Lennon's "Day in the Life" lyrics up for auction

Thu Apr 29, 2010 6:39am EDT
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By Mike Collett-White

LONDON (Reuters) - John Lennon's handwritten lyrics to "A Day in the Life," considered one of the Beatles' greatest songs and the final track on "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," will go on sale in New York in June.

Sotheby's auctioneer, which described it as "the revolutionary song that marked the Beatles' transformation from pop icons to artists," expects the manuscript to fetch $500-700,000 when it goes under the hammer on June 18.

The single sheet of paper features a rough draft of the lyrics, including crossings out and a spelling error where "film" is written as "flim."

On the reverse side is a neater version written in capital letters and with fewer corrections.

Apparently added later is the line: "I love to turn you on," for which the song was banned by the BBC when it first came out in 1967 because the words were deemed to be a reference to taking drugs.

That did little to prevent the album on which the song appeared from becoming one of the Beatles' most successful.

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band topped the U.S. and British charts, won four Grammy awards in 1968 and is ranked number 26 in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

The lyrics once belonged to Mal Evans, the Beatles' road manager.   Continued...

<p>John Lennon's handwritten lyrics to "A Day in the Life". REUTERS/Sotheby's/Handout</p>