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A song by American singer-songwriter Darryl Purpose has tweaked the heartstrings - and twanged the spokes - of bike industry expert Dr Paul Rosen of the Science & Technology Studies Unit of the Department of Sociology at the University of York

Song about an IBD melts sociologists heart

Rosen is an expert on the industrial history of Raleigh and the British bike trade of the 50s and 60s. He’s also a music buff and was already familiar with the work of US songwriter Darryl Purpose but had never heard the ‘Mr Schwinn’ song, released in 1999.

"A friend recently gave me a CD by an American songwriter called Darryl Purpose who I’d heard before, but not this song – it’s about a bike shop owner. It’s a great story, with some lovely touches. It deserves publicity on your site!"

No sooner said than done, Dr. Rosen!

The song can be heard at http://www.darrylpurpose.com/…/schwinn.ram

It’s from the album ‘Travelers’ Code’ (Tangible Music, 1999) and starts "Mr Schwinn was as thin as a pelican’s grin and I took him my bike when the wheel wouldn’t spin or the gears wouldn’t shift/ For fixing a bike the man had a gift."

But be warned, it’s a weepy, Mr Schwinn (the US equivalent of a Raleigh 5-Star dealer type IBD) doesn’t live through the whole song…

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