Song Lyrics

Cycle-babble (lyrics by Alexander L’Estrange with excerpts from ‘The song of the wheel’ from ‘Outing’ by George Lynde Richardson

Whirl and click of sprocket and chain
Shimmer and flash of steel
Throb of pedal and saddle creak
This is the song of the wheel.

Bone shaker, a draisienne, a Laufmaschine, velocipede, an iron steed!
Mechanical substitute for the horse, a dandy horse!
A wheel carriage to ride upon, cock-horse upon!

A draisienne, vélocifère, célérifère, a dandyhorse,
Bipedaliferous  wheel, a bone shaker, a high wheeler,
An ordinary, a safety bike, a dwarf ordinary, a bicyclette,
A push bike, a vélo, an ever-saddled horse that eats nothing!

A true love of mine (lyrics by Joanna Forbes L’Estrange)

Are you willing to walk with me
Through the ferns and columbine?
I’ll take your hand and lead the way,
Then you’ll be a true love of mine.

I’m not willing to walk with thee
Through the ferns and columbine,
Though walks are fine, they’re not for me
And I’ll not be a true love of thine.

Will you take the train with me
Somewhere leafy down the line?
I’ll choose a destination fair,
Then you’ll be a true love of mine.

I’ll not take the train with thee
Somewhere leafy down the line;
Though trains are fast, they’re not for me
And I’ll not be a true love of thine.

Are you willing to drive with me
Where the rugged roads incline?
I’ll take the wheel and you’ll sit beside
Then you’ll be a true love of mine.

I’m not willing to drive with thee
Where the rugged roads incline;
Though cars are grand, they’re not not for me
And I’ll not be a true love of thine.

Sir, are you willing to cycle with me
On a tandem, two at a time?
I’ll take the front, you sit behind;
Then you’ll be a true love of mine.

I will gladly cycle with thee
On a tandem, two at a time!
You take the lead, I’ll sit behind;
Then I’ll be a true love of thine!
Then you’ll be a true love of mine!

Fine and dandy (lyrics by Joanna Forbes L’Estrange)

Oh what a strange invention, it will surely not catch on;
Such a ludicrous position, you’ll require a good physician!
This novel mode of exercise will quickly run its course;
It’s dangerous, it’s ugly and no substitute for a horse!

Velocipedes are such a thrill!
In country and in town.
So mock us all you will,
But you’ll never bring us down!

This craze for the velocipede is just for preening toffs!
Without any hesitation we would ban this aberration.
They knock us off the pavement at a most alarming speed;
Oh save us all from danger and destroy the velocipede!

Oh how we dandies love to ride
The new velocipede!
Past walkers we will glide
At such truly spiffing speed!

A woman (wearing bloomers) on a wheel (lyrics by Joanna Forbes L’Estrange)

In petticoats, heavy skirts and corsets
We moved about with ladylike gait;
Resplendent and oh so respectable,
With respiration responsibly restrained.
Though uncomf’table and unable to move with ease,
It wasn’t our place to complain
Until along came this wondrous invention
And life was never the same again.

For there’s nothing quite so splendid as the bloomer
For riding bicycles they’re perfectly ideal.
We doubt there’s ever truly been a more emancipated scene
Than a woman wearing bloomers on a wheel!

Success depends not just upon a clear and active mind;
In order to be healthy you must get off your behind!
Away with hoops and crinolines, our ankles must we bare;
These bifurcated garments are the only thing to wear!

For there’s nothing quite so splendid as the bloomer
For riding bicycles they’re perfectly ideal.
We doubt there’s ever truly been a more emancipated scene
Than a woman wearing bloomers on a wheel!

The feel of wind across your face, the rapid rush of speed!
A sense of strength and buoyancy upon an iron steed!
So let those corsets loosen, don’t worry what men say,
This rather handy ‘dandy horse’ is surely here to stay!

For there’s nothing quite so splendid as the bloomer
For riding bicycles they’re perfectly ideal.
We doubt there’s ever truly been a more emancipated scene
Than a woman wearing bloomers on a wheel!

The men who ride for fun (lyrics by Walter G. Kendall)

We’re the healthy, happy heathens,
We’re the Men Who Ride for Fun.
The faithful friends of bicycling, that sport surpassed by none.
We’ve ridden through long seasons past;
We’ll ride long seasons more;
And while we’ve gained both health and strength,
We have had fun galore!

We’re close to Mother Nature,
And she greets us ev’ry year
With blossoming flowers, budding trees
And sunny atmosphere.
We hear her voice low-calling,
Just as soon as Spring’s begun.
She tells her choicest secrets to
The Men Who Ride for Fun.

We start the season’s wheeling when the frost first hits the ground.
We know the roads in ev’ry town for fifty miles around.
Our minds are clear, our hearts are light, digestion Number One.
We’ve three big appetites a day, the Men Who Ride for Fun.

There are men who ride for mileage,
There are men who ride for speed.
And in a few short seasons
They get all the wheel they need.
While we keep on year after year;
Our wheeling’s never done.
We hearty, hungry vagabonds,
The Men Who Ride for Fun.

We wear each other’s burdens
And enjoy each other’s jokes;
Respect each other’s feelings
And the rights of other folks.
Bring out your wheels and join us.
You’ll be welcome, ev’ryone,
To the brothers of the bicycle,
The Men Who Ride for Fun!

Buying a cycle (lyrics based on words by Walter Parke from ‘Songs of Singularity, 1874)

One autumn eve, when, sharp and chill,
The wind blew like an ICICLE,
I met, fast speeding o’er the hill,
I boy upon a BICYCLE.

“What jolly japes!”, aloud I cried,
“By jove! I too will TRY-CYCLE;
And when like him I’ve learnt to ride,
Why, then, I’ll also BUY-CYCLE”.

That very day I made a start,`
First practising the TRICYCLE,
Then soaring to that nobler art,
The riding of the BICYCLE.

So well I liked my hired machine,
That, having asked the PRICE-ICLE,
I bought it, and it since has been
My own peculiar BICYCLE.

And now, at morn, and noon, and night,
My life is para-DISICAL;
I emulate the eagle’s flight
When mounted on my BICYCLE.

Oh lads and lasses, while there’s youth,
Remember my ad-VICICAL,
And haste to prove this precious truth:
There’s nothing like the BICYCLE!

Freewheeling (lyrics by Joanna Forbes L’Estrange)

Breathe free, freewheel,
Blue free, cool breeze,
Freewheel,
This is how is feels.

My wheel and I (lyrics by Alberto A. Bennett)

There’s a road we know,
My wheel and I,
Where we love to go,
My wheel and I.
There the briars thick by the roadside grow,
And the fragrant birch bends its branches low,
And the cool shade tempts us to ride more slow,
My wheel and I, my wheel and I.

But through shade and sheen,
My wheel and I,
By the hillsides green,
My wheel and I,
We roll along till there’s plainly seen
The bridge that crosses the deep ravine,
With its echoing rocks and the brook-laugh between,
My wheel and I, my wheel and I.

There’s a hill we hate,
My wheel and I,
But we toil up straight,
My wheel and I,
For beyond the hill is an ivy-crowned gate,
And a pair of eyes that to welcome us wait,
If we do not haste we will surely be late,
My wheel and I, my wheel and I.

9 Daisy, Daisy (based on Daisy Bell by Harry Dacre, with additional lyrics by Susan L’Estrange)

There is a flower within my heart,
Daisy, Daisy!
Planted one day by a glancing dart,
Planted by Daisy Bell.
Whether she loves me or loves me not,
Sometimes it’s hard to tell
Yet I am longing to share the lot
Of beautiful Daisy Bell!

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, Michael, here is my answer true:
I love to cycle, I’m also in love with you.
If we can’t afford a carriage,
It needn’t stop the marriage.
Oh what a thrill to say “I will”
On a bicycle made for two!

We will go tandem as man and wife
Daisy, Daisy!
Pedd’ling away down the road of life,
Me and my Daisy Bell,
You’ll take the lead in each trip we take,
Then if I don’t do well,
I will permit you to use the brake,
My beautiful Daisy Bell!

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!

10 Cycle-babble 2.0 (lyrics by Alexander L’Estrange with excerpts from ‘The song of the wheel’ from ‘Outing’ by George Lynde Richardson)

Whirl and click of sprocket and chain
Shimmer and flash of steel
Throb of pedal and saddle creak
This is the song of the wheel.

Gear-shifter, smoother swifter!
Sit up and beg, drop handlebars<
See and be seen, watch out for cars!
For each uphill, there’s a down,
In countryside, or in town,
Energy efficiency.
No insurance or fuel to pay;
Just ride away!

Le Tour de France, La Grande Boucle,
The yellow jersey, Le Maillot jaune,
Polkadots, Roi des montagnes,
The pelaton, a breakaway,
(“Sir Bradley Wiggins!”)
High-vis commuters, the ‘Boris Bike’,
The bike messengers, the lycra tribe,
A sense of freedom, cheap exercise,
Here’s the solution: vive la vélorution!
There’s no pollution!
Vive la vélorution!
A green travel solution!
Vive la vélorution!

 

 

Buy Song Cycle CD

The new CD of SONG CYCLE: vive la vélorution! by Alexander L'Estrange

HOT OFF THE PRESS!!
The new CD of
SONG CYCLE: vive la vélorution!
by Alexander L'Estrange

World Premiere

The World Premiere of Song Cycle: vive la vélorution! by Alexander L'Estrange took place in York Minster on 28 June 2014 with over 400 singers from across Yorkshire and featuring the composer's band, The Call Me Al Quintet. It is the third in a highly popular series by L'Estrange of choral works with jazz quintet, following in the footsteps of Zimbe! Come sing the songs of Africa! (2008) and Ahoy! Sing for the Mary Rose (2013).

Buy other CDs by Alexander L’Estrange

Ahoy! Sing for the Mary Rose by Alexander L'Estrange

Ahoy! Sing for the Mary Rose
by Alexander L'Estrange

Zimbe! Come sing the songs of Africa! by Alexander L'Estrange

Zimbe! Come sing the songs of Africa!
by Alexander L'Estrange

New Things To Say: Songs of L'Estrange & Legrand by L'Estranges in the Night

New Things To Say: Songs of L'Estrange & Legrand
by L'Estranges in the Night