05 April 2012

Gerald Is A Good Mouse Because I've Got A Bike

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.

Would you believe the above stanza is from a song about bicycling?  Well, it's sort of about bicycling, anyway.

You wouldn't need to believe it--you'd know it--if you were a Pink Floyd fan.  What's more, you'd know that Syd Barrett was probably the only one who could've pulled it off.  At least he could before the drugs destroyed him.

I heard "Bike" today for the first time in I-don't-know-how-long.  It doesn't, like most of PF's music from their early (pre-Dark Side of The Moon) albums, doesn't get much airplay these days.  One reason, of course, is that it doesn't have the polished, orchestrated sound of the songs on DSTM and later albums.  Also, I think this song and others from The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn are even more surreal, but not dreamier, than other psychedelic music of the time.    It's not the sort of thing people tune into "Golden Oldies" or "Classic Rock" stations to hear.

All right.  You didn't come to this site to read half-baked commentary about music.  The reason I'm mentioning Bike is that hearing it made me realize how few songs (popular ones, anyway) there are about bicycling.  It seems that about the only one most people know is Queen's Bicycle Race.  

By Golden Bird

I wonder why that is.  After all, there's a pretty fair amount of visual and graphic art, as well as literature, about cycling.  Or, at least, bicycles or bicycling are at least part of the material for those works.  As I'm not a musician, I couldn't make a song about two-wheeled trekking.  I have written a couple of poems about cycling; I suppose I could write one that someone could set to music.  

I know that many cyclists (I include myself among them) are avid readers and writers, and I know of at least a few (including Lovely Bicycle's "Velouria") who are photographers, painters and artists of other kinds.  So it seems natural that we'd have literary and visual works about cycling.  However, I've known more than a few cyclists who were musicians, and Eric Clapton is known to have a passion for cycling.  So why the apparent dearth of songs and music about cycling?

What do you think, dear readers?


  1. Some say EVERY song is about cycling. Especially love songs.

  2. It's hard to fond a rhyme for Campagnolo...

    Actually, I have written a couple of songs about bicycling. But, I'm no Eric Clapton (or Syd Barrett, for that matter).

  3. Steve--That's an interesting idea. I kinda like it.

    Jon--You're so right. Campagnolo, Reynolds, Columbus, Shimano, Mavic: Why is cycling full of hard-to-rhyme names.

    I'd be interested in seeing or hearing your songs. I don't care that you're not Eric Clapton or Syd Barrett!

  4. Hmmm, I'm not sure. Though I have to admit I have a playlist on my iPod with songs only about bikes. I will have to add Pink Floyd's Bike song. Never knew it existed :)