The Grave

Album: American Pie (1971)

Songfacts®:

  • Written while the Vietnam War was raging, McLean wrote this song describing the burial of a soldier. In the liner notes to the 2003 album reissue, he told the story: "This song came to me in a dream. I saw these pearls on a leaf in my dream. I began to think about that fact that a soldier in a trench is actually in his own grave. Then I began to write the song from the perspective of the soldier. I tried to point out the frightening position these young people are placed in by circumstances."
  • George Michael began performing this song in 2003 during the buildup to the war in Iraq. Michael was outspoken in his opposition to the war.

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