I did not know they deleted accounts like that. I guess that's just one more reason why I should use itunes as little as possible. (Other reasons being it's big, slow, takes forever to launch and deliver genius results, inexplicably duplicates entire albums filling up space on my devices needlessly, etc.)
You'd think you'd be able to keep the song due to the fact itunes got rid of DRM's from songs, but then again, I'm not very educated with apple xD Yeah... Might be due to the fact you didn't back up and never logged in for a long time. phone apple or email them or something. A friend of mine had problems with their security questions once.
Why not use an .mp3 converter? You purchased the song, all you will be doing is backing it up in a format that is actually safe to keep without disappearing. Who wants a song format that will disappear within three months or be incompatible with a lot of devices, iTunes (or shall I say iLoons)?