“Daisy Bell”, also known as “Bicycle Built for Two” is a popular folksong written in 1892 by Harry Dacre.
The song’s lyrics most likely refer to the Countess of Warwick, Daisy Greville, one of King Edward VII.
Daisy Bell is one of the most covered songs, having been covered by artists like Nat King Cole, Bing Crosby, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Blur, Katy Perry, Nick Cave and others. It was also the first song sung using speech synthesis and HAL in Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey sang this song as well while being disconnected.
The “Bicycle Built for Two” part was added when Dacre visited the USA and had to pay import taxes. His composer friend, William Jerome mentioned that it is good he did not bring over a bicycle built for two (a tandem bike), otherwise the import duty would be double.
“Daisy Bell (Bicycle Built For Two)” Lyrics
Daisy, Daisy give me your answer do.
I’m half crazy all for the love of you.
It won’t be a stylish marriage,
I can’t afford a carriage.
But you’ll look sweet,
Upon the seat,
Of a bicycle made for two.
Michael, Micheal, here is your answer true.
I’m not crazy all for the love of you.
There won’t be any marriage,
If you can’t afford a carriage.
‘Cause I’ll be switched,
If I get hitched,
On a bicycle built for two!”