Bus Stop


Bus stop, wet day, she’s there, I say

Please share my umbrella

Bus stops, bus goes, she stays, love grows

Under my umbrella

All that summer we enjoyed it

Wind and rain and shine

That umbrella we employed it

By August she was mine

From the Swan River, Killarney Road keeps rising until it tops Fairyhill. Small estates line  the road, most dating from the nineteen eighties. The 145 bus route takes an unexpected right turn at Killarney Lane and the stops before the junction are mine. Across the road, the Nurseries lie beyond a triangular green planted with a copse of silver birch and sycamore. On this side, the western, the footpath runs continuously from the town to the M11. The covered bus stop here is a morning refuge for northbound commuters, whether heading for Bray Dart or Dublin. The 145 connects as far as Huston Station via the N11 and Dublin City Quays. I usually hike to the Dart on my northbound excursions, but the bus has its own consolations. More quaint and communal, and the serpentine route gives a scenic tour of south Dublin. There’s an intimacy too in the bus stop mythology. At least, that was the experience of my generation back in the day. The anticipation, the tension, the longing; and that was just for the vehicle. Love might also blossom, in wind and rain or shine. 

That’s the way the whole thing started

Silly but it’s true

Thinking of our sweet romance

Beginning in a queue

In this acrylic, we approach the bus stop after a heavy shower. The sky is clearing and the surface below us glares painfully, but beautifully. At the junction, the Oldcourt is off to our left, and the nearby right turn heads towards the Ardmore Film Studios on Herbert Road. Ahead, the Killarney Road weaves steeply upwards through a portal of oak trees towards Ripley Hills, and the apex at Fairyhill, crowned with its stand of pines.

Every morning I would see her

Waiting at the stop

Sometimes she’d shop

And she would show me what she’d bought

Other people stared

As if we were both quite insane

Someday my name and hers

Are going to be the same

Bus Stop was written by Graham Gouldman who would later form 10cc. He credits his father with starting  the lyrics from Graham’s own idea. Getting started is the thing. “It’s like finding your way onto a road and when you get onto the right route you just follow it.” A bit like Killarney Road, then. Bus Stop was the breakthrough US hit for Mancunian group, The Hollies, in 1966. I heard it on my first long playing album Hollies’ Greatest Hits (Parlophone) which I got for my thirteenth birthday. 

4 thoughts on “Bus Stop

  1. Shane, you just took me on an amazing ride down memory lane from my early teens. I sang your post all the way through – and remembered the lyrics! The song has been my go-to mantra when waiting at bus stops around the world. It’s always a joy to encounter a kindred spirit. All the best, Terri

    • Thanks Terri. The song has been with us fifty years, and sounds as strong as ever. Funny how something as mundane as waiting for a bus is imbued with magic through association with songs, and memories, and all the people we know and love. Happy to share the pleasure!

      • Shane, when the song came out my family had just moved from a small town to big-time Chicago. So I’d left all my friends behind and was full of teenage angst. The song really hit home with me in a good way. ~Terri

  2. A good thought, Terri. It’s tough to be separated from friends and family at any time or any place. There’s consolation, and continuity, in keeping close to all the things we share in common. This seems a common thread in the travelling experience too, and so many tales we share with other travellers point back in time and take us back home.

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