Sunday, June 26, 2011

Notes on Bus Songs

"Roll Bus Roll" by Jeffrey Lewis.

In this song, Lewis talks about how on a long distance bus you can roll up a sweatshirt and use it as a pillow against a window. It's a quiet kind of bus song. Late at night on a Greyhound you see the sleeping forms of people bouncing as the bus speeds along the highway. I've had both decent and useless sleeps on the bus.

"You're Crazy for Taking the Bus" by Jonathan Richman.

Also about long distance busing. Jonathan explains to his friends that the bus just makes more sense for him cause his guitar can ride along right beside him. On a crowded bus, though, a driver might point out that bags don't pay, so maybe his guitar would end up riding in Jonathan's lap. Good descriptions of social life on the bus.

"Bus Stop" by the Hollies.

A man and a woman meet frequently at a bus stop, share an umbrella when it rains, and eventually fall in love. I like this song cause it's not about riding the bus, but talks about the thing you end up doing a lot when you're a bus rider, which is waiting for the bus. And they're not mad about it, like if the bus were late they could just flirt more.

"Kiss Me on the Bus" by the Replacements.

If you're a frequent bus rider, things like fighting with your girlfriend happen on there. The bus is a pretty interesting social space cause you're in close quarters with people who sometimes have very different ideas about what it's appropriate to do or talk about in public. Some people don't want to talk to anyone at all, and some people want to talk to everyone. Some people are drunk at 2 in the afternoon.

"Waiting for the Bus" by the Violent Femmes.

Unlike the flower children in the Hollies song, the Femmes are pissed about waiting for that damn bus. I love the details they give about who's on the bus and how they're all going to be late. Sometimes waiting for the bus can be a drag, and sometimes the driver's in a real bad mood.

Still, they are dedicated bus riders.