"American Pie" explained by Glenn Beck: What does "The Day the music died" mean?

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“Our culture has erased the meaning of anybody who tried to issue a warning. Anybody who was on the other side. They're trying to do it now with the ‘Hobbit’ and the ‘Lord of the Rings’ and they are saying that that has nothing to do with Jesus and Christianity. That was the point. They're trying tried to do it with ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ and the ‘Adventure of the Chronicles of Narnia’. They try to do this every step of the way and they've done it with much of music,” Glenn said on radio this moring

He was specifically referring to songs like “Revolution” by The Beatles, which was clearly suspicious of violent revolution and uprisings, as well as “American Pie” by Don McLean.

Many people think that the song “American Pie” is about the death of Buddy Holly and other musicians in a plane crash, but Glenn presented a reading of the lyrics on radio and showed how it could also be seen as a warning against the danger of violent uprisings like what is happening now with Occupy Wall Street.

“ I've never understood I drove the Chevy to the levee, I didn't know what that was. Let's just start there on the simple part because Chevy, just think of Chevy and mom and apple pie. He's making a point here. Chevy, I drove my Chevy to the levee. This actually goes back into the 1950s and a Dinah Shore commercial for Chevy,” Glenn explained.

Watch the commercial Glenn is referring to below:

“So America is the greatest country of all and it was an era that believed in America. I drove my Chevy to the levee. I drove the Chevy. I bought into the idea that America was the greatest.”

“So in the second verse he goes back to his childhood and he goes back to sock hops in the gym and the pickup trucks and... and here he's talking about the book of love, which was a song by the Monotones in 1957 and he asked her about faith. He asked her about faith and whether she believes, no matter what, if the Bible tells her so. That is the representation of the faith in the Fifties. He then talks about, do you have faith in rock and roll, that music will save your mortal soul.”

“But music is the metaphor for life in America. So the girl moves on to somebody else, leaving him with his truck and the carnation. But it's not really about the girl. It's about America. She's moved on from all of those things just as America began to move on from all of those things that faith would help you, that faith, you would do it through faith. You would do things because the Bible told you so. But now you're starting to believe that music will save your soul.”

Glenn played more of the song, reaching the part where McLean sings “Now for 10 years we’ve been on our own”.

“For ten years now we've been on our own. It's the decade of the Sixties. Remember in the Fifties you had faith, you had the Bible, you had family, you had all of these things that were there. But now for ten years we've been on our own and moss grows fat on a Rolling Stone. This is referring to Bob Dylan who the court jester and his song like a Rolling Stone. Also Dylan wore a coat from James Dean on the cover of his '63 album Free Wheelin' and McLean laments all of the change in our values that was occurring in the 1960s when he said that's not how that's not the way it used to be.”

“So he's singing dirges in the dark mourning the loss of America, that America is changing fundamentally. Lenin read a book of Marx. We know that John Lennon was influenced at the time by Karl Marx. Lennon read a book of Marx. The quartet practiced in the park. Could be a reference to the Beatles preparing for their role in the cultural revolution. And as the ultimate icons of the new era. But McLean is saying, but we sang dirges in the dark because we knew what was coming.”

What was coming?

Helter Skelter in a summer swelter

The birds flew off with the 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 halftime air was sweet perfume

While 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?

We started singing

“Helter Skelter in a Summer Swelter, again the Beatles song reference also indicates the chaos and the violence that broke out in the summer of '68. The Byrds he spells with a Y, flew off to the fallout shelter. Nature, represented by the Byrds, sense the danger, headed for safety in a shelter. But eight miles high is another song reference by the band the Byrds. So they are falling fast, because everything is falling fast. Everybody, the smart people, nature knows, get into a fallout shelter. Then he goes into the youth culture clashing with the government violently, using a football metaphor.”

“You're at halftime. He said the players youth going for a forward pass. The players going for a forward pass. That's the youth, going for a forward pass. And the government hitting back. And the jester on the sidelines in a cast. Remember that's, the jester is Bob Dylan. Bob Dylan had a serious motorcycle accident for a while and he was healing on his own and music flounder everything kind of floundered for a time. Then he gets to halftime.”

“Halftime, he's seeing the summer of love. This is 1967, a brief respite in '67 with the flower children. Sergeant's playing a marching tune. That's the Beatles and Sergeant Pepper. And the summer of love was an opportunity to get up and dance. But the violence returned in the summer of '68. And remember we're here at '68, recreate '68. We never got the chance.”

“We just passed our summer of love. What happened there in the park, that was just love. There were people in the park that were just trying to be loved. We're now headed for 1968.”

“What happened in the summer of '68. Do you remember, do you recall what was revealed, the Miss America protest of '68 when women were burning their bras and everything else. But also Altamont, and this is such a clear, clear message against what is coming and what happened in an event that almost is erased. It's more important than Woodstock, and it was it's being erased in history. Here he is warning.”

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 candle stick

‘Cause fire is the devil’s only friend.

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 flames climbed high into the night

To light the sacrificial rite

I saw satan laughing with delight

the day the music died.

“ Because fire is its only friend. Okay. Gathering all in one place, 300,000 flower children flocked to Altamont in the fall of 1969. It was, it was the followup to Woodstock: Drugs, alcohol, increasing violence. They were a generation lost in space. Remember, the space race was also going on. There was nowhere left to go. Their momentum was fading and the decade was gone. And so was America. Then the rolling stones who had pushed the counterculture envelope with the last couple of albums took the stage as McLean alludes to with, "Come on, Jack be nimble, Jack be quick, Jack sat on the candlestick," that is the Jumpin' Jack Flash song by the Rolling Stones. And he's referring here to Mick Jagger was the Devil who refuses to end the Altamont concert despite the violence and the loss of crowd. Even, even the Grateful Dead said this is crazy.”

“’No angel born in hell could break that Satan spell.’ The Hells Angels were hired for security. They couldn't stop the chaos. In fact, they added to it. And Jagger, Satan in the song, continued to hold the audience in his spell.”

“A gun wielding man in the crowd heads for the stage but Hells Angels intercept him and they stab him to death. That's what happened at Altamont. They stab him to death. The sacrificial rite. Shortly before the stabbing, right before this guy starts going on a rampage, the Stones had performed ‘Sympathy For the Devil’.”

“Could it get any creepier than this? Don McLean was not just writing about this event but the demise of an era. The erosion of your culture. The erosion of our values. Altamont was the final blow to bring about the day the music died.”

Glenn took a break and then returned to discuss the song further.

“We're just looking at some of the old interviews with Don McLean because he never talks about this song anymore. But at the time he said that he was obsessed with what he called the death of America and so many things. The loss of so many things that he grew up with.”

“ (McLean) said in a sense ‘American Pie’ was a despairing song. In another way it was hopeful. He said Pete Seeger told me that he saw it as a song in which people were saying something, that they had been fooled, they had been hurt and they weren't going to let it happen again. He said that's a good way to look at it, a hopeful way. Unfortunately Pete Seeger was a communist and I mean, that's the way that's why this happens again.”

“It happened with Mao and it won't happen this way again. It happened at Altamont but it won't happen like that again. I mean, it's the same story over and over and over again.”

“The good news is, is that there was at least somebody that was in this culture at that time that was mourning the loss of America then and we didn't lose America then. We're still going. We might despair now and say, ‘Jeez, we're going to lose America’. That's not necessarily true unless we allow it.”

Reform Conservatism and Reaganomics: A middle road?

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Senator Marco Rubio broke Republican ranks recently when he criticized the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act by stating that “there's no evidence whatsoever that the money's been massively poured back into the American worker." Rubio is wrong on this point, as millions of workers have received major raises, while the corporate tax cuts have led to a spike in capital expenditure (investment on new projects) of 39 percent. However, the Florida senator is revisiting an idea that was front and center in the conservative movement before Donald Trump rode down an escalator in June of 2015: reform conservatism.

RELATED: The problem with asking what has conservatism conserved

The "reformicons," like Rubio, supported moving away from conservative or supply-side orthodoxy and toward policies such as the expansion of the child and earned income tax credits. On the other hand, longstanding conservative economic theory indicates that corporate tax cuts, by lowering disincentives on investment, will lead to long-run economic growth that will end up being much more beneficial to the middle class than tax credits.

But asking people to choose between free market economic orthodoxy and policies guided towards addressing inequality and the concerns of the middle class is a false dichotomy.

Instead of advocating policies that many conservatives might dismiss as redistributionist, reformicons should look at the ways government action hinders economic opportunity and exacerbates income inequality. Changing policies that worsen inequality satisfies limited government conservatives' desire for free markets and reformicons' quest for a more egalitarian America. Furthermore, pushing for market policies that reduce the unequal distribution of wealth would help attract left-leaning people and millennials to small government principles.

Criminal justice reform is an area that reformicons and free marketers should come together around. The drug war has been a disaster, and the burden of this misguided government approach have fallen on impoverished minority communities disproportionately, in the form of mass incarceration and lower social mobility. Not only has the drug war been terrible for these communities, it's proved costly to the taxpayer––well over a trillion dollars has gone into the drug war since its inception, and $80 billion dollars a year goes into mass incarceration.

Prioritizing retraining and rehabilitation instead of overcriminalization would help address inequality, fitting reformicons' goals, and promote a better-trained workforce and lower government spending, appealing to basic conservative preferences.

Government regulations tend to disproportionately hurt small businesses and new or would-be entrepreneurs. In no area is this more egregious than occupational licensing––the practice of requiring a government-issued license to perform a job. The percentage of jobs that require licenses has risen from five percent to 30 percent since 1950. Ostensibly justified by public health concerns, occupational licensing laws have, broadly, been shown to neither promote public health nor improve the quality of service. Instead, they serve to provide a 15 percent wage boost to licensed barbers and florists, while, thanks to the hundreds of hours and expensive fees required to attain the licenses, suppressing low-income entrepreneurship, and costing the economy $200 billion dollars annually.

Those economic losses tend to primarily hurt low-income people who both can't start businesses and have to pay more for essential services. Rolling back occupational licenses will satisfy the business wing's desire for deregulation and a more free market and the reformicons' support for addressing income inequality and increasing opportunity.

The favoritism at play in the complex tax code perpetuates inequality.

Tax expenditures form another opportunity for common ground between the Rubio types and the mainstream. Tax deductions and exclusions, both on the individual and corporate sides of the tax code, remain in place after the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Itemized deductions on the individual side disproportionately benefit the wealthy, while corporate tax expenditures help well-connected corporations and sectors, such as the fossil fuel industry.

The favoritism at play in the complex tax code perpetuates inequality. Additionally, a more complicated tax code is less conducive to economic growth than one with lower tax rates and fewer exemptions. Therefore, a simpler tax code with fewer deductions and exclusions would not only create a more level playing field, as the reformicons desire, but also additional economic growth.

A forward-thinking economic program for the Republican Party should marry the best ideas put forward by both supply-siders and reform conservatives. It's possible to take the issues of income inequality and lack of social mobility seriously, while also keeping mainstay conservative economic ideas about the importance of less cumbersome regulations and lower taxes.

Alex Muresianu is a Young Voices Advocate studying economics at Tufts University. He is a contributor for Lone Conservative, and his writing has appeared in Townhall and The Daily Caller. He can be found on Twitter @ahardtospell.

Is this what inclusivity and tolerance look like? Fox News host Tomi Lahren was at a weekend brunch with her mom in Minnesota when other patrons started yelling obscenities and harassing her. After a confrontation, someone threw a drink at her, the moment captured on video for social media.

RELATED: Glenn Addresses Tomi Lahren's Pro-Choice Stance on 'The View'

On today's show, Pat and Jeffy talked about this uncomfortable moment and why it shows that supposedly “tolerant" liberals have to resort to physical violence in response to ideas they don't like.

President Donald Trump has done a remarkable job of keeping his campaign promises so far. From pulling the US from the Iran Deal and Paris Climate Accord to moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem, the president has followed through on his campaign trail vows.

RELATED: The media's derangement over Trump has me wearing a new hat and predicting THIS for 2020

“It's quite remarkable. I don't know if anybody remembers, but I was the guy who was saying he's not gonna do any of those things," joked Glenn on “The News and Why it Matters," adding, “He has taken massive steps, massive movement or completed each of those promises … I am blown away."

Watch the video above to hear Glenn Beck, Sara Gonzales, Doc Thompson, Stu Burguiere and Pat Gray discuss the story.

Rapper Kendrick Lamar brings white fan onstage to sing with him, but here’s the catch

Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for American Express

Rapper Kendrick Lamar asked a fan to come onstage and sing with him, only to condemn her when she failed to censor all of the song's frequent mentions of the “n-word" while singing along.

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“I am so sorry," she apologized when Lamar pointed out that she needed to “bleep" that word. “I'm used to singing it like you wrote it." She was booed at by the crowd of people, many screaming “f*** you" after her mistake.

On Tuesday's show, Pat and Jeffy watched the clip and talked about some of the Twitter reactions.

“This is ridiculous," Pat said. “The situation with this word has become so ludicrous."