John Lennon's I'm Only Sleeping lyrics should wake up bidders at Bonhams

Bonhams' Entertainment Memorabilia auction on December 15 will be a must for any fans of the music legend John Lennon. 

Handwritten lyrics for the Beatles' hit I'm Only Sleeping, an acoustic guitar used during the Walls and Bridges album recording sessions and a written note of personal expenses from May 1968 are just a few of the important items up for grabs thirty years after the musician's tragic death.

The most expensive item for sale is a set of handwritten lyrics for I'm Only Sleeping which is estimated to bring £250,000-350,000 (more than $559,700). The song can be seen as a reflection of drug-induced reverie, but it is also a personal statement on John's love of sleeping. 

John Lennon's personal handwritten lyrics to I'm Only Sleeping

His first wife Cynthia stated that he was a heavy sleeper who loved being in bed, and in Maureen Cleave's famous "...more popular than Jesus" interview with John she noted that "he can sleep almost indefinitely, is probably the laziest person in England."

The set of lyrics provide a very good idea of the creative process that lay behind John's compositions - a factor which is key to the value and investibility of Lennon lyrics, and pencil sketches like the example shown below, when they appear on the markets.

Lennon was known for noting down his ideas on any piece of paper that was to hand, and the lyrics for sale at Bonhams are written on the back of a letter chasing payment for a radiophone bill.

Meanwhile, two of Lennon's Ivor Novello Awards are also on offer in the auction. The first was for She Loves You (£40,000-50,000) - one of several Ivor Novello awards presented to the Beatles in 1964 for this song, which also won Most Broadcast Work Of The Year and Highest Certified British Sales. 

It was the track that firmly established the group at the top of the pop music tree in 1963 and it remained in the Top 20 for six months. Accompanying this lot is a photograph of John with a fan to whom he originally gave the award and a copy of a photograph of John at home in 'Kenwood' with several Ivor Novello awards in the background.

The second Ivor Novello award up for auction was awarded to Lennon for She's Leaving Home (£15,000-20,000) for Best Song at the 1968 awards ceremony where the Beatles won three awards.


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