"Эта песня содержит огромное количество подтекста. Надеюсь, однажды я разберусь, что всё это значит... Для начала: может кто-нибудь объяснит мне хотя бы, кто такая Miss American Pie?"
Я собирался на крёстный ход, но потратил 15 минут, чтобы дать следующий ответ. Только я решил использовать язык оригинала, в котором мало что смыслю. Впрочем, я допускаю массу ошибок и в русских текстах.
Well, guys, let's interprete this by the modern anthopological hermeneutics. Sorry for my poor English, I never learned it. When Don McLean (born October 2, 1945) was 15, his father died. Hence he drastically missed an elder friend, a father. He was talented in music and adored Buddy Holly - Charles Hardin Holley (1936–1959). Unfortunately this star musician was tragically died in the airplane crush at February 3, 1959, being a very young man - only 22 years old. They called it The Day the Music Died. That year Don was just 13. Some people suspected it was a murder made by a saboteur. Newspapers obviously shoked the boy, describing the nightmare details of the deadly injuries.
The boy felt a teenage love to Buddy Holly, and was grief-stricken by the tragedy. And the more he grew as a musician, the more this feeling also grew up. During his youth, he had lack of an elder mentor, felt sharp sorrow, as well as depression, and sublimated it in this song. Many listeners understood it perfectly, sure.
I think, Holly Buddy means the same as Honey Pie - the dearest friend. It could be the same nickname. Charles Holley was considered as a cool friend for all Americans. Well, hence the chorus must be translated from the listening, not by the lyrics' spelling. We can listen there quite easily:
Bye, bye - I miss American Pie.
The last [bai] sounds prolonged, just like twice diphthong ai, but the second is weaker.
Thus, I think it's not about any miss or a missis, it's about THE SINGER, WHO IS MISSING an elder and much more talented friend. To miss also means that he lost a possibility to meet this master, got the mistake of destiny. The next line of the lyrics is taken from the TV-ads of Chevrolet "Drove my Chevy to the levee" and means "I can listen only shitty ads from the media, the musical space is empty now".
Also their anthropological appearance is very similar. You can hardly recognize, who's on the right of this collage - Don or Charles. I suppose, Don thought Buddy as his secret relative, and imagined he was a brother or so. Probably, McLean started to work on this song being the same age of 22, but finished it only at May 26, 1971, when the single was released.
Here is a more detailed analysis is below. But my ideas about the refrain and about the anthropological identification are only mine, from what I can tell.