Don McLean has announced he will reveal the meaning of the lyrics to his hit song American Pie when the original manuscript goes under the hammer in New York in April.
American Pie is considered Don McLean’s magnum opus and his signature song.
The lyrics are scheduled to be auctioned off on April 7th.
The singer has previously acknowledged that the beginning of the song is about the death of Buddy Holly, but has remained elusive about the rest of the track.
“The writing and the lyrics will divulge everything there is to divulge,” Don McLean told Reuters.
The 16-page manuscript could fetch up to $1.5 million at auction.
The 1971 song, which is Don McLean’s best-known work, was named a Song of the Century by the Recording Industry Association of America in 2001.
The six verses are understood to reflect the social upheavals of the 1960s and ’70s.
“I wanted to capture, probably before it was ever formulated, a rock and roll American dream,” Don McLean, 69, told Reuters.
Don McLean’s famous chorus features memorable lines like: “Bye-bye, Miss American Pie/Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry.”
Elsewhere, his wide-reaching rhymes talk of how “the jester sang for the king and queen/In a coat he borrowed from James Dean” and “while Lennon read a book on Marx/The quartet practiced in the park”.
Don McLean said he decided to sell the manuscript, which includes multiple drafts with handwritten notes and deletions, on a whim.
Francis Wahlgren of auction house Christie’s said: “The fact that the drafts, the working process of it, are all being offered as this lot makes it a remarkable insight into the mind of Don McLean and into this incredible song that has touched so many people.
“There is something about this song that captures the era of that period and there is a kind of innocence to it, a loss of innocence in America.”
Bob Dylan’s lyrics for Like A Rolling Stone set the auction record for a handwritten manuscript, when they sold for $2 million last year.
Don McLean has amassed more than 40 gold and platinum records worldwide during his career.
Two works from Andy Warhol’s Death and Disaster series have sold for a combined $100 million at Christie’s in New York.
1964’s Race Riot – inspired by pictures of a notorious civil rights protest in Birmingham, Alabama – went for $62.9 million.
Andy Warhol’s Race Riot was inspired by pictures of a notorious civil rights protest in Birmingham, Alabama
The 1962 painting White Marilyn, completed shortly after Marilyn Monroe took her life, sold for $41 million.
Alongside works by Mark Rothko and Barnett Newman, the paintings helped Christie’s set a new auction record.
In total, the sale of post-war and contemporary art raised $744 million, the highest ever total for a single auction.
The previous highest figure was set in November 2013, also at Christie’s, when the grand total was $691.5 million.
Ten auction records were set at Tuesday night’s sale, with works by American sculptor Alexander Calder and artist Joseph Cornell fetching new high prices.
After a fierce round of bidding, Newman’s Black Fire I, a 1961 canvas showing a thick column of black alongside smaller ribbons of white and black, made $84.2 million, almost double his previous highest price.
Francis Bacon’s Three Studies for a Portrait of John Edwards surged to $80.8 million, from an opening bid of $50 million.
The world’s largest orange diamond is expected to sell for up to $20 million when it is auctioned by Christie’s in Geneva, Switzerland.
A preview of the auction, which also will include an emerald necklace worn by Princess Pfizer of Egypt and a brooch owned by Eva Peron took place in New York last Friday.
The world’s largest orange diamond is expected to sell for up to $20 million
“The orange diamond is rare primarily because of its size. At 50 carats it’s the largest vivid orange diamond in the world that’s ever come up for sale at auction,” said Christie’s representative Rahul Kadakia.
The Christie’s sale includes some of the rarest gems, and jewels from the impressive period.
Christie’s says the pear-shaped Orange diamond is expected to sell for up to $20 million when it is auctioned by Christie’s in Geneva, Switzerland on November 12.
Other items such as a Cartier emerald and diamond necklace are expected to sell for up to $10 million.