Anyway, they couldn’t have an album called American Pie and not have the song “American Pie,” could they? Here it is, not sung by the Peter Pan Children’s Chorus, but by a kinda-sorta Don McLean soundalike singing the first half of the classic song (or Side One, if you had the 45 of it). They do score extra points for singing the song as written, though, even if it’s not a terribly good rendition.
We now move on to the story of America, actually featuring the Peter Pan Children’s Chorus and some lady we don’t know that takes over the proceedings. I’ve skipped ahead a bit to the narration and build up to the song “Goin’ West.” It’s nice to know they mention one of my ancestors. No, not George Washington or Benjamin Franklin, but Mr. Nobody In Particular! At least they don’t romanticize the time in the narration, talking about things like “burying their dead in unmarked graves so the Indians wouldn’t find them.” I may be showing my ignorance of American History here, but were Indians known as grave robbers? They finally get on with the song, talking about how much hope they had that things would go well. If I remember my history (through educational games), they all die of dysentery before they get to the end, don’t they?
Well, it turns out that some of them survived after all, and now they’re out to blaze new trails “singing, whooping and a-hollerin’ their way across an entire continent”! I like the song “With an Empty Jug and a Musical Saw,” except for the fact that neither one of these instruments are featured in it. It’s nice, however, to find out that “that’s the way that Maw met Paw.” Way to go, pioneer dudes!
Next we go to the christening of the Transcontinental Railroad, and the country was growing. There was no stopping our nation of “tinkers and whittlers.” This brings us to a jazzy little number called “The Inventors Song.” I might even like this one better than the “Mother Necessity” song from American Rock.
Our final selection here is called “Opus 1920.” The first World War is over, and people celebrate during the Roaring ‘20s. This is a neat sort of rap song that mostly features the kids talking about flappers, flagpole sitters and stocks going up. Of course we know how it ends, don’t we?
Does America survive the stock market crash? What’s this about ANOTHER World War? And when do we get to the part where we can stay at home watching reality shows? All these questions (well, most of them anyway), are answered on the full album, which you can get here!