Don Mclean's letter to Cecil quoted without attribution

I ran across this Yahoo blog apparently called “Stop the Presses”, and found this in Paragraph 3:

3. McLean has steadfastly refused to discuss the meaning of most of the lyrics. *“As you can imagine, over the years I’ve been asked many times to discuss and explain my song ‘American Pie,’” *McLean wrote in an open letter to fans in 1993. “I have never discussed the lyrics, but have admitted to the [Buddy] Holly reference in the opening stanzas. I dedicated the album American Pie to Buddy Holly as well in order to connect the entire statement to Holly in hopes of bringing about an interest in him, which subsequently did occur… You will find many ‘interpretations’ of my lyrics but none of them by me. Isn’t this fun? 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.”
Which appears to be very similar to McLean’s letter at the end of this Cecil column.

It’s also on about.com, but referenced as one of many quotes from Don Mclean’s own website, though I can’t find it there.

Sure. No doubt he had a form letter for this, and sent cece a personalized copy.

Isn’t Don Mclean an anagram for Damn Clone? Sounds like Uncle Cecil wrote a song or two under a pen name and has just been modest all these years.

So if Don McLean is Cecil, and Cecil is Ed, does that mean that Ed is really Don McLean?

A good guess, but they’re quite separate people. You’ll notice that Don McLean is also an anagram for Lad Con Men, a sly wink toward their youthly exploits as bunco boys on the streets of the Windy City. “Don” would lure them in with sweet folk music and then “Cecil” would swindle them with elaborate card games. The most elaborate and successful ruse was an untitled game whose mechanism was known only to Cecil. No one, not even Don, has ever solved the mystery of the con’s mnemonic formula *14 k of g in a f p d *, which Cecil has steadfastly refused to reveal. Until he does, Don has sworn never to discuss the meaning of “American Pie.” A hopeless stalemate.

I have it on good authority that he does drink whisky and rye.

  1. The letter Cecil cites does not read like a form letter, it seems to be addressing Cecil’s specific questions.

  2. The quotation from that blog cites it as “an open letter to fans”, with the date in 1993. Given the date and the ellipses, it does appear they are drawing from the letter as cited in Cecil’s column. No attribution to getting it from The Straight Dope.

Regardless, the Straight Dope does not hold exclusive copyright to a letter written by Don McLean, even if they copied it into one of their articles.