Nine Million Bicycles

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Nine Million Bicycles

Nine Million Bicycles is a song written and produced by Mike Batt for Katie’s second album, Piece by Piece.
It was released as the album’s first single in September 2005 and reached number five on the UK Singles Chart, becoming Katie’s first top five hit as a solo artist.
It was a finalist for The Record of the Year prize, losing to “You Raise Me Up” by Westlife.

According to Katie, the inspiration for the song came from when her interpreter during her time in Beijing, China, was showing her and her manager, Mike Batt, around the city.
The interpreter gave them information about Beijing, including that there are supposedly nine million bicycles in the city.
Batt wrote a song based around the title “Nine Million Bicycles” upon his return to England two weeks later, and it was one of the last songs to be recorded for Piece by Piece.

Tracklist:

    1. Nine Million Bicycles
    2. Market Day in Guernica
    3. Stardust

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Release Year: 2005 | Cat: Dramatico DRAMCDS0012

Promo Video

CD Booklet Text:

Produced and arranged by Mike Batt.
Writers: Track 1 & 2 Mike Batt.
Track 3 Hoagy Carmicheal & Mitchell Parish.
Engineered by Steve Sale.
Tracks 1 and 2 published by
Dramatico/Sony/ATV Music Publishing (UK).
Track 3 published by Lawrence Wright Music Co Ltd.

Photography by Simon Fowler
Design by www.weartourist.com

01. Nine Million Bicycles

There are nine million bicycles in Beijing
That’s a fact,
It’s a thing we can’t deny
Like the fact that I will love you till I die.

We are twelve billion light years from the edge,
That’s a guess,
No-one can ever say it’s true
But I know that I will always be with you.

I’m warmed by the fire of your love everyday
So don’t call me a liar,
Just believe everything that I say

There are six BILLION people in the world
More or less

and it makes me feel quite small
But you’re the one I love the most of all

We’re high on the wire
With the world in our sight
And I’ll never tire,
Of the love that you give me every night

There are nine million bicycles in Beijing
That’s a Fact,
it’s a thing we can’t deny
Like the fact that I will love you till I die

And there are nine million bicycles in Beijing
And you know that I will love you till I die!

02. Market Day in Guernica

My children played a skipping game
On market day in Guernica
On market day before they came
Before they came to Guernica.

I search my soul but cannot start
to find forgiveness in my heart.
My little ones no longer play
In Guernica on market day.

My father wore his linen suit
On market day in Guernica
He always sold the finest fruit
Before they came to Guernica

Now there’s no way to let him know
How much I loved and miss him so

I watched as he was blown away
In Guernica on market day.

Away
Away
All blown away

My children played a skipping game
On market day in Guernica
On market day before they came
Before they came to Guernica.

I search my soul but cannot start
To find forgiveness in my heart.
My little ones no longer play in Guernica
On market day.

03. Stardust

And now the purple dust of twilight time
Steals across the meadows of my heart
Now the little stars, the little stars pine
Always reminding me that we’re apart
You wander down the lane and far away
Leaving me a love that cannot die
Love is now the stardust of yesterday
The music of the years gone by.

Sometimes I wonder why I spend
The lonely nights
Dreaming of a song
That melody haunts my reverie
And I am once again with you
When our love was new
And each kiss an inspiration
Ah, but that was long ago
Now my consolation
Is in the stardust of a song

Beside a garden wall
Where stars are bright
You are in my arms

That nightingale tells its fairy tale
of paradise where roses grew
Though I dream in vain
In my heart it will remain
my stardust melody
The memory of love’s refrain.

Ah, but that was long ago
Now my consolation
Is in the stardust of a song

Beside a garden wall
Where stars are bright
You are in my arms
That nightingale tells its fairy tale
Of paradise where roses grew
Though I dream in vain
In my heart it will remain
My stardust melody
The memory of love’s refrain.

Rating: ★★★★★
***** a savory treat *****

“nine million bicycles”, while not the very best song on the piece by piece album (my vote is for “thank you stars”), offers a very pleasant sample as to what the creative partnership of katie melua and mike batt are capable of producing. the song and video (superbly directed by the former 10cc frontman kevin godley) have a rather gentle and ethereal quality that i found to be most savory. imagine eating a the most delicious spring roll and then picture what it would be like to sing a song about love reflective of that experience. that’s “nine million bicycles” in a nutshell. while some have criticized this type of music for being vapid and airy, i would contend that it is more heartfelt that most anything we are subjected to listening to from our current music culture.

there is something special to be said about delicacy in it’s many forms. what we have with this song is another 5 star effort from one of the greatest female musicians/performers alive today. it’s worth adding that the ‘b’ songs on this single, “stardust” (which is a very challenging song to sing) and “market day in guernica” (about the somewhat forgotten destruction of a small spanish town by the german luftwaffe before ww2) are fantastic bonus tracks making this 3 track cd a more than worthwhile listening experience.

Rating: ★★★★★
a return to a pure language

I Must say the feeling of shivering the first time l heard the song is not too far off from my feelings,its got really something special to it,soul-soothing Miss Melua’s words sweep you high up to the heavens and let you stay right there…contentedly,she has brought back the magic into music that most of us last saw ages ago,its a real beauty,BRAVO!