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KFIX Rock News: Handwritten John Lennon Lyrics Donated To British Library

lyricsAcclaimed Beatles biographer Hunter Davies has donated lyric sheets and letters written by John Lennon to the British Library in London as part of a new U.K. government initiative.

The Cultural Gifts Scheme, which was adopted by the British government in March, allows citizens or companies to donate historically significant items in exchange for having their tax liability lowered.

Davies officially handed over the documents, which include Lennon’s handwritten lyrics to The Beatles songs “Strawberry Fields Forever,” “She Said She Said” and “In My Life,” during a ceremony held earlier on Thursday at the library.

The author had previously allowed the items to be temporarily displayed at the institution.

Prior to the event, the author said in a statement about his donation, “I want my Beatles collection to be kept together, in one place, and on public display, and the British Library is the perfect home for it.  I have always been pleased to see them in the Treasures Gallery, next to the Magna Carta, and works by Shakespeare and Beethoven, because that’s where I honestly think they belong.”

He added that he’s been working on a new book focusing on The Beatles’ lyrics, and explained that this inspired him to give the Fab Four-related collectibles to the library.

In response to Davies’ donation, U.K. Culture Minister Ed Vaizey said, “It’s fantastic that the first treasures to be donated to the nation through the Cultural Gifts Scheme include the hand written lyrics to some of the world’s best known songs, by one of the world’s most loved artists.  Incredibly generous donations like these are testament to the strong culture of philanthropy that exists in Britain today.”

According to the BBC, Lennon himself gave the documents to Davies, who became friends with the late Beatles legend during the 1960s.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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