Don McLean is selling the original 16 pages of handwritten lyrics to his iconic ballad American Pie.
Christie’s will handle the auction on April 7, where the treasured piece of music history is expected to fetch at least $1.5 million.
Here’s a sample:
There’s a good chance the lyrics will go for much more than $1.5m, however. While the song itself is a jukebox and karaoke favourite, the lyrics are among the most pored-over and discussed in popular music history.
Many think the fact there’s 16 pages of them means there’s a chance of finally deciphering who “Miss American Pie” and “the jester” are.
The blue page released by Christie’ teasingly features lyrics that didn’t make the song:
And there I stood alone and afraid
I knelt to my knees and there I prayed
And I prepared to give all I had to give
If only he would make it live again
McLean himself has spent most of his life dodging questions on what American Pie was actually all about.
“Over the years I’ve dealt with all these stupid questions of ‘Who’s that?’ and ‘Who’s that?'” he told Rolling Stone. “These are things I never had in my head for a second when I wrote the song. I was trying to capture something very ephemeral and I did, but it took a long time.”
McLean said he didn’t even know he still had the lyrics until a decade ago, when Rolling Stone editor Ben Fong-Torres asked if he could donate them to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
McLean found them “in a big box upstairs” but kept them and is now selling them for his wife and kids.
“I have two children and a wife, and none of them seem to have the mercantile instinct,” he told Rolling Stone.
“I want to get the best deal that I can for them. It’s time.”
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