Springsteen's Born to Run lyrics bring $197,000 to Sotheby's

Bruce Springsteen's handwritten working lyrics to his breakthrough single Born to Run have sold at Sotheby's in New York, the first in a string of high-profile music memorabilia sales in the coming days.

Bruce Springsteen handwritten lyrics
Springsteen gave the manuscript to Mike Appel, with who he had a major falling out following the album's release

The lyrics reveal a very early version of Springsteen's 1975 song, which is responsible for rocketing him into the limelight and to the top of the US charts.

Expected to see $70,000-100,000, the pages sold for $197,000 on December 5, making a 97% increase on estimate.

"Although Springsteen is known to have an intensive drafting process, few manuscripts of 'Born to Run' are available, with the present example being one of only two identified that include the most famous lines in the song," reads the lot description.

"This iteration expresses the darkness that the early versions are known for, but has the distinction of a nearly perfected chorus."

Springsteen is said to have given the lyrics to his manager, Mike Appel, who then sold them to a collector. They contain dozens of handwritten notes and corrections, including alternative lines in the margins.

Born to Run, Springsteen's third album, finally brought him the global success he was looking for

Following two albums that failed to bring him the success he desired, Springsteen took a full six months to write the song, which became his first worldwide release and achieved "musical perfection and Spector level grandeur", according to Sotheby's.

The single was a big success and the subsequent album of the same name took Springsteen's career to new heights. Still regarded as his greatest work, it has become an anthem for Springsteen's loyal fanbase, who refer to themselves as "tramps" after the line "tramps like us/baby we were born to run."

However, following the album's release, Springsteen and Mike Appel had a major fallout that culminated with a messy lawsuit and prevented the singer from releasing his music. The pair have since mended their differences.

Christie's will offer Bob Dylan's Newport guitar in New York today, and Profiles in History will sell Jim Morrison's unpublished notebook on December 18.

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