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McLean's American Pie lyrics to fetch €1.3m

Songwriter Don McLean's original manuscript of American Pie, one of the most iconic songs of its time, could fetch up to $1.5m (€1.3m) when it is sold on April 7, auctioneers Christie's said.

The 16 pages of handwritten and typed drafts include notes and deletions for the recording that became a hit after it was released in 1971.

McLean (69) is among the most renowned musicians of his generation.

The singer (inset) said he decided to sell the manuscript on a whim and has admitted that the beginning of the more than eight-minute song is about the death of singer Buddy Holly, who was killed in a plane crash in 1959.

Written in Cold Spring, New York and in Philadelphia, the six verses of American Pie reflect the social upheavals of the 1960s and early 1970s.