1971 was the year everything changed in the music world, as DonMcLean’s epic composition AmericanPie was to shortly ascend to the summit of the charts. The longest song to achieve #1 Billboard status, it was steeped in symbolism and mysterious goings-on that enlarged the canvas for what was felt to be possible in popular music. Oh, and McLean was a formidable vocalist and performer, to boot.
Others have taken a swing at the iconic piece, most notably Madonna in 2000. This version is surprisingly strong, but lacks the sweep and power of the McLean iterations. The song remains a landmark to this day.
It is fair to say that a major theme in the song is the loss of innocence. It is also fair to say that there would appear to be a lot more going on than just that. And, finally, the tone of the song lends it more of a heroic than tragic quality.