Don McLean: Hit-song 'prophetic' of cancel culture

13 November 2021, 13:02 | Updated: 14 November 2021, 12:05

Singer-songwriter Don McLean argues his song 'American Pie' predicted cancel culture
Singer-songwriter Don McLean argues his song 'American Pie' predicted cancel culture. Picture: Alamy

By Seán Hickey

The singer-songwriter argues that his hit track 'American Pie' foresaw the culture wars and cancel culture.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Matt Frei spoke to musician and legend of the folk genre Don McLean in advance of his new tour to mark the 50th anniversary of American Pie.

"What do you think has made this song so durable?" Matt wondered.

"We’re in a very weird time now of the cancel culture" Mr McLean insisted, suggesting that his song had seen such societal division coming.

Read more: James O'Brien points out the 'problem' with the Online Harms Bill

Read more: Ash Sarkar: 'Journalism is at the mercy of unaccountable tech giants'

"We’ve just about cancelled the animal kingdom, we’ve cancelled the environment, we’re cancelling the oceans, you know, doesn’t American pie say ‘the day the music died’? Well, that’s the day we’re in!"

Read more: Dave Chappelle hits out at cancel culture and 'nonsense' transphobia accusations

"There’s so much stuff that’s happening that’s not good and it’s almost like the song feels prophetic in a sense", he added.

Read more: James O'Brien clashes with Piers Morgan on 'cancel culture'

Mr McLean didn't hold back on the gatekeepers of cancel culture who he claimed are "killing everything."

"We have people deciding who is worthy of being a statue…who are these people?"

Read more: 'Worrying' study finds over half of young ‘cancel’ people over opinions

Harping back to his hit song, Mr McLean noted that "the day the music died is the day that happened, and it seems to be happening".

When Matt pressed the singer on what he defines as cancel culture, he admitted he doesn't know.

"I don’t know who’s puritanical enough to pass that test."