A unique piece of Beatles history is going up for sale. It has just been announced that the handwritten lyrics to “Hey Jude” will be going up for auction and are expected to fetch $375,000.
Though the song is credited to both John Lennon and Paul McCartney, it was adapted from a ballad, titled “Hey Jules”, that McCartney wrote to comfort Lennon’s son Julian in the midst of his parents’ divorce in 1968.
A video taken during a recording session shows Lennon using the lyrics sheet. According to Moments in Time dealer Gary Zimet, who is selling the handwritten lyrics, this video authenticates the item. “This rare lyric sheet was seen being used by Lennon in a filmed recording session and is written all in McCartney’s hand.”
McCartney successfully blocked Christie’s auction house from selling the handwritten lyrics 16 years ago, claiming that the paper had either been stolen from his home during one of a series of break-ins or had been taken by someone who worked for him. The lawyer for Christie’s argued that McCartney had never reported the theft and had no evidence of ever having owned the item.
According to a 2002 Billboard article Florrent Tessier “bought them from a street market stall in the early ’70s in London for 10 pounds, then worth about $24.” Tessier hung the lyrics up in his home but didn’t realize that it was the original lyrics sheet until 1996 when he had it appraised by Sotheby’s.
Check out the video showing the lyrics page below: