Bike (3:22)

Cover of The Piper at the Gates of Dawn

From The Piper at the Gates of Dawn and 8 other releases

…allegedly inspired by a large Raleigh bicycle belonging to his new Cambridge girlfriend Jenny Spires… although she has since dismissed the connection as rubbish.

— Watkinson/Anderson, Crazy Diamond, p 32.

‘The Bike Song’ (aka “Bike”) … the forthcoming album’s [i.e. Piper at the Gates of Dawn — eH] closer. Cliff [“Syd’s Blind From Diabetes”] Jones wrote,

The tempo changes at the end of every verse. The rising glissando note that finishes each chorus was achieved using a crude oscillator and varispeeding the tape down while the track was running.

The apparently double-tracked vocal on ‘Bike’ is set far enough apart from the lead to disorient the listener. One fears the vocal tracks will become unglued and drift farther out of phase than they already are. Artificial double tracking was developed at EMI to save the trouble of recording a separate back-up vocal The song started out as a playful Barrett ditty in the style of ‘The Gnome’, but the haunting coda imbues it with a prophetic, sinister overtone. The finale of the song proper is a parody of the sort of fanfares to be found at the end of an operetta by Gilbert and Sullivan or in English vaudeville. Waters, Wright and Barrett join in on a campy chorus, inviting the girl ‘who fits in with my world’ into Syd’s ‘room of musical tunes’.

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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.

MetroLyrics Full lyrics at MetroLyrics

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  • sharv11

    Love it, however bittersweet since you've gone, Vinny...

    17 Feb 4:05am Reply
  • lter__Impius

    LOL, this song is so hilarious and endering. Currently favourite form Syd Barret.

    14 Nov 2014 Reply
  • RAY7654321

    Listening to the debut album "Piper At The Gates Of Dawn" released in August 1967. This is an incredible piece of work by the genius of Syd Barrett & Albert Hoffman. Written and lead vocal performed by Syd. Everything that I have come across suggests that at this time period only Syd was doing acid. Supposedly the other band members did not even try alcohol until Janice Joplin passed them the bottle while on the same venue together.

    1 Nov 2014 Reply
  • X8SK5X

    That summer (1965), as a consequence of the continuation of drug use, the band became absorbed in Sant Mat, a Sikh sect. Storm Thorgerson (then living on Earlham Street) and Barrett went to a London hotel to meet the sect's guru; Thorgerson managed to join the sect, while Barrett, however, was deemed too young to join. Thorgerson perceives this as a deeply important event in Barrett's life, as he was intensely upset by the rejection. While living within close proximity of his friends, Barrett decided to write more songs. "Bike" was written around this time

    13 Oct 2014 Reply
  • AlanCeh

    I just love it.

    4 Oct 2014 Reply
  • jonatexraupp

    You're the kind of girl that fits in with my world

    20 Sep 2014 Reply
  • negation_state

    Syd and the laughing ducks at the end of time.

    18 Sep 2014 Reply
  • X8SK5X

    Bike! the best song ever written!

    3 Aug 2014 Reply
  • silvansky

    I made a simple cover to this song: http://pleer.com/tracks/11566454QWl3

    8 Jul 2014 Reply
  • dennis1808

    I know a mouse, and he hasn't got a house. I don't know why, I call him Gerald. Now this is some damn fine songwriting!

    16 Jun 2014 Reply
  • Kansas-Eskimo

    lovely writer

    13 Jun 2014 Reply
  • Angel_Blue-

    I'll give you anything, everything if you want things

    29 May 2014 Reply
  • bagcheese

    I don't care if my cloak has a hole in it. It's a good cloak.

    17 May 2014 Reply
  • Spoike

    The end of the song is Satan's clown on a tricycle, squirting liquid cid in children's eyes

    8 Apr 2014 Reply
  • pollepet

    Syds bike is like my bike

    2 Apr 2014 Reply
  • javifeeble

    Embrace the crazyness: 2:10 til the end.

    31 Mar 2014 Reply
  • masodikgalamb

    ducks at the end are power

    5 Feb 2014 Reply
  • WoodyCAFC

    He's a good mouse...

    2 Feb 2014 Reply
  • X8SK5X

    Bike (Reversed) cool!

    1 Jan 2014 Reply
  • Assedor

    this group will always be a classic and one of the best examples that gave to the world the music of 70's,

    29 Dec 2013 Reply
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