The first handwritten draft of the lyrics to Elton John‘s ‘Your Song’, written by his lifelong collaborator Bernie Taupin, have been sold at auction for £180,000.
Maxine Taupin, who was married to Bernie from 1971 to 1976 and the inspiration for ‘Tiny Dancer’, put a number of the lyricist’s drafts up for auction at Bonhams in Los Angeles. Watch the original 1970 video for ‘Your Song’ below.
he lyrics to ‘The Border Song’ sold for £24,000, while ‘Bennie And The Jets’, including a second verse which did not make it into the final song, reached £67,000.
Handwritten drafts of ‘Candle In The Wind’, ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’ and ‘Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting’ remained unsold in the auction, which raised £271,000 overall.
Maxine said: “When Bernie had completed an album’s worth of lyrics, we would pay Elton a visit. When I heard the finished songs, I was instantly transported to that magical place these two creative forces have been taking us all for so many years.”
Speaking to Rolling Stone prior to the auction, Taupin explained that she could not remember how she wound up with the valuable lyrics after her divorce. “You don’t just normally sit in a room and divide things up, but it might have happened like that,” she said.
“I don’t really remember the moment. But some of them were framed on a wall in my home and other ones were in a bank vault, perfectly preserved.”
She added: “When I heard the finished songs, I was instantly transported to that magical place these two creative forces have been taking us all to for so many years.”
Ms Taupin, who last saw Elton perform in 2004, said that she decided to cash in on the lyrics in the wake of ‘Rocketman’s success.