Thursday, February 25, 2010

Bike

Bike 3:21
     (written by Syd Barrett)

Lyrics:
I've got a bike
You can ride it if you like
It's got a basket, a bell that rings
And things to make it look good
I'd give it to you if I could
But I borrowed it
You're the kind of girl that fits in with my world
I'll give you anything, everything, if you want thing


I've got a cloak
It's a bit of a joke
There's a tear up the front
It's red and black
I've had it for months
If you think it could look good
Then I guess it should
You're the kind of girl that fits in with my world
I'll give you anything, everything, if you want thing


I know a mouse
And he hasn't got a house
I don't know why
I call him Gerald
He's getting rather old
But he's a good mouse
You're the kind of girl that fits in with my world
I'll give you anything, everything, if you want thing


I've got a clan of gingerbread man
Here a man, there a man
Lots of gingerbread men
Take a couple if you wish
They're on the dish
You're the kind of girl that fits in with my world
I'll give you anything, everything, if you want thing


I know a room of musical tunes
Some rhyme, some ching, but most of them are clockwork
Let's go into the other room and make it work


Lead vocals: Syd Barrett

This song, the working title of which was simply The Bike Song, might be considered Syd's approximation of a love song — and it is certainly much more interesting than a traditional pop love song. The tune is a shy and endearing attempt on the part of the singer to share those things which are special to him (at least in the moment) — his bike, cloak, pet mouse, and gingerbread men — with the girl he loves, who he thinks fits in with his rag-tag world. The song starts out straightforward, but each subsequent verse becomes more disjointed and bizarre. For example, in the second verse, we are left to wonder if the singer doesn't know why his mouse named Gerald hasn't got a house, or if the singer doesn't know why he calls his mouse Gerald.

Though the actual sung lyric at the end of each chorus is 'I'll give you anything, everything, if you want thing,' it is supposed to be '...if you want things' — in other words, 'I'll give you what I have, if material things make you happy.' At the end of the song, Syd invites his girl into the 'other room' and the song segues into a bizarre mix of sound effects which may be intended to represent various sexual escapades — and if they do, one is struck dumb in wonderment at exactly what kind of sex could inspire such effects; some of which are musical, some of which sound like clockwork, as the lyric suggests, and some of which sound like a mad flock of geese on Barrett's drug of choice, LSD. On the other hand, the sounds may bear no relation to the rest of the song, merely a product of Syd's fragmented genius. Recorded on 21 May (during the time See Emily Play was also being produced), this was another song slashed from the US album release. It was re-released on the Relics compilation in 1971.

TRACK LISTING
Astronomy Domine
Lucifer Sam
Matilda Mother
Flaming
Pow R. Toc H.
Take Up Thy Stethoscope and Walk
Interstellar Overdrive
Gnome, The
Chapter 24
Scarecrow, The
Bike

4 comments:

  1. I may be crazy. Probably am. Is it only those of us who had these experiences who can read what some us see in these lyrics? From the first time I heard this song in 1973 it seemed to me a very, very creepy story of an inappropriately older male trying to "woo" a little girl. First: "Bike" was a popular brand of athletic supporter, and at least occasionally the word was used to refer to...you know what. "You're the kind of girl that fits in with my world." In other words, a child. I also don't believe the substitution of the word "thing" for "things" is insignificant. Another code for the same "thing." His cloak's got a tear up the front...Hmm? As for a "rather old" (perhaps wrinkled?) mouse who hasn't got a house but has got a cute name... Have I ruined it for anyone yet? But wait, there’s more. The gingerbread men on the dish are just a typical lure, just like an offer of candy. Finally, the “room of musical tunes” he lures her into does indeed sound nightmarish and yet childlike, with windup toys and finally the goose loop that sounds very much to me like certain noise making pull toys that were once popular with children, (though no doubt annoying to adults). Of course the repetition of the goose sound could also suggest the repetitive motions of a kind of activity we don’t want to imagine too vividly. I’ve read a few books and watched a few docos on Syd and the Floyd, and I’ve never heard anything like this interpretation come up…so perhaps I am indeed crazy. A symptom of long ago trauma, do doubt.

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  2. Kurt always said, 'it's how they interpret it'.
    Great imagination.

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  3. Kurt always said, 'it's how they interpret it'.
    Great imagination.

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  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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