Bruce Springsteen's Born To Run lyrics up for auction

Sotheby's are expecting to fetch between £43,000 and £61,000 for handwritten manuscript

Early lyrics for Bruce Springsteen's Born To Run are going up for auction next month. Sotheby's are expecting to fetch between $70,000 (£43,000) and $100,000 (£61,000) for a handwritten manuscript showing the genesis of the singer's 1975 hit.

Offered by an unidentified seller, these 30 lines were allegedly torn from a spiral-bound notebook that once belonged to Springsteen. While these stanzas are almost entirely different to the final Born To Run lyrics, "certain key phrases" are already present, the New York Times reports. Instead of "[riding] through mansions of glory in suicide machines", Springsteen writes of "chasin the bad kind of glory down a killers highway". Other parts, such as lyrics about "tramps like us" and a town "[that]'ll rip the bones from your back", are completely familiar.

According to Sotheby's, this version of Born To Run was written in Long Branch, New Jersey in 1974. Most of the lyrics are unpublished and have never been recorded; they were part of a collection owed by Springsteen's manager, Mike Appel. "[Appel] sold it to a collector, who sold it to the current consignor," Sotheby's Richard Mr. Austin told the Times. "Bruce Springsteen manuscripts don't come up often ... There are verses here that will be unfamiliar even to hardcore fans."

While Springsteen had seen some success with his first two albums, Born To Run was his true breakthrough, reaching No 3 at home and No 17 in the UK. Although the title track peaked at No 23 on the Billboard Hot 100, it has since been heralded as one of the greatest rock'n'roll songs of all time.

Earlier this week, Springsteen announced plans to release High Hopes, his 18th studio album. This collection of originals and covers of old songs will be released in January.

Sotheby's Born To Run manuscript will be sold at auction in New York on 5 December.


Sean Michaels

The GuardianTramp

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