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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 January 2006, 11:21 GMT
Lennon original lyrics for sale
Manuscript of A Day in the Life

John Lennon's original draft of lyrics to the groundbreaking Beatles song A Day in the Life has gone on sale.

The manuscript, being sold in New York in a sealed-bid auction ending 7 March, is expected to fetch about $2m (1.13m), auction house Bonhams said.

Lennon wrote the song after reading about the death of his friend, Guinness heir Tara Browne, in the Daily Mail on 17 January 1967.

It became the final track on the Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album.

The manuscript was last sold in 1992 by the estate of Beatles road manager Mal Evans for $100,000 (56,600) at Sotheby's, in London, to an unknown collector.

Lennon's handwritten lyric sheet for the Beatles' 1967 live satellite broadcast of All You Need is Love sold in July last year for 600,000 ($1.04m).

Martin Gammon, of Bonhams, said the sale price could be $2m "based on market history".

This would make it the most valuable musical manuscript composed in the 20th Century to be offered at auction, he added.

Pothole study

The song, considered to be one of The Beatles' finest, begins "I read the news today, oh boy" and was famously inspired by the copy of the Daily Mail, which included reports of the coroner's verdict on the death of Tara Browne.

The millionaire was killed in a car crash after driving at high speed through London. It led to the line: "He blew his mind out in a car, he didn't notice that the lights had changed."

A study showing that the streets of Blackburn had 4,000 potholes was also immortalised by the lyrics: "I read the news today, oh boy, 4,000 holes in Blackburn, Lancashire."

Paul McCartney added the middle section, including the line: "Found my way upstairs and had a smoke, somebody spoke and I went into a dream."

The Beatles split three years later in 1970 and in 1980 Lennon was shot dead in New York, aged 40, by Mark David Chapman.

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