LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - John Lennon’s handwritten lyrics for the song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” are up for auction, in the latest episode for a storied Beatles classic.
Auction house Profiles in History said on Wednesday that it expects the draft lyric sheet to sell for more than $200,000 at a sale next month in Beverly Hills.
It has the opening lyrics for the song, and a rough sketch by of four people in a room with windows draped in curtains.
When the psychedelic song was released on 1967 album “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” listeners and the media speculated it was a thinly disguised paean to the drug LSD, based on the first letters of Lucy, sky and diamonds.
But Lennon always disputed that notion, even though he was known to experiment with drugs. Lennon said he did not realize until later the title contained those letters in sequence.
As Lennon and others have explained it, the inspiration came from his son, Julian, who was then a child and drew a picture of his classmate Lucy. Julian Lennon is said to have showed the painting to his father and told him, “That’s Lucy in the sky with diamonds.”
A British woman named Lucy Vodden, whose maiden name was O‘Donnell, revealed in 2007 that she had been the source of the song. She died in 2009.
Despite the explanation of the song’s origins, the debate about its ties to LSD has persisted, in part due to the song’s swooning melody and strange lyrics.
It was one of the most popular songs on an album Rolling Stone magazine ranks as No. 1 on its list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
The draft “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” lyrics will be sold at an auction scheduled for May 14 and 15 at the Saban Theater in Beverly Hills.
Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by Jill Serjeant