelter
    C                     Am              Em                   D               Dsus4 D Dsus2 D
the birds flew off with a fallout shelter,   eight miles high and fallin' fast
   G      D    Em
It landed foul on the grass
    Am7                 C             Em                     A7             D  Dsus4 D Dsus2 D
the players tried for a forward pass, with the jester on the sidelines in a cast
       Em                 D                    Em                 D
Now at halftime there was sweet perfume, while sergeants played a marching Tune
C          G        A7      C                D7
We all got up to dance, but we never got the chance
         G       D        Em                  Am              C
'Cuz the players tried to take the field, the marching band refused to yield
    G    D         Em               C       D7    G    C  G
Do you recall what was the feel the day the music died,      we started singin'

[Chorus]
   G    C        G        D
So bye, bye Miss American Pie
         G            C            G        D
Drove my Chevy to the levy but the levy was dry
         G        C                  G           D
And them good old boys were drinkin' whiskey and rye
        Em                          A7   Em                          D7  Dsus4 D Dsus2 D
Singin' this will be the day that I die, this will be the day that I die

[Bridge]
    G                 Am
And there we were all in one place,
  C          Am             Em                   D           Dsus4 D Dsus2 D
a generation lost in space, with no time left to start again
           G       D       Em             Am7                 C
So come on Jack be nimble, Jack be quick, Jack Flash sat on a candle 
       Em               A7           D      Dsus4 D Dsus2 D
stick, 'cuz fire is the devil's only friend

     Em              D                Em                     D
And as I watched him on the stage, my hands were clenched in fists of rage
   C     G       A7         C                  D7
No angel born in Hell could bread that Satan's spell
           G              D      Em              Am             C
And as the flames climbed high into the night to light the sacrificial rite
      G     D        Em               C       D7    G    C  G
I saw Satan laughing with delight the day the music died,     he was singin'

[Chorus]
   G    C        G        D
   bye, bye Miss American Pie
         G            C            G        D
Drove my Chevy to the levy but the levy was dry
         G        C                  G           D
And them good old boys were drinkin' whiskey and rye
        Em                          A7   Em                          D7
Singin' this will be the day that I die, this will be the day that I die

[Verse]
  G     D        Em
I met a girl who sang the blues
    Am                   C               Em                          D
And I asked her for some happy news, but she just smiled and turned away
  G         D      Em
I went down to the sacred store
          Am              C                     Em                 C
Where I'd heard the music years before, but the man there said the music
         D
wouldn't play
    Em                 Am                     Em                   Am
But in the streets the children screamed, the lovers cried and the poets dreamed
    C     G        Am          C                     D
But not a word was spoken, the church bells all were broken                                     
        G         D   Em             Am7     C            D7
And the three men I admire most, the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost
     G          D          Em                Am7     D7    G
They caught the last train for the coast the day the music died,
  
And they were singin'

[Chorus]
G    C        G        D
Bye, bye Miss American Pie
         G            C            G        D
Drove my Chevy to the levy but the levy was dry
         G        C                  G           D
And them good old boys were drinkin' whiskey and rye
        Em                          A7   Em                          D7  Dsus4 D Dsus2 D
Singin' this will be the day that I die, this will be the day that I die

they were singin'

G    C        G        D
Bye, bye Miss American Pie
         G            C            G        D
Drove my Chevy to the levy but the levy was dry
         G        C                  G           D
And them good old boys were drinkin' whiskey and rye
        C                D7         G   C   G
Singin' this will be the day that I die

            
            
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3 comments total.
+5 reply
Bustopher 324 Nov 27, 2012 01:37 AM

GREAT transcription of American Pie. I have the sheet music, but I want to bring it down to two pages; and a chord chart is the only way this can be done!

Just want to let you know that there are three minor errors in the lyrics:

First there's a typo. Do a search for "bread" (comes up in the fifth verse) "No angel born in hell could BREAK that Satan's spell" needs substituting.

Second is in the fourth verse which appears "Now the halftime there was sweet perfume" should actually be "Now the HALFTIME AIR was sweet perfume" (see how "air" matches "perfume").

Lastly in the same verse, last line should be "do you recall what WAS REVEALED the day the music died" (not "the real" as it appears".

Source for these corrections is the sheet music. I learnt this song in High School (1982) and when I started doing it again last week I had remembered all the words. Mind you I have been HEARING it since, but I haven't played it in years.

PS, all your chords are spot on.... Thanks, I know how many hours you put in to get just ONE song on paper at times!

0 reply
CaptainJules 74 Dec 10, 2016 08:34 PM

Kinda forgot how long this song was

0 reply
scosio 1,312 Jul 01, 2017 09:31 PM

LEVEE not LEVY...

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