Fifty years ago today Richie Valens, Buddy Holly and J.P. (The Big Bopper) Richardson gave their last concert. Fifty years ago today all three died in a stormy night plane crash. Fifty years ago tomorrow teenagers across the country when we heard the news wept. Years later Don Mclean called today's fifty years ago deaths the day the music died.
Don Mclean, like many of us, glories in hyperbole. Hyperbole has been around a long time. It's a literary device used to create emphasis. When it's not a literary device, it's just a shameless exaggeration.
I'm so hungry I could eat a horse. -- To date I've never gotten that hungry.
He's gotten as big as a barn. -- Few people have ever achieved the size of a barn.
I caught the biggest fish you've ever seen. -- I don't fish.
She's as dumb as a post. -- The inaccuracy of standardized intelligence tests for posts is well documented.
Even though the music did not actually die fifty years ago, the nation mourned.
On the other hand, The Cricketts still perform. After all these years, it has never occurred to them that Buddy Holly is dead. They lack a lead singer and perform as if they had one. In fact, they are the only live karaoke band around.
Now that is hyperbole.