If you’re at all like me you might be able to appreciate an occasional Weird Al song as a guilty pleasure. One of my favorites of his is called, The Saga Begins, which is a parody of the classic rock song, American Pie, by Don McLean. The chorus goes like this:
My my this here Anakin guy
May be Vader someday later – now he’s just a small fry
He left his home and kissed his mommy goodbye
Sayin’ “Soon I’m gonna be a Jedi”
“Soon I’m gonna be a Jedi”
If you’re familiar with, Star Wars, another guilty pleasure of mine, the meaning of the lyrics of this Weird Al parody are not hard to figure out, because if you’ve seen Star Wars Episode I, you’ll realize that the lyrics simply tell the story of the film from start to finish; and in no small detail at that! But if you listen to the original song by Don McLean, it might leave you scratching your head over the meaning of much of the lyrics, which, by the way, are full of Christian imagery.
All I’ve ever heard about the meaning of the song is that it is a tribute to 50’s pop sensation, Buddy Holly, and there are a few references to him in the lyrics that are not hard to pick out. Over the years, and after hearing it dozens, if not scores of times on the radio, I’ve managed to discern references in the lyrics to other pop icons such as Elvis and Bob Dylan. But even after listening to the song so many times, the bulk of the lyrics’ meaning have remained a mystery to me.
If you’ve ever wondered about the Christian imagery that is woven throughout the song, you should check out this edition of Russell Moore’s podcast, The Cross and the Jukebox, in which he and Dr. Gregory Alan Thornbury discuss American Pie, its Christian imagery, and what relevance it may have for us today…
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