Don McLean’s Classic ‘American Pie’ Lyrics Sell for $1.2 Million
On Tuesday (April 7), the draft for one of America's most cherished songs, Don McLean's classic "American Pie," sold in an auction held by Christie's for $1.2 million, according to CNN. The item consisted of 16 pages, which included 237 lines of manuscript and 26 lines of text, some of which are "revealing" notes and lines that didn't make the final cut.
It's an eight-minute song that almost everyone knows the lyrics to, specifically the repeated chorus, "Bye, bye Miss American Pie / Drove my Chevy to the levy but the levy was dry." The meaning of the song has been analyzed over and over again, but McLean says it represents the end of America's innocence. He's also stated that the opening lines were inspired by Buddy Holly's passing ("I can't remember if I cried / When I read about his widowed bride / But something touched me deep inside / The day the music died").
In 1972, the song snatched the No. 1 spot on the charts. The track length was too long for the 45RPM single that it was released on, so it was split between side A and B.
A few months prior to the auction, McLean said, "I'm going to be 70 this year ... 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." Although $1.2 million is nothing to be ashamed of, Bob Dylan still holds the manuscript sale record, selling his "Like a Rolling Stone" outline for a whopping $2 million in June 2014.