“Sound’s like Daddy’s at church.” That’s what my daughter told my wife this morning when she heard me singing (loudly) to Don McLean’s American Pie in the shower this morning.
Yesterday my daughter was playing American Pie on Guitar Hero and she was complaining that it is 8 minutes long, much longer than the average pop/rock song, and her hands hurt. I told her that if I could make a religion up out of anything, it would be American Pie. I think the song has the perfect mixture of historical allusion and cryptic poetry to make a compelling religion. (Religion needs the right balance between reason and unreason.) I wondered aloud what to call it and my wife suggested “American Piests” (play on “pietism”).
Given the recent debate going on over so-called “pop culture paganism”, I thought it was a good time (well, maybe “good” isn’t the right word) to start my new religion. I love throwing fuel on the fire. (Guess what character in the song I identify most with?) So, I offer you …
Organizing event: Every religion its moment of creation: Moses on Sinai, Jesus on the Cross, Muhammed at Mecca. For American Pieism, it’s the “day the music died”, which is different for every generation, and different for different people.
Prophet: Don McLean, of course
Gods/Trinity: Buddy Holly/Ritchie Valens/Big Bopper, Hank Williams/Elvis/Holly, Janis Joplin/Jimi Hendrix/Jim Morrison, JFK/RFK/ML King Jr., the Christian Father/Son/Holy Ghost, or name your own (here’s a list you can choose from)
Anti-God/Devil/Jester: Mick Jagger, Bob Dylan, or name your own
Catechism: “I believe in rock and roll and music can save my mortal soul.”
Ethos: John Lennon’s “Imagine”
Communion: whiskey and rye
Heresy: Madonna’s cover of the song
Apocalypse: “Eight miles high and falling fast” (nuclear apocalypse)
How to join: Play the karaoke version of “American Pie” through on Guitar Hero and score above a 50%.
(I’m open to suggestions for more details.)
Am I serious? Well, following the footsteps of the prophet of American Pieism, I will never tell.