An Expensive 'Day in the Life' for Lennon-penned Lyrics

Published: 2006-01-18
Why do auctioneers think that a sheet of paper with lyrics to the Beatles' "A Day in the Life" will sell for $2 million (US)? They think it will earn that pretty penny because it was hand-written by John Lennon himself.

The tune, featured on the psychedelic album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, is a groundbreaking piece of music that was essentially two pieces of music, one by John Lennon and one by Paul McCartney, knitted together. The innovative production, complex arrangement, and crazy orchestral interlude made the song unique and influential for its time.

As such, auction house Bonhams told Reuters on January 17th that it could fetch $2 million (US). Martin Gammon of Bonhams said the lyrics could be "the most valuable musical manuscript composed in the 20th century to be offered at auction."

This won't be the first Beatles manuscript memorabilia up for sale. "Lennon's handwritten lyric sheet for the Beatles' 1967 live satellite broadcast of 'All You Need Is Love' sold in July last year for £600,000 [then $1.04 million (US)]," Reuters reports. "His original lyrics for the 1966 song 'I'm Only Sleeping' from their Revolver album, however, failed to sell at auction in September last year after being tipped to fetch more than £200,000."

Writer: Michelle Garcia



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