Don McLean's American Pie lyrics sheet to make up to $1.5m

The original manuscript to Don McLean's enigmatic masterpiece American Pie is to cross the block at a Christie's auction on April 7.

It's estimated to sell for around $1.5m.

McLean has steadfastly refused to divulge the meaning of the song's famously perplexing lyrics. Fans hope this manuscript will reveal all.

Don McLean Christies
Don McLean's American Pie lyrics could make $1.5m at Christie's

The song was written in 1971 and swiftly became McLean's signature. Over the course of eight minutes it runs through the tumultuous events of the late 1950s and 1960s, with nods to the songs and bands of the era.

It went straight to number one when it was released in the US in 1972 and remains one of the defining sounds of the decade.

McLean explained the reason for the sale to Rolling Stone magazine: "I have two children and a wife, and none of them seem to have the mercantile instinct. I want to get the best deal that I can for them. It's time.

"I only have an attachment to my wife, children and my guitar.

"In fact, I'm going to rid myself of a lot of stuff. In a year or two, I'm going to have a big Christie's auction with guitars, clothes, boots, saddles, silver and watches. I collect a lot of stuff. It's time to let other people have it."

The record for a lyrics sheet at auction stands at $2m, paid for Bob Dylan's Like a Rolling Stone at Sotheby's New York last year.

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