7 May 2008
"A Cycling Girl Becomes Our Dream Today"
Our co-blogger Marie is currently in Malaysia working on a Danish reality show for a couple of months but she'll be blogging as best she can while there. Marie's granddad was known for his songwriting and we thought it appropriate to translate one of his cycling songs about springtime. His name was Sigfred Pedersen and he wrote the following song in 1936.
We have several posts about the iconic stature of the Cycling Girl [cykelpigen] in Danish history and this song is a fine example of the poetry surrounding the topic. I translated it directly, so it doesn't rhyme in English. Nevertheless, the song remains true to this day and still fits Copenhagen's bike culture to a tee.
Cyclist Song by Sigfred Pedersen, 1936
Denmark's young girls are all cycling now / Through springime's gentle, floral kingdom / To the beat of nickel bike bells / They head in flocks towards fairy tale adventures / With the sun in their eye, squinting over the handlebars / All the cold of winter is suddenly forgotten.
Yes, soon old houses can ignite in flame / Us old boys feel our blood rush [...]
We must give up! It's useless to lie: / That which flutters and which flies, entices us / A cycling girl becomes our dream today.
Fly out in flocks, you lovely cyclists / That which smiles and which tempts, entices us [...] / Fly out in flocks, fly out with your partner, / The youth must have freedom every day / But remember that bike lights must be turned on at 9!
All winter you long for the sun / Now springtime embraces the dresses / As the bike bell chimes from the polished handlebars / Every girl's heart is a promise given / One to be embraced completely by life / Springtime's fairytale begins today
The small cyclistas become cyclones / Millions of them on their small machines / Make traffic dangerous for every sad cyclist / But I have an indestructable frame and I can swing / If your tyre is flat we can trade tubes / As long as it will be you and I at the end of the day.
My own girl cycles through the spring / small auriculas flutter from the forks / A knee slides in and out of the hem of her dress / It all smells sweetly of love and nickel and springtime / from the newly varnished cycle / that carries the city's blonde girl on her way.
[NB:] The reference to 'auriculas flutter from the forks' is seen to this day. Women decorate their baskets and frames with flowers, more often plastic than real, but it is an old tradition in Denmark from the early days of cycling: