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.