Allegory Of American Pie By Don Mc Lean

Word Count: 2241 |

Ask anyone what was the defining moment in the rock history of the 1960s was and all you will get is a one word answer: Woodstock. The three day rock festival that defined an era was only one of many music festivals of the ’60s. But Woodstock has come to symbolize, “an era of peaceful, free- loving, drug- taking hippie youth, carefree before harsher realities hit…” (Layman 40). The Woodstock festival ended a century filled with many metamorphoses of rock’n’roll, from the era of pop music to the rebirth of folk music to the invention of acid rock. But some cynics say that rock’n’roll died with the death of Buddy Holly before the 60s even began. One such person is Don McLean. The poet behind the haunting epic song about the death of ‘danceable’ music, McLean wrote the ever popular song, “American Pie” (appendix 1). The most important song in rock’n’roll history, “American Pie”, is the song about the demise of rock’n’roll after Buddy Holly’s death and the heathenism of rock that resulted. Although McLean himself won’t reveal any symbolism in his songs, “American Pie” is one of the most analyzed pieces of literature in modern society. Although not all of its secrets have been revealed, many “scholars” of the sixties will agree that the mystery of this song is one of the reasons it has become so successful- everyone wants to know the meanings of its allegories.
Proof of “American Pie’s” truth lies in the allegory of the song. Many People enjoy the song but have no idea what it means- Who is the Jester? What is the levee? When the deeper story is found, the importance of the song is unearthed. “American Pie” is not only a song, it is an epic poem about the course of rock’n’roll in the sixties. The song is centered around the epic’s hero, Buddy Holly. Holly was a 50s rock and roller who experimented greatly with chords and beats. Many people say that if Holly hadn’t died, no one would have needed the Beatles, who in their time also revolutionized rock. But in any sense Holly was a rock pioneer. He wrote his own songs and popularized the use of the two guitar, bass and drums line-up (Jordan). Holly directly influenced most of the most prominent folk and rock musicians of the 60s including Bob Dylan, the Beatles and many others. The Beatles name actually originated from Holly’s band, the Crickets (Jordan).
In February of 1959 tragedy struck. Holly was on tour with a collection of performers, and he wanted to fly to the next stop instead of taking the bus. He chartered a plane and a pilot to fly him and two others to Fargo, North Dakota (Verse 1). Originally it was to be Holly, Waylon Jennings, and Tommy Allsup. But J.P. Richardson (“The Big Bopper”) talked Jennings into giving him his seat and Allsup lost his seat to Richie Valens (“La Bamba”) on a coin toss (Jordan). The pilot, Roger Peterson, was a visual pilot, and not certified to fly an instrument plane flight. But on the night of February 3, 1959 the plane when up during a flurry. The pilot lost control and while he believed he was steering up, the plane went straight down. When the plane crashed all four men died instantly (Jordan). The day that the plane crash henceforth became known as “The day the music died”.
The chorus in American Pie is the main theme of the song. American Pie is the pure American art of rock and roll. The Chevy is the icon of America. The levee is the source of music and since the decline of original rock and roll, there is no water (or talent) in the levee: it’s dry. “This’ll be the day that I die,” was taken from a Buddy Holly song entitled “That’ll be the Day” and a line in the chorus read, “That’ll be the day that I die,” (Kulawiec).
The next verse of American Pie, McLean demonstrates what happened after Holly’s death. The birth of teen idols such as Frankie Avalon and Fabian arose. Although the verse seems positive, the narrator is left outside of the “dance”. While ‘you’ (The youth of America) were dancing in the gym with ‘him’ (The teen idols) “…I knew that I was out of luck…”, because the love that he wanted from ‘you’ was given to ‘him’ (Jordan). Another line in this verse is important. “Can you teach me how to dance real slow…” Slow dancing was important in the early days of rock and roll, but they lost popularity when acid rock and long guitar solos became popular (Kulawiec).
The third verse begins with the narrator in the present (1970). The “moss grows fat on a rolling stone…” which could be Dylan’s song, “Like a Rolling Stone,” or the band, the Rolling Stones, but either way the phrase is a negative one. The “rolling stone” is not rolling and is stagnant, there for it is growing moss. The music is getting stale, or growing moss. Then McLean alludes that …”That’s not how it used to be…” referring back to the time of Buddy Holly (Jordan). The jester in this song is Bob Dylan. His songs are very cryptic and like a jester’s riddles. The coat he borrowed from James Dean was from the cover of one of his albums where he is wearing the symbolic red windbreaker James Dean wore in Rebel Without a Cause (Kulawiec). The crown he stole is obviously from Elvis. Though Dylan had stolen the crown “…the courtroom was adjourned, no verdict was returned…” meaning that although the crown was his, there was no true king at that time. The quartet practic[ing] in the parks…” were the Beatles and their growing fame in Europe before the ‘British Invasion’. One of the biggest plays on words is the in about “Lenin read a book on Marx,” playing on the names of Vlademir Lenin and John Lennon. Not only do they have similarly names, but they both share the same ideals about communism (Jordan).
The fourth verse is the most important. It contains the most information on the demise of rock and roll of the song. “Helter Skelter in a summer swelter” clumps together the British Invasion and the social unrest that the American students felt during the mid 1960s. ‘Helter Skelter’ itself was a song made much later after the beginning of the British invasion, but it was just meant to show the cluster of events of the mid 60s. The social voice that came through in the folk-rock sound of Dylan, is now full of messages, many of them open, many of them hidden. The plain messages include the dangers of nuclear war, the Vietnam war, the evil capitalistic system. Associated with these social protest songs are the ‘summer swelters’: riots in LA , Detroit, and at the Democratic convention in Chicago; the Charles Manson murders (which Manson claimed were connected with the song Helter Skelter); the marches for civil rights and against the Vietnam War (Jordan).
The underlying message that McLean was trying to convey was that drugs were ruining the music. The Byrds sang a song called Eight Miles High, but they were falling fast and landed ‘foul’ on the “grass”, marijuana (Jordan), which was also the sweet perfume (Kulawiec). During the mid-60s the Beatles predominantly influenced rock music the most. Dylan is the “jester on the sidelines in a cast,” the sidelines being the outside of the rock music scene and the cast being from a motorcycle accident he claimed to have which was keeping him out of the scene, which some say never happened (Jordan). The ‘half time air’ was probably referring to the heavy drug use of the mid- 60s (half-time). The ‘sergeants’ are either the Beatle’s ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ or the Army playing marching music because of the draft. And what was “revealed” was that drugs, in this verse and in this corresponding era of rock and roll, was the final ruin of rock and roll. McLean has traced rock’s demise in stages: it was at its pinnacle in the Buddy Holly era, it fell to the Teen Idol era, then the social protest era, and seemingly it hit bottom in the self-destructive era of hippies and drug use (Jordan) .
The fifth verse is mainly about two things: Woodstock and The Rolling Stones. McLean is not too positive about his generation. The ‘one place’ was obviously Woodstock, and his generation ‘lost in space’ (high), had no time left to start again. After the peaceful festival there was a free concert given by the Rolling Stones at Altamont Raceway in California. While performing “Sympathy for the Devil” where the devil is laughing at the terrible events that are going on, chaos broke out in the front of the arena and a young man was beaten and stabbed to death by the Hell’s Angels, the hired security guards for the Rolling Stones (on the advice of the Greatful Dead) (Kulawiec). Jack Flash is Mick Jagger, the lead singer of the Rolling Stones, and when he ‘sat on a candle stick,” the candlestick was the Beatle’s Candlestick Park concert which was their last live concert (Jordan). So Jack finally burned out the Beatles flame to make room for their own popularity. McLean though is still just watching this from the sides, while his hands are, “…clenched in fists of rage,” McLean sees the good that the music was starting to do (Beatles) slip away again. When Satan is laughing at the flames “climbing into the night,” could be symbolic of Jimi Hendrix burning his guitars on stage of the Monterey Pop Festival (Kulawiec).
The last verse is the sad conclusion of the epic. The speed of the music slows down and again it is about people dying. The “Woman who sang the blues,” was Janis Joplin and when McLean asks her for some happy news and she just smiled and turned away, that meant that she was, in his mind, one of the last hopes for rock and roll, but by turning away it meant, symbolically, that she died. The sacred store is the record company. McLean is going there to ask for a contract for this song, but they say, “…the music wouldn’t play,” the music won’t make it because it is too folksy or perhaps too long, as it would have been since only half of the eight and a half minute song would have fit on one side of a 45, which was the measure for record sales in the 60s. The “children” screaming are the 4 students killed at the Kent State University protest. The “lovers” crying are the hippies lamenting the end of their era, and the “poets” dreaming are musicians like Simon and Garfunkel and McLean himself writing new songs (Jordan). But there is no hope for rock and roll because, “…the church bells all were broken.” The three men McLean admired most, were “… The Father (Holly), Son (Valens), and the Holy Ghost (Richardson), were catching the train, which symbolized that they simply left (Kulawiec).
The effects of this song were tremendous. The song went to number one on the charts in 1972, about a year after its release. It was hard for it to get playing time on radio stations because it was so long and it wouldn’t fit on one side of a 45 record. A few years after the songs release, Roberta Flack recorded the song, “Killing Me Softly With His Song” which is a tribute to “American Pie”. Thankfully for McLean, folk rock was only a phase of American pop music. And although folk and rock continued to blend in the 70’s, like Neil Young, folk music as it was known in the early 60s became part of history rather than remaining a popular form (Layman 38). Another wave of music that arrived was “acid rock”. Practiced by some groups like the Rolling Stones, Janis Joplin, The Greatful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, and Jefferson Airplane, this type of music would have most likely been abhorred by McLean (Gordon 379).
In Bob Dylan’s “The Times they are a-Changin’,” Dylan says
Come gather ’round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you
Is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’ (Haskins 92)
The sixties were definitely a time of change. Socially, politically and musically, the sixties had one of the greatest impacts of the twentieth century. From gains of black equality during the civil rights movement, to the thousands of Americans fleeing to Canada to escape the draft, people were doing what they never thought possible- Like landing on the Moon. But wherever they went, the music of the decade was around them. Whether it was doo-wop, or folk or acid rock, it was there. Maybe rock and roll did die along with Buddy Holly that cold February night, but the alternatives that came in its place came plentifully. Even ska originated in the sixties. Although the Greatful Dead and the Jimi Hendrix Experience were not McLean’s definition of rock and roll, it served its purpose- to entertain the masses(Gordon 380). And in no other place was that more evident than in a little town call Woodstock, where half a million people gathered to listen to the best music around and albeit, to get high. So until there is no more music at all, not just in one genre but in all the different types, I will finally agree with McLean, and That’ll be the day that I die?.
Works Cited
Gordon, Alan and Louis. American Chronicle: 1920-1989. Crown Publishers: New York, 1995.
Haskins, James and Kathleen Benson. The Sixties Reader. Viking Kestrel: New York, 1995.
Kulawiec, Rich. American Pie by Don McLean. (1996) N. pag. On-line. Internet. March 3, 1999. circ.upenn.edu.
Jordan, M. American Pie: The Mystery Uncovered. (1998) n. pag. On-line. Internet. March 3, 1999. www.entrypoints.com
Lyman, Richard. American Decades: 1960-1969. Gale Research Inc.: New York, 1995.
McLean, Don. “American Pie”. Don McLean On-line. (1995) n. Pag. On-line. Internet. March 25, 1999.

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

Carl Orffs Philosophies In Music Education

While Carl Orff is a very seminal composer of the 20th century, his greatest success and influence has been in the field of Music Education. Born on July 10th in Munich, Germany in 1895, Orff refused to speak about his past almost as if he were ashamed of it. What we do know, however, is that Orff came from a Bavarian family who was very active in the German military. His father's regiment band would often play through some of the young Orff's first attempts at composing. Although Orff was adamant about the secrecy of his past, Moser's Musik Lexicon says that he studied in the Munich Academy of Music until 1914. Orff then served in the military in the first world war. After the war, he held various positions in the Mannheim and Darmstadt opera houses then returned home to Munich to further study music. In 1925, and for the rest of his life, Orff was the head of a department and co-founder of the Guenther School for gymnastics, music, and dance in Munich where he worked with musical beginners. This is where he developed his Music Education theories. In 1937, Orff's Carmina Burana premiered in Frankfurt, Germany. Needless to say, it was a great success. With the success of Carmina Burana, Orff orphaned all of his previous works except for Catulli Carmina and the En trata which were rewritten to be acceptable by Orff. One of Orff's most admired composers was Monteverdi. In fact, much of Orff's work was based on ancient material. Orff said: I am often asked why I nearly always select old material, fairy tales and legends for my stage works. I do not look upon them as old, but rather as valid material. The time element disappears, and only the spiritual power remains. My...

Johann Sebastian Bach Biography

Throughout the history of music, many great composers, theorists, and instrumentalists have left indelible marks and influences that people today look back on to admire and aspire to. No exception to this idiom is Johann Sebastian Bach, whose impact on music was unforgettable to say the least. People today look back to his writings and works to both learn and admire. He truly can be considered a music history great. Bach, who came from a family of over 53 musicians, was nothing short of a virtuosic instrumentalist as well as a masterful composer. Born in Eisenach, Germany, on March 21, 1685, he was the son of a masterful violinist, Johann Ambrosius Bach, who taught his son the basic skills for string playing. Along with this string playing, Bach began to play the organ which is the instrument he would later on be noted for in history. His instruction on the organ came from the player at Eisenach's most important church. He instructed the young boy rather rigorously until his skills surpassed anyone?s expectations for someone of such a young age. Bach suffered early trauma when his parents died in 1695. He went to go live with his older brother, Johann Christoph, who also was a professional organist at Ohrdruf. He continued his younger brother's education on that instrument, as well as introducing him to the harpsichord. The rigorous training on these instruments combined with Bach?s masterful skill paid off for him at an early age. After several years of studying with his older brother, he received a scholarship to study in Luneberg, Germany, which is located on the northern tip of the country. As a result, he left his brother?s tutelage and went to go and study there. The teenage years brought Bach to several parts of Germany where he...

Michelangelo

Michelangelo was pessimistic in his poetry and an optimist in his artwork. Michelangelo?s artwork consisted of paintings and sculptures that showed humanity in it?s natural state. Michelangelo?s poetry was pessimistic in his response to Strazzi even though he was complementing him. Michelangelo?s sculpture brought out his optimism. Michelangelo was optimistic in completing The Tomb of Pope Julius II and persevered through it?s many revisions trying to complete his vision. Sculpture was Michelangelo?s main goal and the love of his life. Since his art portrayed both optimism and pessimism, Michelangelo was in touch with his positive and negative sides, showing that he had a great and stable personality. Michelangelo?s artwork consisted of paintings and sculptures that showed humanity in it?s natural state. Michelangelo Buonarroti was called to Rome in 1505 by Pope Julius II to create for him a monumental tomb. We have no clear sense of what the tomb was to look like, since over the years it went through at least five conceptual revisions. The tomb was to have three levels; the bottom level was to have sculpted figures representing Victory and bond slaves. The second level was to have statues of Moses and Saint Paul as well as symbolic figures of the active and contemplative life- representative of the human striving for, and reception of, knowledge. The third level, it is assumed, was to have an effigy of the deceased pope. The tomb of Pope Julius II was never finished. What was finished of the tomb represents a twenty-year span of frustrating delays and revised schemes. Michelangelo had hardly begun work on the pope?s tomb when Julius commanded him to fresco the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel to complete the work done in the previous century under Sixtus IV. The overall organization consists of four large triangles at...

Oscar Wilde

Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was born in Dublin Ireland on October 16, 1854. He is one of the most talented and most controversial writers of his time. He was well known for his wit, flamboyance, and creative genius and with his little dramatic training showing his natural talent for stage and theatre. He is termed a martyr by some and may be the first true self-publicist and was known for his style of dress and odd behavior. Wilde, 1882 His Father, William Wilde, was a highly accredited doctor and his mother, Jane Francesca Elgee, was a writer of revolutionary poems. Oscar had a brother William Charles Kingsbury along with his father's three illegitimate children, Henry, Emily, and Mary. His sister, Isola Emily Francesca died in 1867 at only ten years of age from a sudden fever, greatly affecting Oscar and his family. He kept a lock of her hair in an envelope and later wrote the poem 'Requiescat' in her memory. Oscar and his brother William both attended the Protora Royal School at Enniskillen. He had little in common with the other children. He disliked games and took more interest in flowers and sunsets. He was extremely passionate about anything that had to do with ancient Greece and with Classics. Wilde during school years In 1871, he was awarded a Royal School Scholarship to Trinity College in Dublin and received many awards and earned the highest honor the college offered to an undergraduate, the Foundation Scholarship. In 1874, he also won the College's Berkley Gold Medal for Greek and was awarded a Demyship to Magdalen College, Oxford. After graduating from Oxford, Oscar moved to London with his friend Frank Miles, a well-known portrait painter of the time. In 1878 his poem Ravenna was published, for which he won the...

The History Of Greek Theater

Theater and drama in Ancient Greece took form in about 5th century BCE, with the Sopocles, the great writer of tragedy. In his plays and those of the same genre, heroes and the ideals of life were depicted and glorified. It was believed that man should live for honor and fame, his action was courageous and glorious and his life would climax in a great and noble death. Originally, the hero's recognition was created by selfish behaviors and little thought of service to others. As the Greeks grew toward city-states and colonization, it became the destiny and ambition of the hero to gain honor by serving his city. The second major characteristic of the early Greek world was the supernatural. The two worlds were not separate, as the gods lived in the same world as the men, and they interfered in the men's lives as they chose to. It was the gods who sent suffering and evil to men. In the plays of Sophocles, the gods brought about the hero's downfall because of a tragic flaw in the character of the hero. In Greek tragedy, suffering brought knowledge of worldly matters and of the individual. Aristotle attempted to explain how an audience could observe tragic events and still have a pleasurable experience. Aristotle, by searching the works of writers of Greek tragedy, Aeschulus, Euripides and Sophocles (whose Oedipus Rex he considered the finest of all Greek tragedies), arrived at his definition of tragedy. This explanation has a profound influence for more than twenty centuries on those writing tragedies, most significantly Shakespeare. Aristotle's analysis of tragedy began with a description of the effect such a work had on the audience as a "catharsis" or purging of the emotions. He decided that catharsis was the purging of two specific emotions, pity and...

Scholarship Essay About Goals

Ever since I was a young kid I have always been interested with aircraft. I was so curious of how airplane's fly. I remember taking my toys apart to see how it works. As a kid I wanted to go to the airport to watch the airplanes land and fly and pondered how this happens. Other kids wanted to go to the amusement places. As I grew older I became more and more interested in aircraft and the technology behind it. I always involved myself with aviation early on. I read books and magazines on aviation, took museum tours, built model airplanes. When I was younger my father would take me to aircraft repair facilities where I would watch in great fascination. In my teens, went up to the military bases and befriended many soldiers involved with aircraft and asked them numerous questions. I got to meet many aeronautics engineers and borrowed their old textbooks and read them till the wee hours of the morning. As technology improved with information superhighway, I logged on the web. Stayed up for hours and hours searching through web pages and web pages of information about aircraft and technology. I started my elementary school in the Philippines, then we moved to U.S. and continued my high school education and graduated. Enrolled at the CCSF to pursue my college education and now I am in the 2nd year in CCSF taking aeronautics. My goal now is to obtain my AS degree from the City College of San Francisco (CCSF) so I can transfer to a University and get a Bachelors degree and to continue for my Masters degree in Aeronautics Engineering. I will strive hard to reach the peak level of my career which is a Professor and hopefully to be an aeronautic professor so...

Circus Circus Enterprises Case Studies

Executive Summary: Circus Circus Enterprises is a leader and will continue to be in the gaming industry. In recent years, they have seen a decline in profit and revenue; management tends to blame the decrease on continuing disruptions from remodeling, expansion, and increased competition. Consequently, Circus has reported decreases in its net income for 1997 and 1998 and management believes this trend will continue as competition heightens. Currently the company is involved in several joint ventures, its brand of casino entertainment has traditionally catered to the low rollers and family vacationers through its theme park. Circus should continue to expand its existing operations into new market segments. This shift will allow them to attract the up scale gambler. Overview Circus Circus Enterprises, Inc founded in 1974 is in the business of entertainment, with its core strength in casino gambling. The company?s asset base, operating cash flow, profit margin, multiple markets and customers, rank it as one of the gaming industry leaders. Partners William G. Bennett an aggressive cost cutter and William N. Pennington purchased Circus Circus in 1974 as a small and unprofitable casino. It went public in 1983, from 1993 to 1997; the average return on capital invested was 16.5%. Circus Circus operates several properties in Las Vegas, Reno, Laughlin, and one in Mississippi, as well as 50% ownership in three other casinos and a theme park. On January 31,1998 Circus reported net income of 89.9 million and revenues of 1.35 billion, this is a down from 100 million on 1.3 billion in 1997. Management sees this decline in revenue due to the rapid and extensive expansion and the increased competition that Circus is facing. Well established in the casino gaming industry the corporation has its focus in the entertainment business and has particularly a popular theme resort concept....

Effect Of Civil War On American Economy

The Economies of the North and South, 1861-1865 In 1861, a great war in American history began. It was a civil war between the north and south that was by no means civil. This war would have great repercussions upon the economy of this country and the states within it. The American Civil War began with secession, creating a divided union of sorts, and sparked an incredibly cataclysmic four years. Although the actual war began with secession, this was not the only driving force. The economy of the Southern states, the Confederacy, greatly if not entirely depended on the institution of slavery. The Confederacy was heavily reliant on agriculture, and they used the profits made from the sale of such raw materials to purchase finished goods to use and enjoy. Their major export was cotton, which thrived on the warm river deltas and could easily be shipped to major ocean ports from towns on the Mississippi and numerous river cities. Slavery was a key part of this, as slaves were the ones who harvested and planted the cotton. Being such an enormous unpaid work force, the profits made were extraordinarily high and the price for the unfinished goods drastically low in comparison; especially since he invention of the cotton gin in 1793 which made the work all that much easier and quicker. In contrast, the economical structure of the Northern states, the Union, was vastly dependent on industry. Slavery did not exist in most of the Union, as there was no demand for it due to the type of industrial development taking place. As the Union had a paid work force, the profits made were lower and the cost of the finished manufactured item higher. In turn, the Union used the profits and purchased raw materials to use. This cycle...

Evaluation Of The Effectiveness Of Trade Embargoes

Although I am a strong critic of the use and effectiveness of economic sanctions, such as trade embargoes, for the sake of this assignment, I will present both their theoretical advantages and their disadvantages based upon my research. Trade embargoes and blockades have traditionally been used to entice nations to alter their behavior or to punish them for certain behavior. The intentions behind these policies are generally noble, at least on the surface. However, these policies can have side effects. For example, FDR's blockade of raw materials against the Japanese in Manchuria in the 1930s arguably led to the bombing of Pearl Harbor, which resulted in U.S. involvement in World War II. The decades-long embargo against Cuba not only did not lead to the topple of the communist regime there, but may have strengthened Castro's hold on the island and has created animosity toward the United States in Latin America and much suffering by the people of Cuba. Various studies have concluded that embargoes and other economic sanctions generally have not been effective from a utilitarian or policy perspective, yet these policies continue. Evaluation of the effectiveness of Trade Embargoes Strengths Trade embargoes and other sanctions can give the sender government the appearance of taking strong measures in response to a given situation without resorting to violence. Sanctions can be imposed in conjunction with other measures to achieve conflict prevention and mitigation goals. Sanctions may be ineffective: goals may be too elusive, the means too gentle, or cooperation from other countries insufficient. It is usually difficult to determine whether embargoes were an effective deterrent against future misdeeds: embargoes may contribute to a successful outcome, but can rarely achieve ambitious objectives alone. Some regimes are highly resistant to external pressures to reform. At the same time, trade sanctions may narrow the...

Nike Sweat Shops

There has been much debate and controversy recently concerning Nike's Asian labour practices. This is a very complex issue and one that is a long way from being solved. It is very difficult to determine which side of this argument to defend, as both sides acknowledge the facts, yet put a completely different spin on them. Do you believe Nike's critics who say they're exploiting workers? Or, do you believe Nike when they say that they are giving workers in these countries wonderful opportunities to raise their standard of living? The consensus answer to this question by all sides seems to be that Nike is improving but still has a ways to go. Nike's Asian ties can be traced back to the birth of the company. The CEO, chairman of the board of directors, and co-founder, Phil Knight, wrote his masters thesis at Stanford University in the 1960's on the prospects for using Asian labor to produce goods cheaper and more effectively. In order to incorporate this plan in to Nike's business structure, a partnership was set up with a Japan based company called Tiger Sports. Tiger Sports would manufacture shoes for Nike in Asia then shipped them to the United States to sell. In the 1980's however, this aspect of Nike's partnership with Tiger Sports was dissolved, and Nike was forced to expand production from the United States to countries such as Taiwan and Korea where their products could be manufactured at the same relatively low cost that Nike enjoyed through the Tiger Sports partnership. Over the last five of years, however, the production numbers for these countries have been decreasing at an alarming rate due to the fact that their economies expanded at a very rapid pace. This, in turn, caused the cost of labour to increase dramatically,...