Daisy Bell

by Harry Dare (1892)

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 a seat
Of a bicycle
Built for two!

When Harry Dacre, an English popular composer, first came to the United States, he brought with him a bicycle, for which he was charged import duty. His friend William Jerome, another songwriter, remarked lightly: "It's lucky you didn't bring a bicycle built for two, otherwise you'd have to pay double duty."

 

Dacre was so taken with the phrase "bicycle built for two" that he soon used it in a song. That song, Daisy Bell, first became successful in a London music hall, in a performance by Katie Lawrence. Tony Pastor was the first to sing it in the United States. Its success in America began when Jennie Lindsay brought down the house with it at the Atlantic Gardens on the Bowery early in 1892.