`I Am The Very Expensive Walrus'

THE HANDWRITTEN lyrics to one of The Beatles' most famous songs are expected to fetch more than pounds 60,000 when they are sold at auction later this year. The original words to "I Am The Walrus", which were written by John Lennon in black ink on a simple sheet of A4 paper, are slightly different from the final version.

Its famous lyrics with phrases such as "I am the eggman" and "Sitting on a cornflake waiting for the van to come" have been analysed many times over the years but no one has ever been completely certain what Lennon meant.

Most believe the words were inspired by the Lewis Carroll poem The Walrus and the Carpenter but Lennon himself gave numerous interpretations.

In Ian MacDonald's definitive book on The Beatles, Revolution in the Head, the author said the song was an angry sequel to the darkly melancholic "Strawberry Fields Forever" and became Lennon's ultimate anti-establishment rant.

"A trace of the more philosophical Lennon remains in the song's opening line ["I am he, as you are he, as you are me, and we are all together"] but the rest of the song is pure invective, including a swipe at the mantra- chanting of the Hare Krishna movement to which George Harrison was inclined."

Lennon frequently bragged that he wrote songs while under the influence of LSD, and the lyrics contain the line "See how they fly, like Lucy in the Sky" - a reference to his earlier classic "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds". Others claimed that the phrases "stupid Bloody Tuesday" and "waiting for the van to come" referred to a widely circulated rumour that Paul McCartney had been killed in an accident. Lennon's later song "Glass Onion" revealed that "The Walrus" was McCartney himself.

The "Walrus" lyrics were bought by a fan six years ago for pounds 40,000 and will be sold on 30 September at Christie's in South Kensington. One possible bidder could be Noel Gallagher of Oasis, who already has a collection of Beatles memorabilia.

A spokeswoman for Christie's said: "These are working lyrics of Lennon's trademark song. It is one of the most interesting examples of lyrics to come on the market."

The previous record for Beatles memorabilia was a notebook written by their road manager, Mal Evans, which included McCartney's lyrics for "Hey Jude". It fetched pounds 111,000.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (B2B) - Romford - £40,000 + car

£35000 - £40000 per annum + car and benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager...

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...

Ashdown Group: Data Scientist - London - £50,000 + bonus

£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...

Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Development) - Kingston

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers