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Syd Barrett’s Bike

12th July 2006

The great and mysteriously troubled Syd Barrett is dead. I’m too young to remember the era when he was the madcap frontman of Pink Floyd, but I have long been aware that he was a recluse - missing for twenty years, until it turned out he lived with his mother.

So, the best tribute I can pay Syd is to reflect once more on the lyrics to Bike (a song where a pretty girl is offered a bike, a cloak, some gingerbread men - and a mouse called Gerald) from their first album, Piper at the Gates of Dawn. Whether this song is about sex or madness is up to you. Honestly, you gotta listen to it. Here are the lyrics…

Bike

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 things

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 things

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 things

I’ve got a clan of gingerbread men
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 things

I know a room full of musical tunes
Some rhyme
Some ching
Most of them are clockwork
Let’s go into the other room and make them work

Responses

# Richard Rutter responded on 12th July 2006 with...

I’ve got a fantastic cover of ‘Bike’ by Fortran 5. It’s a danced-up version with all the vocals being edits of Sid James pasted together. Fantastic.

# Simon Collison responded on 12th July 2006 with...

Richard: Blimey - I remember Fortran 5. Sid James?! Madness. Off to try and acquire that version right now…

# Mark Norman Francis responded on 12th July 2006 with...

I was about to say much the same. It’s on the album Blues. In fact, there’s two versions on the album. Sweet.

# David Hughes responded on 12th July 2006 with...

Great minds think alike…

# PerryChicago responded on 18th July 2006 with...

The death of Syd struck a chord with me and my mid-month podcast at The Best Radio You Have Never Heard (http://www.bestradiopodcast.com) is a tribute to the great rock visionary.
“Here To Do My Parts” is a tribute to Syd Barrett. Even though of course there is some Pink Floyd music in the show, it is more of a tribute to SydĖs vision. I like to think of it as traveling music for SydĖs iPod as he makes the trek to the Gates of Dawn, or perhaps some gardening music for the great beyond as, in his recent past, gardening was one of SydĖs few hobbies.

Have a listen and let me know what you think.

Perry/Chicago
http://www.bestradiopodcast.com

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