12th July, 2006

Syd Barrett’s Bike

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

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