First draft of Elton John's 'Your Song' lyrics sold for $349,600 at auction

News 21/12/2019

The first draft of Bernie Taupin's lyrics to Elton John's breakthrough classic 'Your Song' have sold at auction for $349,600 NZD in Los Angeles. 

Taupin was Elton's longtime co-writer, and was married to Maxine Taupin for a five-year period that ended in 1976. Maxine, Taupin's ex-wife and the inspiration for the hit song 'Tiny Dancer', put the a number of documents up for sale recently, which she had kept from the marriage. 

Alongside the 'Your Song' framed sheet, the lyrics to 'The Border Song' also sold for $47,400 NZD, including a second verse which John didn't record for the final version. 'Bennie and the Jets' lyrics sold for $132,500 NZD.

Lyric sheets for 'Candle in the Wind', 'Goodbye Yellow Brick Road' and 'Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting' were all up for sale as well, but failed to sell. A poem Bernie wrote to Maxine as they realised their marriage was ending was also unsold. 

Bernie put his own archive up for sale last year. Maxine admitted she couldn't remember how she came to possess the pages she put up for sale, saying: "You don't just normally sit in a room and divide things up, but it might have happened like that. 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."

Maxine also said she had been involved in the creative process for writing at certain points, such as for the titles' The Bitch in Black', 'Harmony' and 'Love Lies Bleeding', but she insisted she would never pursue Bernie for a share of any royalties.

"That is totally not my style," she explained. "Coming up with an idea for something and sharing it and telling someone that I loved to use it, that's fine. It's enough."