Paul McCartney's Handwritten Lyrics to the Beatles' 'Hey Jude' Fetches $910K at Auction

Paul McCartney's handwritten lyrics for the Beatles' 1968 hit song "Hey Jude" sold for nearly a million dollars at an auction on Friday.

Julien's Auction hosted an all-Beatles themed auction on Friday to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the iconic quartet's breakup. Estimated to be worth $160,000, the lyrics were sold for a grand total of $910,000, according to a press release.

Even though McCartney's lyrics were the top seller, other items from the Fab Four were also sold including drum heads used by drummer Ringo Starr, handwritten notes by guitarist John Lennon, and artwork by McCartney.

Beatles fans would be hard-pressed to find a rarer piece of memorabilia than McCartney's lyrics to "Hey Jude," which was released as a single in 1968. The song is one of the Beatles' most-beloved songs, ranked as the eighth best song of all time by Rolling Stone. The magazine later ranked the ballad as the seventh best Beatles song of all time.

McCartney had written the song to comfort Lennon's son Julian as his parents began to separate in 1968. The composer said that the song's original title was "Hey Jules," as it was intended for the musician's son. Despite the song being intended for his son, Lennon said in a 1980 interview that he thought the song was written for him.

The auction's next top-selling item was Starr's drum head used at San Francisco's Cow Palace arena in 1964. The drum head sold for $200,000, four times more than the estimated $50,000.

Other top-selling items in the auction were handwritten notes from other Beatles and stage-used memorabilia. Notes by Lennon, guitarist George Harrison and Beatles roadie Mal Evans regarding the McCartney-directed music video for "Hello, Goodbye" in 1967 sold for $83,200."

A black-and-white photo that was autographed by each member of the band sold for $11,520.

The stage where the band got their start on was also sold in the auction. The original stage from Lathom Hall in Liverpool, England was auctioned off for $25,600. The band made their debut to the world on the stage on May 14, 1960.

Artwork by McCartney also drew a large amount of money for the auction. A pencil and watercolor still-life by the singer sold for $28,000 and a pencil drawing sold for $19,200.

McCartney was not the only Beatle with artwork sold during the auction. A collage by Lennon from 1977 was sold for $12,800. An autographed poster from Lennon's Imagine album with a doodle of a self-portrait drawing sold for just over $10,000.

paul mccartney
Paul McCartney performs during the Liverpool Sound concert, held at Anfield Stadium on June 1, 2008 in Liverpool, England. MJ Kim/MPL Communications Ltd/Getty
Paul McCartney's Handwritten Lyrics to the Beatles' 'Hey Jude' Fetches $910K at Auction | Culture