John Lennon's handwritten lyrics for A Day in the Life go under the hammer

John Lennon's autograph lyrics for A Day In The Life will be offered in a New York auction to be held by Sotheby's on 18 June 2010. The revolutionary song is often noted as the turning point that marked the Beatles transformation from pop icons to artists.

The final track of the Beatles legendary 1967 album, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, the song spent 27 weeks at the top of the UK's charts and 15 weeks at number one on the American Billboard 200. The New York Times described the song as,

"One of the most important Lennon-McCartney compositions, and… a historic Pop event."

The lyrics, written on a double-sided sheet of paper in Lennon's hand are complete with cross-outs, corrections and re-workings and give a rare insight in the world famous Lennon-McCartney song-writing dynamic that any Beatles fan would treasure.

Beatles John Lennon lyrics for A Day in the Life

Lennon notes where Paul McCartney would insert his more lively, upbeat verses. The lyrics shift from the darkly morbid - "he blew his mind out in a car," which referencing the accidental death of Tara Browne, the son of a Lord and a Guinness heiress to the trivial; '4,000 holes in Blackburn Lancashire,'' which was inspired by a bizarre road traffic scheme in North West England.

A Day In The Life sparked instant controversy upon its release. It was banned by the BBC because of the line 'I'd love to turn you on' which supposedly encouraged drug use, making it the first song to be censored by a nationalradio network in the UK.

The song was also omitted from the album when it was released in several Asiancountries. But its place in musical history is now assured.

Topping Q Magazine's list of the 50 Greatest British Songs of All Time, A Day In The Life also ranked at number 26 in Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

The lyrics will go under the hammer with a guide price of $500,000-700,000 at Sotheby's New York on June 18 - the anniversary of its 1967 release.

Those interested in Beatles collectibles will want to take a look at this set of lyrics for Lady Madonna signed by Paul McCartney which is currently on the market, as are a rare hand drawing by Lennon himself and a 1963 letter from McCartney mentioning songs before the Beatles were famous.

Featured products

Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Sale price£399
In stock
Fidel Castro signed certificateFidel Castro Signed Certificate
Fidel Castro signed certificate
Sale price£2,995
In stock
King Henry VIII Autographed DocumentKing Henry VIII Autographed Document
King Henry VIII Autographed Document
Sale price£55,000
In stock