"That'll Be The Day" as written by and Jerry Allison Norman Petty....
Well, that'll be the day, when you say goodbye
Yes, that'll be the day, when you make me cry
You say you're gonna leave, you know it's a lie
'Cause that'll be the day when I die

Well, you give me all your loving and your turtle doving
All your hugs and kisses and your money too
Well, you know you love me baby, until you tell me, maybe
That some day, well I'll be through

Well, that'll be the day, when you say goodbye
Yes, that'll be the day, when you make me cry
You say you're gonna leave, you know it's a lie
'Cause that'll be the day when I die

Well, that'll be the day, when you say goodbye
Yes, that'll be the day, when you make me cry
You say you're gonna leave, you know it's a lie
'Cause that'll be the day when I die

Well, when Cupid shot his dart he shot it at your heart
So if we ever part and I leave you
You sit and hold me and you tell me boldly
That some day, well I'll be blue

Well, that'll be the day, when you say goodbye
Yes, that'll be the day, when you make me cry
You say you're gonna leave, you know it's a lie
'Cause that'll be the day when I die

Well, that'll be the day, woo ho
That'll be the day, woo ho
That'll be the day, woo ho
That'll be the day


Lyrics submitted by Demau Senae

"That'll Be the Day" as written by Buddy Holly Jerry Allison

Lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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That'll Be The Day song meanings
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19 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentNo one can understand the lyrics of this song without first watching the John Wayne/John Ford film, "The Searchers". That is the film that the line "that'll be the day" was originally drawn from. In the film, "that'll be the day" is the signature phrase of John Wayne's tired, world-weary gunman; not a phrase that's at all about bravado, but a phrase that denote bitterness and loss of hope and resignation. In the masterpiece of film-making that was "The Searchers", the phrase was a characteristic of an important character. Buddy Holly raised it to a cultural icon.

    "That'll be the day", in the days of the Hawks Code, was an aphorism for 'fuck no, not going to happen'. The phrase originated in Old Western films, and is used here as it always was: a way to indicate defiance, even in an atmosphere where defiance might not have been acceptable.
    alphabravoon March 02, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI don't know how true it is, but I have heard this was the number one song on the day that Buddy Holly died in a plane crash. Could be a rumor though.
    Ferthukoon April 23, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentbuddy holly is a legend,hes not listened to because our grandparents like him so he is not "cool" and is "shit". but i tell you, im 19 and in a grunge, rock, wierd band and i listen to buddy holly and will always regard him as a good inspiration to me and my music, fuck me its rock n roll any 1 can dig rock n roll. little richard 2, fuckin ace
    jestersdeadon June 25, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentbuddy holly is a legend,hes not listened to because our grandparents like him so he is not "cool" and is "shit". but i tell you, im 19 and in a grunge, rock, wierd band and i listen to buddy holly and will always regard him as a good inspiration to me and my music, fuck me its rock n roll any 1 can dig rock n roll. little richard 2, fuckin ace
    jestersdeadon June 25, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt is criminal that I am only the 5th person to post for this song.

    The meaning is fairly obvious however.
    Comrade_Liaron March 05, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love that classic rock from the 50s & early 60s. Great song.
    kmk_natashaon February 16, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI've always liked Buddy Holly even though he's about the earliest thing I listen to. The song American Pie, or whatever its called, references this song and Buddy Hollys death along with two other artists cause I'm pretty sure the name of the plane that crashed was miss american pie.
    PlutonianDollon April 09, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's good Buddy’s getting this attention. :)

    Don McLean’s song “American Pie” did make reference to this song and to the day of the plane crash; however, please let me make two notes about the comments above:

    The plane was not named “American Pie” or “Miss American Pie.”

    This was not the #1 song on the day of the plane crash.
    she_sayson April 11, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSince I wrote the post, I have read that the name of the plane was not American Pie, (thanks to snopes) and Don McLean did not name the song after Miss America. The other two people in the plane were Ritchie Valens and J.P. Richardson. And Im sure this is true but Valens switched with Waylen Jennings to go on the plane.
    PlutonianDollon June 07, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYou know, it wasn't until I really got into Don McLean and his American Pie that I sumpbled upon this song. Actually maybe that's not entirely true. I'm a 22 year old male and somehow grew fond of Linda Ronstadt over the last few months .. I don't know how it's possible either.

    Anyways, I'm going to have to say that I actually enjoy her version a lot better. Something about a girl singing it that adds more meaning to it. I'm not old fashion or anything. But, really, I'd assume during the days that this song was actually written, women needed a man much more than the other way around. If the man actually did leave, there would be more chance of her dying than the other way around. She needed the financial support of a man. While I in no way concone this opinion and see it as very old fashioned, I do think it is more fitting to be sung by a woman (even when Linda Rontadt sung it in the early 70s).
    ikeon September 10, 2006   Link

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