No Wrong Notes
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No Wrong Notes

365 Days of Song Recommendations: Feb 4

365 Days of Song Recommendations: Feb 4

Bus Stop—The Hollies

When you’re writing about Buddy Holly, as I was doing yesterday, you really can’t help but think of his impact on future musical generations. So much of what was to follow in rock n’ roll can be traced either directly or indirectly to his influence.

Certainly one of the most explicit examples of this is the band The Hollies, who actually named themselves after the lad from Lubbock.

The Hollies were neither my favorite nor the most important acts of the so-called “British Invasion,” but all the same, they posted something like 30 charting hits over the course of their history. Of these, Bus Stop is my favorite, by far.

My parents were very young when I was born; they were essentially hippies, and accordingly, their record collection was fantastic, and I was blessed to grow up on a steady diet of excellent rock, folk, jazz, blues, and more.

Something I realized early on, is that, in general, early British rock n’ rollers were significantly better with lyrics. Bus Stop is a perfect example of this.

Written by future 10cc member Graham Gouldman, the lyric is a sort of one-act play that plays out across all of about 3 minutes worth of music:

Bus stop, wet day, she’s there, I say
“Please, share my umbrella”
Bus stop, 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
Every mornin’ I would see her waiting at the stop
Sometimes she’d shopped and she would show me what she bought
All the people stared as if we were both quite insane
Someday my name and hers are going to be the same
That’s the way the whole thing started
Silly but it’s true
Thinkin’ of a sweet romance
Beginning in a queue
Came the sun, the ice was melting
No more sheltering now
Nice to think that that umbrella
Led me to a vow

It’s really quite brilliant, and when you fold it into a perfect melody, add a wee bit of that psychedelic raga-style guitar, and undergird it with a sort of slower Ventures-esque kind of surf rock beat … well, what you have is an early British rock ‘n roll masterpiece.

Listen to Bus Stop, and ALL the #365Songs to date, on our playlist!

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Preacher Boy

Preacher Boy

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Singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist , poet, writer. Vintage guitars, vintage typewriters, new Moleskines.