“Bicycle Built for Two (Daisy Bell)”


The singer describes his love for Daisy Bell. His poverty being what it is, he cannot offer a fancy wedding or carriage, but proposes they ride a "bicycle built for two." In the original, she accepts


Harry Dacre (formerly "Harry Decker," and probably born under the name "Frank Dean") was an Englishman who made a visit to the Americas in the 1890s. Among other things, he brought along a bicycle, upon which he was forced to pay duty. A friend remarked that it was well it had not been a bicycle built for two. Somehow that inspired this insipid song.

I thought it went without saying that the verse "Richard, Richard, here is your answer true, You're half crazy if you think that will do... But I'll be switched If I'll be hitched On a bicycle built for two" is a parody. But I've heard people sing it as part of the actual song. Such are the ways of tradition. - RBW


  1. Gilbert, p. 255, "(Daisy Bell)" (1 partial text)
  2. Silber-FSWB, p. 247, "A Bicycle Built for Two (Daisy Bell)" (1 text)
  3. Geller-Famous, pp. 100-102, "Daisy Bell" (1 text, 1 tune)
  4. Fuld, pp. 188-189+, "Daisy Bell -- (A Bicycle Built for Two)"
  5. DT, DAISYBEL* (DAISYBL2* -- containing many sundry parodies)
  6. BI, Gil255


Author: Harry Dacre
Earliest date: 1892 (sheet music)