The original manuscript featuring deleted lyrics and notes for Don Mclean's iconic song American Pie is expected to fetch up to $1.5 million (£938,000) at auction in April (15).

The previously unseen 16-page document, compiled of handwritten and typed pages on a variety of coloured and lined notebook paper, contains notes, drafts and deleted lyrics from the 1971 classic.

MCLean has never explained the meaning of most of the lyrics, except revealing the opening verses were inspired by the death of singer Buddy Holly in 1959.

MCLean found the manuscript when rooting through boxes of his music paperwork and decided to sell it.

He tells, "I'm going to be 70 this year... I have two children and a wife, and none of them seem to have the mercantile instinct. I want to get the best deal that I can for them. It's time.

"I only have an attachment to my wife, children and my guitar... In fact, I'm going to rid myself of a lot of stuff. In a year or two, I'm going to have a big Christie's auction with guitars, clothes, boots, saddles, silver and watches. I collect a lot of stuff. It's time to let other people have it."

The lyric book will go under the hammer at Christie's auction house in New York on 7 April (15).

Francis Wahlgren from Christie's says, "The fact that the drafts, the working process of it, are all being offered as this lot makes it a remarkable insight into the mind of Don MCLean and into this incredible song that has touched so many people."