top of page

Daily Lyric: BUS RIDE

Laid-back summer in the city, hot lazy streets

Empty number four pulls up, get on and have a seat

I used to love the back seat but the arsim made it theirs

But they’re nowhere to be seen so I stretch out and get some air

Well, riding these buses is like riding a surfboard

Don’t hold on tight and you’ll get thrown overboard

Look over my sunglasses and take a look around

And see what the west wind blew into this town

Soldiers on vacation travel the world

Meet lots of interesting people and kill them

Snipers and vipers, satin dolls and leather girls

Find all their empty spaces and fill them

Smurfette works at the Super Sol counter

When they day’s done she goes to Bunnyclean and meets Flounder

They’re such a beautiful couple, looks like true love forever

I wish me and my maidelah could get our act together

Poor old yutzmach sitting on the fence

Trying to make a dollar out of ninety-nine cents

Meanwhile back at the Bethlehem Street station

The hard-ups take a hard look at the legs of the nation

Transplanted longhaired northeastern beach kids

In ratty t-shirts, jeans, and sneakers

Summers are spent on the rooftop tar beaches

With the sounds of NYC in their speakers

King George becomes a drag strip when the driver stomps the gas

Four and eight are racing, G-d help the one who tries to pass

Nightcrawlers and barroom brawlers join the urban festivities

The king of bad jokes is up to his usual activities

In the legendary stronghold of the midnight wreckers

Guitar-riding cowboys build tanks out of rundown Checkers

They can level the city with their full-volume sound

When they’re singing, Could you show me the way downtown

And Mike the Sarge, he makes the rounds with his head in space

Out of the blue, TV House shoves a mike in Mike’s face

They ask him for some words that will cheer the hearts of men

He says, Everything’s gonna be all right, the question is only when

Cross the intersection it’s like crossing the tracks

All the colors change from rainbow to black

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking ‘bout folks with black skin

Just the color of the coats and hats that seem to be “in”

Tante Fruma gets on and shoots a dirty look at two young lovers

She says, On this bus you two keep your hands off each other

The Bais Yaakov girls go out on a shidduch for a date

With lovable klutzes who can’t keep their faces straight

Diaspora refugees take to the streets and play their country sneeze drivel

To all those unfortunates who dare pass by

They say everything without saying anything at all

In a song about a golden peacock flying in the sky

Children Of The Guitar sit and sing sad folk songs

Trying to figure out just where the world went wrong

But in The Guitar there’s an edge like a knife

And it shines a ray of hope into an otherwise dull life

Well the wheels keep rolling

And the roads keep turning

And soon all that’s left are me and all these college girls

And everybody gets off

And walks out into the noonday dusty heat

At the terminal at the end of the world

©2023 The Hesh Inc.

"Jerusalem Bus Race" - original AI art by The Hesh Inc.
Four and eight are racing, G-d help the one who tries to pass.

My Israeli version of The Boss' "Does This Bus Stop at 82nd St.?"—a whirlwind portrait of a bus ride from one end of Jerusalem to the other, through downtown. Some of the characters in this pastiche might recognize themselves here; any resemblance is intentional.

Written in the mid-1980s, when I was in the thick of my time living in Israel. Has a nice main riff (based on some song I happened to hear while riding the bus) but the song was never recorded or performed.


  • Spotify
  • Bandcamp
  • Amazon
  • iTunes
  • Instagram
  • Flickr
  • Pinterest
  • Facebook
bottom of page