Bicycle Built for Two: Memories of Summer Love
By Steve Toll, care enhancement specialist
Almost every morning during my summer vacations as a kid, my parents and I would ride together on the boardwalk along the New Jersey shore.
My fondest memory is of my parents riding a bicycle built for two. It was such fun, and I would notice that after the ride my parents seemed closer and more connected. It seemed to do a lot for their relationship. One day, I asked them about it, and they told me about that great old song:
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 built for two.
Obviously, my mother said yes to my father’s wedding proposal!
I have always taken that story and memory with me as I began singing songs with people who have dementia. It was a song that everyone remembered, and I always asked them if they had ever ridden a bicycle built for two. It amazed me that so many people responded with memories and often amusing stories about their own bicycling escapades.
The power of this simple little song to stimulate long-term memories of pleasant experiences from the past has never ceased to amaze me. What a great method of helping people with dementia enjoy not only singing a fun song but also an opportunity to reminisce.
Even though this song is from the early 1900s, it has stood the test of time because it has a simple melody and lyrics that anyone can relate to - the power of love.