For our prompt of “Bicycle” today, my mind went back to my childhood. My mother used to sing bits of a song sung by Nat King Cole called “On A Bicycle Built For Two.” I hadn’t thought about that song in years, but now it’s stuck in my head again. I said my mother sang bits as, like most of us, it’s tough to remember all of the lyrics so she’d tend to hum bits and then get bolder when it was time for chorus. It’s a cute song and so I figured I’d do a quick little loose and carefree doodle in honor of that memory. The song was actually a hit way back when it was first written in 1892, and was recorded by many different people after that. I’ve never ridden on a tandem bicycle like this, but it seems like a very fun thing to try. It would take a lot of teamwork so it’s no wonder it became a star in song about romance.
Actually, in the original version of the song, the singer is asking Daisy Bell for her hand in marriage. Unfortunately, the young man, named Michael, can’t afford a carriage and tells her she’d look sweet on a tandem bike instead. Her answer is that song is an emphatic “no” as she tells him she’s not crazy and there won’t be a marriage if there’s no carriage. This isn’t really a very happy ending, so the modern versions of the song added some lyrics and wisely left out the response of the bride-to-be. What’s left is a cute little song about a poor boy pining for the love of the girl of his dreams. In the new version, it’s assumed that Daisy isn’t so pretentious and will of course say yes and they will ride away and live happily ever after. But, it is rather funnier the other way around.
I adore those older songs because romance was something so sweet and innocent. If the subject of marriage didn’t come up in the song, it was just as easily one that could be sung to a good friend. There’s something beautiful about pure love, and our capacity to share love is always larger than we think. Throughout my life, just when I thought I’d met every friend that might become special to me, another one appears. I cherish those friendships and even remember the first time we met as though it were a romance. Love makes everything more memorable and amazing. And, of course, I remember meeting Philippe for the first time. He didn’t sing a love song to me, but he did sing the Disney song “The Bare Necessities” in French, which really was the next best thing. In that moment, I knew we weren’t the couple that would ever require a carriage, as we’d certainly be quite at home on a bicycle built for two.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Hansa Yellow Medium, Yellow Ochre, Opus (Vivid Pink), Quinacridone Red, Pthalo Blue, Cobalt Turquoise, Terra Cotta, and Indigo. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!