As you can imagine, over the years I have been asked many times to discuss and explain my song "American Pie" I have never discussed the lyrics, but have admitted to the Holly reference in the opening stanzas. You will find many interpretations of my lyrics but none of them by me. … Sorry to leave you all on your own like this but long ago I realized that songwriters should make their statements and move on, maintaining a dignified silence.
As quoted in "What is Don McLean's song 'American Pie' all about?" at The Straight Dope (15 May 1993)
And the three men I admired most, The Father, Son and Holy Ghost, They caught the last train for the coast The day the music died.Don McLean
No days you can borrow, no time you can buy.No trust in tomorrow. It's a lie.Don McLean
I can't remember if I cried When I read about his widowed bride. Something touched me deep inside The day the music died.Don McLean