Don McLean's 'American Pie' sells for $1.2M at auction

Christie's in New York City.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Singer-songwriter Don McLean sold his original manuscript and notes to "American Pie" for $1.2 million.

The wistful anthem that asks "Do you recall what was revealed the day the music died?" went on the auction block on Tuesday.

Christie's said McLean sold 16 pages that include the original working manuscript and typed drafts of the song.

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The 8-minute-long "American Pie" was released in 1971. It was a No. 1 U.S. hit for four weeks in 1972.

"The day the music died" refers to the Feb. 3, 1959, deaths of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper in a plane crash.

McLean, a longtime Maine resident, says writing the song was "a mystical trip into his past."

CNBC contributed to this report.