(Reuters) – Rocker Bruce Springsteen’s 1974 handwritten draft of his hit song “Born to Run” has sold for $197,000, auctioneers Sotheby’s said on Thursday.
Springsteen’s “Born to Run,” the title song from his 1975 album of the same name, has become an essential American anthem, and the draft, written in the singer’s cursive hand in blue ink, fetched more than double its estimate of $70,000 to $100,000 at a New York sale.
The one notebook page of lyrics shows Springsteen’s creative process for the song. While many of the lyrics on the working draft were not recorded, his famous shout, “Tramps like us, baby, we were born to run,” is included.
“This was done in 1974 when he was going through preparing for his third album,” Richard Austin, head of Sotheby’s books and manuscripts department, told Reuters ahead of the sale. “And there is a story he tells about sitting on the edge of his bed with his guitar and the phrase ‘born to run’ comes into his head. And what you are actually looking at is the process he goes through to get to the finished song.”
It took Springsteen six months to complete “Born to Run,” and when it was released, the song helped make the New Jersey singer “The Boss,” one of the greatest rock stars of all time.
The lyrics were sold as part of Sotheby’s Fine Books and Manuscripts sale on Thursday, which brought in more than $3.7 million from 176 lots.
The auction included a letter from John Lennon, a series of love letters from Mick Jagger, as well as works from William Shakespeare, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Jefferson.
(Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy in Los Angeles; Editing by Eric Kelsey and Mohammad Zargham)