Handwritten Lennon Lyrics To Be Auctioned

Wanna own a piece of Sgt. Pepper memorabilia? How about John Lennon’s handwritten lyrics for “A Day In The Life”?

The lyrics to the closing track on Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, which include Lennon’s edits and corrections in black felt marker and blue ballpoint pen, will be auctioned in New York by Sotheby’s June 18.

But you better save your pennies. The lyrics are expected to go for an amount somewhere between $500,000 and $700,000.

Of course, the sheet of Lennon lyrics doesn’t contain the entire song. Paul McCartney wrote the fourth verse that describes a commuter’s ride to work – “Woke up, fell out of bed, dragged a comb across my head.”

Photo: AP Photo
The document, with the lyrics to "A Day in the Life," will be offered at auction by Sotheby’s in New York on Friday, June 18, 2010.

Sgt. Pepper was released in 1967 – a time when many rock tunes were suspected of harboring veiled references to drugs. For “A Day In The Life” critics zeroed in on the line “I’d love to turn you on” as proof positive that The Beatles were encouraging drug use, leading to the song being banned by the BBC.

The song’s first verse about an automobile accident victim who “blew his mind out in a car” and “hadn’t noticed that the lights had changed” was believed by many to reference the traffic death of Tara Browne, the 21-year-old heir to the Guinness fortune. Although Lennon did say Browne’s death was on his mind while writing the tune, he often claimed the details in the song were fiction.

“A Day In The Life” wasn’t the only tune on Sgt. Pepper suspected of containing drug references. “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” was thought to refer to LSD while “Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite” with its line “And of course, Henry the Horse dances the waltz” was considered by some to be about heroin. Such was life in the psychedelic ‘60s.