"Handlebars" as written by Andrew Guerrero, Stephen Brackett, Jamie Laurie, Mackenzie Roberts, Jesse Walker and Kenneth Ortiz....
[Chorus]
I can ride my bike with no handlebars
No handlebars
No handlebars
I can ride my bike with no handlebars
No handlebars
No handlebars

Look at me, look at me
Hands in the air like it's good to be
Alive!
And I'm a famous rapper
Even when the paths are all crookedy
I can show you how to do-si-do
I can show you how to scratch a record
I can take apart the remote control
And I can almost put it back together
I can tie a knot in a cherry stem
I can tell you about Leif Ericson
I know all the words to "De Colores"
And "I'm proud to be an American"
Me and my friend saw a platypus
Me and my friend made a comic book
And guess how long it took
I can do anything that I want cause, look

I can keep rhythm with no metronome
No metronome
No metronome

And I can see your face on the telephone
On the telephone
On the telephone

Look at me
Look at me
Just called to say that it's good to be
Alive!
In such a small world
I'm all curled up with a book to read
I can make money open up a thrift store
I can make a living off a magazine
I can design an engine sixty four
Miles to a gallon of gasoline
I can make new antibiotics
I can make computers survive aquatic conditions
I know how to run a business
I can make you wanna buy a product
Movers shakers and producers
Me and my friends understand the future
I see the strings that control the systems
I can do anything with no assistance
Cause I can lead a nation with a microphone
With a microphone
With a microphone
And I can split the atoms of a molecule
Of a molecule
Of a molecule

Look at me
Look at me
Driving and I won't stop
And it feels so good to be
Alive and on top
My reach is global
My tower secure
My cause is noble
My power is pure
I can hand out a million vaccinations
Or let 'em all die in exasperation
Have 'em all healed of their lacerations
Have 'em all killed by assassination
I can make anybody go to prison
Just because I don't like 'em and
I can do anything with no permission
I have it all under my command
Because I can guide a missile by satellite
By satellite
By satellite
And I can hit a target through a telescope
Through a telescope
Through a telescope
And I can end the planet in a holocaust
In a holocaust
In a holocaust
In a holocaust
In a holocaust
In a holocaust

[Chorus]

I can ride my bike without handlebars
No handlebars
No handlebars
No handlebars


Lyrics submitted by aceofhearts

"Handlebars" as written by Andrew Guerrero, Stephen Brackett, Jamie Laurie, Mackenzie Roberts, Jesse Walker, Kenneth Ortiz

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Handlebars song meanings
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414 Comments

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  • +18
    General Commentthis song is amazing. I love the way it starts off with the creepy half-whisper "I can ride my bike with no handlebars" - as if there is something more sinister to come from that seemingly innocent show of skill.

    to me, that first lyric pans out to represent an arrogant and scary attitude of America towards the rest of the world.

    "I can hand out a million vaccinations
    Or let'em all die in exasperation
    Have'em all grilled leavin lacerations
    Have'em all killed by assassination
    I can make anybody go to prison
    Just because I don't like'em and
    I can do anything with no permission
    I have it all under my command"

    flobots are wondering at and scared by the power the dominant have - the power to play with lives, to save a million lives or let them die depending on our fancy, to assasinate who we want, to end the planet in a nuclear holocaust. They draw this out from such a global level (I can guide a missile by satellite) to such a seemingly innocent activity as riding a bike, at the beginning and end, and seem to ask the question whether one really should ride their bike without handlebars (have free dominion over the world) simply because he can.
    alexontoaston October 28, 2007   Link
  • +6
    General CommentI think this song has a lot to do with growth.
    It seems to me that in the beginning, they speak a lot of things you would be very proud of as a kid.

    "I can take apart the remote control
    And I can almost put it back together"

    "Me and my friend saw a platypus
    Me and my friend made a comic book"

    Also, they start it after the first "no handlebars" with
    "Look at me, look at me
    hands in the air like it's good to be"

    Like as if a kid who just learned how to ride a bike without holding onto the handlebars would be screaming, wanting all eyes on them.

    Later, in the next verse it resembles the average young american, supporting themselves with their jobs. Inventing, opening, franchising, etc.
    When it says, "I can change the world with a microphone" is representing the stage of wanting to protest. And all they have is a microphone.

    Near the end of the song, the song really twists. The mood completely flips. It is like he is getting a pleasure out of death.

    Overall I feel this song is showing how the gaining of age and power will lead to the ultimate destruction.

    "I can hand out a million vaccinations
    Or let'em all die in exasperation
    Have'em all grilled leavin lacerations
    Have'em all killed by assassination
    I can make anybody go to prison
    Just because I don't like'em and
    I can do anything with no permission
    I have it all under my command
    I can guide a missile by satellite"

    This part, I think, is solely based on the President of the United States. The powers he has are abused greatly. Especially the "making anybody go to prison."

    The ending of it: by repeating "I can ride my bike with no Handlebars" is representing the new generations coming. And this abuse of power will never end.
    loveton March 11, 2008   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThe way I see it, this song can be interpreted in many different ways. My personal favorite is a young boy, who experiences a feeling of power, of having something he can do that nobody else can. This progresses, as he gains more "power" and begins to get more advanced and more unstable as the song progresses, going from simply enjoying being able to ride a bike with no handlebars, to deciding on a whim who to let live (I can hand out a million vaccinations. Or let 'em all die in exasperation. Have 'em all healed from their lacerations. Have 'em all killed by assassination), just because he can. This theory shows that too much power gained can, and probably will, cause corruption. I really like how this song makes you think, guess, and wonder as to its meaning, leading to discussions like this, about power, and the evolution from a simple show-off attitude, to a dangerous, power-mad person.

    However, I do not agree with the theory that this song is about president bush specificly, or exclusively.
    Keton March 14, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI think it is a person growing up and accomplishing more things and kind of turning worse as time goes on.
    A gradual learning of everything the person can do and all the power that person has.
    casualtyoflieson February 15, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThe part that says

    Look at me
    Look at me
    Driving and I won't stop
    And it feels so good to be
    Alive and on top
    My reach is global
    My tower secure
    My cause is noble
    My power is pure
    I can hand out a million vaccinations
    Or let'em all die in exasperation
    Have'em all grilled leavin lacerations
    Have'em all killed by assassination
    I can make anybody go to prison
    Just because I don't like'em and
    I can do anything with no permission
    I have it all under my command
    I can guide a missile by satellite
    By satellite
    By satellite
    and I can hit a target through a telescope
    Through a telescope
    Through a telescope
    and I can end the planet in a holocaust
    In a holocaust
    In a holocaust
    In a holocaust
    In a holocaust
    In a holocaust
    In a holocaust

    and the part "I can lead a nation with a microphone"

    sounds like The Flobots are trying to show us what can happen when someone becomes 'All powerful' or believes in their 'noble cause' so much that they'll do anything to achieve what they think is right, or do anything for 'the greater good,' no matter what that entitles.
    I think the song's basically about how easily amazing leaders can turn 'evil' through power and arrogance.
    Fawnon April 19, 2008   Link
  • +2
    Song MeaningThis song relates to a theme reoccuring througout literature, as evidenced by its inclusion in Shakespeare's Macbeth. The theme is the idea that "ambition becomes the demise of its holder." As children we all have innocent goals which we reach through our ambition to be admired by our social peers, i.e. riding our bike with no handlebars." As we age our goals lose their innocence just as we lose our childhood innocence through exposure to the real world. often time our goals and ambition to accomplish the goals has unforseen consequence not only on ourselves but those around, even the entirity of humanity depending on the goal. This is evidenced by this rise of Nazi regime led by Adolph Hitler. Adolph Hitler's goal was to create a utopian society for the arien race. His ambition to reach this goal casued many horrific tragedies and the loss of millions of lives, thus his ambition became his demise.
    stlwrestler119on April 16, 2009   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationTo me the song is about how easy it is to lose sight of the big picture and perspective as we age and gain more power.

    The song begins with someone engaging in a simple childhood act, and eventually transitions into someone has unlimited power. Pressing a button to launch a nuke seems as simple as taking apart a remote control after a certain point. As technology increases and war becomes a game of pushing buttons, it doesn't seem real. All decisions start to become no big deal regardless of the large impact they might have.

    When the song returns to the first lyrics, I don't see this as a reference to future generations (although that is not a bad interpretation by any means), to me it is supposed to take us 360 back to where it all started, and to basically say to the listener: "look, no one grows up thinking they will escalate to a position of pushing buttons to destroy the world, but as power grows its easy to get wrapped up in everything and lose sight of what is moral"
    americanpsyxhoXon May 19, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentWhen I looked at the music video It seemed like they could do anything they wanted two. Also if you noticed The two boys in the beginning were most likely best friends. And once it got to the holocaust part the man that choose the business/evil Route and killed everyone and his best friend who was the leader of his somewhat resistance thing. I think that means that even best friends will have fights and end up enemys or againest the views in there adult years.

    And this dont mean Much but My brother was watching a show named avatar The last airbender and the man who satarted the war 100 years before the current events was best friends with him until tides turned and one of them wanted war and power and the other wanted to keep the world safe.

    So summary Best friends can see differnet ways and destroy things because of differnet views.
    Greywolf4on July 11, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General CommentFirst section is the innocence of growing up, the worthless knowledge you find fascinate, most cases it will not prove useful in your life.

    Second section is the good that you can do in life with a little bit of knowledge the endless potential of what once would of seemed to be an impossible task.

    Third section is the bad that arises from the knowledge humans gain, rather than go toward good we instead use it for destruction and killing.


    The handlebars represent how people often recklessly use the knowledge they have gained in life, rather than using common sense. As in sure you can ride with no handlebars but should you?
    Lligereton January 26, 2012   Link
  • +2
    General CommentOpinion is great, but here are the word from the artists themselves regarding what this song is about:

    Jamie Laurie stated that the song "is about the idea that we have so much incredible potential as human beings to be destructive or to be creative." "And it's tragic to me that the appetite for military innovation is endless, but when it comes to taking on a project like ending world hunger, it's seen as outlandish. It's not treated with the same seriousness. [...] at the same time, I knew there were people at that moment who were being bombed by our own country. And I thought that was incredibly powerful." It is the contrast between these "little moments of creativity, these bursts of innovation," and the way these ideas are put to use "to oppress and destroy people" that the singer feels is both "beautiful and tragic at the same time."

    Cited from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…
    berryrazmatazon August 14, 2012   Link

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