I’ve got a bike

Syd Barrett

I was saddenly to learn this evening on Planet Rock radio that Pink Floyd co-founder Roger ‘Syd’ Barrett died last week of complications related to diabetes; he was only 60 years old. To be fair, I would have felt sad no matter where I learned that news. Sad Barrett?

I love the first Pink Floyd album, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn — the title, incidentally, taken from the book The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame, and the only Floyd album that Syd played on — which I first heard after discovering a cassette of the album while cleaning a homeless hostel basement in south London.

My favourite lyrics from that album, written (I’m sure) by Barrett are from the opening song “I’ve got a bike”. I love the simplicity and playfulness of the words, and its rythmn and meter.

I’ve got a 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.

I’ve got a bike. It has neither a basket nor a bell. Which is a shame.

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