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Thursday, June 24, 1999 Published at 14:29 GMT 15:29 UK


Entertainment

Lennon's Walrus under the hammer

The lyrics fuelled rumours Paul McCartney was dead

Handwritten lyrics to the Beatles' classic song I Am The Walrus are expected to fetch up to £100,000 at an auction in London later this year.

The words, written by John Lennon, are the highlight at a sale of Beatles items and pop memorabilia at Christie's in September.

The A4 sheet of paper contains many crossings-out and differences from the version which was released on the Magical Mystery Tour EP in November 1967.

Among them, the word "policeman" in one line eventually becomes "priestess".

The lyrics are believed to have been inspired by the Lewis Carroll poem The Walrus And The Carpenter, although Lennon himself gave many explanations.

At the time, the lyrics were hotly debated. Some claimed the phrases "stupid bloody Tuesday" and "waiting for the van to come" referred to a rumour that Paul McCartney had been killed in an accident.

The song's "walrus" and "eggman" also intrigued fans. Lennon's 1968 song Glass Onion revealed "the walrus was Paul".

The lyrics were bought by a fan six years ago for £40,000 and are due to be sold on 30 September at Christie's in South Kensington.

A spokeswoman said: "Obviously these things have a market value, but we have no guarantee how much it will actually fetch on the day."



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