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Real Lyrics -> Bad Grammar in Song Lyrics -> Don McLean

Song lyrics aren't supposed to be a fountain of perfect english, but on the other hand some are just so atrocious, they need to get called out. We're not looking for sentance fragments or the word ain't since there are too many instances to count.

Bad Grammar in Song Lyrics, Don McLean

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American Pie album at
Don McLean's, "American Pie"
The Lyrics:
Them good old boys were drinkin' whiskey and rye.
First of all, "Them" is a pronoun, not a demonstrative adjective. So "Those" (which can be an adjective as well as a pronoun) should be used here instead of "Them". Also. "whiskey and rye" could be a grammatically faultless (if unlikely) reference if "rye" referred to the unprocessed grain rye or to rye meal. But when "rye" refers to a drink (as the context clearly indicates here), that drink is a type of whiskey. So when referring to drinks, "whiskey and rye" is like saying "colors and red". A more correct reference would be "whiskey including rye". But of course that would be hard-put to fit the song's meter, and arguably lyrically awkward even if it did fit metrically.
Submitted by: Andrea Greenleaf

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