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£805,000 for American Pie lyrics

Published 07/04/2015

Madonna took the song to the top of the charts in 2000
Madonna took the song to the top of the charts in 2000

Handwritten lyrics to Don McLean's 1971 hit American Pie have sold at auction for more than £800,000.

The 16 pages, which include several drafts of the hit song which got to number two in 1972, sold at Christie's in New York for 1.2 million US dollars (£805,574).

The auction house described the song, which is around eight minutes long, as "a lternately wistful, buoyant, and enigmatic".

Its reference to "the day the music died" is about the deaths of rock 'n' roll pioneers Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper in a 1959 air crash.

American Pie made the charts again in 1991 when a re-issue got to number 12, before Madonna's cover version finally topped the chart in 2000.

McLean's other hits include the 1972 chart-topper Vincent and Crying.

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