BUS VERSE        

Written to amuse myself and some enthusiast friends.

BUS SPOTTING
By the Pee-Cee-vees
(Tune: Tragedy, by the BeeGees)

Here I stand, in a fast and frantic bus depot
All around, are vehicles moving to and fro
Fleet numbers, I need to write you in my book
I really should be spotting you, spotting you
Recording you recording you

Bus-spotting - when the pencilís gone and I can't go on
It's bus-spotting - when the others laugh and they call me daft
It's hard to bear, I need to record every single Optare
Bus-spotting - when there's one to get cos I want the set
It's bus-spotting - when my camera dies and I don't know why
It's hard to bear, if I've no way to record buses goin' somewhere
When the bus has left and I feel bereft ...

Bus depot, there's a timetable inside my coat
Bus-spotting, when we're the butt of drivers' jokes
Chassis codes, I need to add you to my notes
I really should be bus spotting, bus spotting
Recording them, recording them

Bus-spotting - when the pencilís gone and I can't go on
It's bus-spotting - when the others laugh and they call me daft
It's hard to bear, I need to record every single Optare
Bus-spotting - when there's one to get cos I want the set
It's bus-spotting - when my camera dies and I don't know why
It's hard to bear, if I've no way to record buses goin' somewhere
When the bus has left and I feel bereft ...

Iím Not A Bus Enthusiast, Iím A Bus Fetishist Ö

Dennis Dominators get me excited,
Why do buses have such kinky names?
I am steered down the fetish Route, master,
Into serious Busíním games.

ODE TO A PREDATORY BUS SPOTTER

You're not getting my fleet number matey,
And my bodywork's fine as it is,
Keep you hands off the chassis of this Essex Lassie
Cos my number is not for your list!

The only lays I need are Leylands,
And I'm more into Versa than vice,
My idea of fun weighs in at 10 tonnes,
A Lodekka's the love of my life.

So keep your eyes off of my coachwork,
And don't think you're getting a ride,
You're not going to check what's on my upper deck
And there's certainly no room inside!

Keep your fingers well out of my moquette,
And please keep your thoughts off my trim,
I hope you're not gambling on checking my handling,
Cos you're not taking me for a spin!

I'm more into Bristols than boyfriends,
A strange interest, I know, for a miss,
So preserve all your fusses for genuine buses
And cross my name off of your list.

So keep your eyes off of my coachwork,
And don't think you're getting a ride,
You're not going to check what's on my upper deck
And there's certainly no room inside!

No you'll not ring the bell of this Essex gal,
And don't think you're getting a ride!

SECOND ODE TO A PREDATORY BUS SPOTTER

You can keep your eyes off of my Bristols,
And don't tell me that I need a Guy,
I don't want you to lech at my upper deck,
I'd prefer to stay Solo for life.

The only lays I need are Leylands,
For example a Leopard or Lynx,
Guy, you can stop fixing to make me your Vixen
This lady is nobody's minx.

You keep ogling my domes and my coachwork,
And you leer at my bustle and skirt,
Eyes wide as an owl, you admire my front cowl,
Your attention a bit too overt.

It's time people gave you some Pointers,
That Cupid has not shot his Dart,
Give up this obsession to make me your possession -
You are not mister Wright in my heart.

So itís time you adopted a Neoplan,
Where Iím not Paramount in your schemes,
Take note you damn fool, Iíd prefer a Van Hool,
Over playing a part in your dreams.

Your attention is nothing but Bova,
And your interests are far from Elite,
If you're after a Beaver, try First or Arriva,
Their Plaxtons are right up your street.

Coda:

Believe me I still wouldn't want you,
If you were the LAST man on earth
AND my **x toys had run out of batteries -
I'd still give you a very wide berth.

THIRD ODE TO A PREDATORY BUS SPOTTER

You keep admiring my Bristols' suspension
And at lewd comments you truly Excel
I'll not be Duple-citious, your leering's too OB-vious
You just don't impress this gal.

The comments you make are not RT,
Your social manners just are not Setright,
What you need is a wench who does Pay As You Enter
ĎCos you make other women take flight!

You may wonder why I respond Crossley
And say you're a REmedial case,
Stop getting dejected when VRmently rejected -
Lech at Daimlers instead of at dames!

Conducting yourself seems a problem,
Whenever a female is near,
I have a hunch itís not your ticket gets punched,
But itís you gets a clip round the ear.

The comments you make are improper,
About open-tops, grease nipples and glands,
Leave my coachwork alone and don't ogle my domes,
They are not falling into your hands!

I'm probably classed as dual purpose,
And some say I'm a comfortable ride,
But you'll have no frolics with my air or hydraulics,
Because each time you home in, I hide.

Please stick to Park Royals and Titans,
For those are the things you know best,
And save your approaches for buses and coaches,
As around womankind youíre a pest.

So don't follow me round at the rallies,
And please stop addressing my breasts,
It's really not chivalry to leer at my livery,
So for gawd's sake, just give it a rest!

ODE TO A PURIST PRESERVATIONIST
Inspired by an event at Yeldham Transport Museum,
May 2011

Sarah had a Bristol bus,
In cream and Tilling Green,
A purist called the livery
The worst he'd ever seen -

He'd rather see "authentic",
Appropriate to its time,
"It dates from the late seventies
Not nineteen fifty nine!"

She spoke to him politely,
She did not rant or rail,
Just do not stand before her bus,
In case her air brakes fail.

A warning to all purists -
Before you make a fuss,
If you can't be diplomatic
You'll be underneath the bus!

THE BOLD PRESERVATIONIST SIGHING
Tune: My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean

Oh, the bold preservationist sighing
While under his vehicle he lay, he lay
To the sobbing enthusiasts round him
These next heartfelt words he did say

An Atlantean task lies before us,
Her dif's in a hell of a mess, a mess,
The drivetrain is lying in tatters,
How we'll fix it it is anyone's guess.

So strip out her cogs and her driveshaft,
He said through his sweat and his tears, his tears,
Lets reassemble this Leyland's transmission,
And this time put oil in her gears!

BUS PRESERVATION NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS
OR: A VISIT FROM ST ĎTHUSIAST

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the sheds
Not an owner was stirring, they were resting their heads,
The stockings were hung on their buses with care,
In hopes that St 'thusiast soon would be there.

Enthusiasts nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of engine spares danced in their heads.
And spotters with notebooks all snored deep in slumber,
And dreamed of collecting their lists of fleet numbers.

When out of the depot there came such a clatter,
A rumble of engine, of chassis a rattle,
And there on the tarmac, her lights all ablaze,
A phantom Lodekka met my curious gaze.

The bus had no fleet number and no registration,
"Special Service" was all she had for destination,
Was she red? Was she green? I cannot remember
That FLF's colours that night in December!

A smiling kind driver sat up in her cab,
He gave me a wink and and he tipped me his cap,
And out from the doors, a conductor came fast,
All loaded with parcels from St 'thusiast.

A new dif for a decker, for an RE new seats,
A few rolls of moquette will do someone a treat,
New blinds for another with fresh destinations,
New panels and parts he delivered with patience.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard that bus clatter,
As into life thei old Lodekka chattered
I heard the "ding-ding" as her crew held on tight,
And St 'thusiast chugged away into the night.

As the phantom Lodekka rumbled into the gloom,
Her interior lights faded out all too soon,
But I thought I could heard her crew call out "Good cheer
To enthusiasts all at this time of the year!"

AWAY IN A VERSA
(AKA The Optare Carol)

Away in a Versa,
All shiny and bright,
Its sleek lines all flowing,
This one Optare got right.

The Solo is clunky,
And steers like a cow,
It might do the business,
But itís hardly a wow.

The Tempo is boxy,
No character there,
But the Versaís the sexiest
One from Optare.

THE BRISTOL AND THE LEYLAND

The Bristol and the Leyland
When they are both full speed
Of all the deckers in the bus depot
The Bristol is the one I need!

The Bristol has a Gardner
Starts in icy blast and snow,
But when thereís ice upon the ground,
The Leyland will not go!

(Sorry, Iím just biased)

SING A SONG OF TRANSPORT

Sing a song of transport,
A depot deep in snow;
Four and twenty buses
All too cold to go.
When the road is opened,
It is a skating rink,
Now, isn't that a sorry state
For Britain to be in?

The trains are in the sidings,
Frozen to the rails,
Wrong types of snow have fallen,
And means their brakes could fail,
Eurostar is halted,
And we're cut off from France,
Two feet of snow has fallen
To cause a merry dance!

The people in the airports,
Are sleeping on the floors,
Flights in and out are cancelled
So airports close their doors,
Alas that white(ish) Christmas
Brings Britain to a halt,
So Santa can't deliver
The presents that we've bought!

A SHOW-BUS STOP
(Apols to "Adlestrop")

Yes, I recall that last Showbus -
We drove out on that autumn morn,
In rain, found classic buses there
To be admired. It rained once more.

The rain poured. "Stair rods" was the term.
Despite the wet the buses came
And all the spotters, waterlogged
Notepads soaked, Shower-bus again.

And Bristols, Irizars, Van Hools,
And vehicles old and modern types,
No whit less bright for all the rain,
That fell in curtains from the sky.

Throughout that day the engines sang,
And admirers round them, in the mud,
Their photos snapped, on papier mache wrote,
In that traditional Showbus flood.

A POOR NATIONAL DRIVER LAY DYING
Tune: My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean

Oh, a poor National driver was dying
As 'neath jumbled wreckage he lay, he lay
To the laughing mechanics about him
These last parting words he did say

"Take the cylinders out of my kidneys
The connecting rod out of my brain, my brain
From the small of my back get the mainshaft
And assemble the engine again"

The layshaft you'll find in my stomach,
Three gearwheels are safe in my lung, my lung,
The dif is in splinters inside me,
To my fingers the gear-shift has clung.

Take the torque convertor out of my liver,
Take the alt'nator out of my thigh, my thigh,
From the seat of my pants take the pistons,
Then see if this bus will still drive.

The mechanics just laughed at the driver,
"You should have looked after this crate, this crate,
You're paying the price of poor maint'nance
Not to service it was your mistake."

WHEN I WAS MUCH MUCH YOUNGER

When I was much, much younger, around twelve years of age,
I wanted to drive buses, Lodekkas were my fave,
I didn't fancy REs much and VRs I was spurning,
My parents said "No bl**dy way! It's waste of all your learning -
You've got a place at Grammar School, so exercise your brain,
And win a place at Uni - a far more worthwhile aim!"

And so I watched the buses as they chugged upon their way;
Rode my beloved FLFs back home from school each day,
But though I learnt my lessons well, and passed exams with ease,
Up in the cabs of Lodekkas was where I'd rather be.

For seven years I studied hard the things they taught at school,
I'd seen the FLFs phased out and VRs come to rule,
To some they were just slow and loud, though in them I saw beauty,
But higher education called to me, I was told this was my duty,
"All the money spent on you, to get you through your schooling,
You'll go to University!" I ignored the buses calling.

So many years then passed me by as I tried hard to conform,
And worked hard to suppress the fact I differed from the norm,
For though I worked and studied hard, and got a good Degree,
In the cabs of buses was still where I'd rather be.

In middle age I asked myself "what do I want from life?"
I'd tried, and failed dismally, at being someone's wife,
I remembered being younger, more than thirty years ago,
When I wanted to drive buses, but my parents told me "no",
I've been through school and Uni, so they cannot make a fuss,
I'm old enough to know my mind - and I'll drive a bl**dy bus!

MY FAVOURITE THINGS

Raindrops on windscreens from showers at Showbus
Good-natured queuing for free rides and no fuss,
Bright red Routemasters, a bell that ding-dings,
These are a few of my favourite things!

Old open-toppers that rattle and rumble,
Listening to Gardners as they throb and grumble,
Old classic buses with engines that sing,
These are a few of my favourite things!

Smart-dressed conductors and cheerful bus drivers,
Route recreations with old vehicles diverse,
Some works in progress, some bright as new pins,
These are a few of my favourite things!

When the gears crash, broken steering,
Or it's broken down,
I simply remember my favourite things!
and then I don't feel so bad!

MORE OF MY FAVOURITE THINGS

Numbers on chassis of Volvos and Optares
Heritage running days when there are no fares,
Just a donation to keep them running,
These are some more of my favourite things!

Huddles of spotters on corners with notebooks,
Tigers and Duples returned to their good looks,
Projects in progress with engines purring,
These are a few of my favourite things!

Seats done in moquette or rain-proof fake leather,
Riding the top deck, who cares about weather?
Nostalgic wet people with memories and grins,
These are some more of my favourite things!

When it won't start, or needs fixing,
If it's broken down,
I simply remember my favourite things -
and then I don't feel so down!

SONG OF THE BUS RALLY GREMLINS

When you're seven miles out in the country,
In a heck of a lonely spot,
And the diesel's like glue in your decker,
So it isn't exactly hot,
When the heater's packed up in the half-cab,
So your fingers are frozen white,
(And you wished you weren't too proud for sat-nav,
Because all the signposts are shite) -

It's then you will see the gremlins,
Tilling green, gamboge and gold,
Male and female and neuter,
Gremlins both young and old.

White ones'll wiggle your wipers,
Red one's will rattle your doors
Green ones'll get in your gearbox,
And growl and squeal under the floor.
Cerise ones will snarl up the steering,
Blue ones will shake all the seats,
While a noise that's not quite out of hearing
Comes from a fat female in heat.

They'll cause your whole engine to stutter,
They'll bite through electrical wires,
They'll cause the transmission to judder,
And insert toasting forks in your tyres.

You're just a few miles from Showbus,
And can scarcely see through sheeting rain,
You'll hear drip-drip-drip between rivets,
And a gremlin who laughs like a drain.
The purple ones play with your panels,
Then do step-dance sets on the stairs;
And when brown ones are bored with the braking
They'll dance on the dash for a dare.

This is the song of the gremlins
And some of the things that they do,
Known to preservationists many,
Just hope they don't happen to you!

GREEN LODEKKA
(Based on Tom Robinson Band "Grey Cortina")

Wish I had my Eastern National Gardner-engined FLF,
Bristol chassis, Eastern Coachworks,
She was scrapped, there's nothing left.
Never get a parking ticket, never pulled for excess speed,
A Lodekka would be wicked, FLF is what I need!

Wish I had my green Lodekka, twenty-seven eighty-nine,
Used to ride her in my schooldays,
Her fleet number's in my mind.
Used to sit on the long benches, dif vibrating 'neath the floor,
AVX nine-five-seven, B, alas you are no more.

ON THE FIRST DAY OF CHRISTMAS ...

On the first day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
A licence to drive a PSV!

On the second day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Two Optare Solos,
And a licence to drive a PSV!

On the third day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Three Alexanders,
Two Optare Solos,
And a licence to drive a PSV!

On the fourth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Four bus conductors,
Three Alexanders,
Two Optare Solos,
And a licence to drive a PSV!

On the fifth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Five RTs ....
Four bus conductors,
Three Alexanders,
Two Optare Solos,
And a licence to drive a PSV!

On the sixth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Six contract drivers,
Five RTs ....
Four bus conductors,
Three Alexanders,
Two Optare Solos,
And a licence to drive a PSV!

On the seventh day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Seven route agreements,
Six contract drivers,
Five RTs ....
Four bus conductors,
Three Alexanders,
Two Optare Solos,
And a licence to drive a PSV!

On the eighth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Eight rail replacements,
Seven route agreements,
Six contract drivers,
Five RTs ....
Four bus conductors,
Three Alexanders,
Two Optare Solos,
And a licence to drive a PSV!

On the ninth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Nine special service,
Eight rail replacements,
Seven route agreements,
Six contract drivers,
Five RTs ....
Four bus conductors,
Three Alexanders,
Two Optare Solos,
And a licence to drive a PSV!

On the tenth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Ten private contracts,
Nine special service,
Eight rail replacements,
Seven route agreements,
Six contract drivers,
Five RTs ....
Four bus conductors,
Three Alexanders,
Two Optare Solos,
And a licence to drive a PSV!

On the eleventh day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Eleven trips for shopping,
Ten private contracts,
Nine special service,
Eight rail replacements,
Seven route agreements,
Six contract drivers,
Five RTs ....
Four bus conductors,
Three Alexanders,
Two Optare Solos,
And a licence to drive a PSV!

On the twelfth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Twelve spotters spotting,
Eleven trips for shopping,
Ten private contracts,
Nine special service,
Eight rail replacements,
Seven route agreements,
Six contract drivers,
Five RTs ....
Four bus conductors,
Three Alexanders,
Two Optare Solos,
And a licence to drive a PSV!

ANORAK-RAK-RAK
(Tune: Agadoo)

Anorak-rak-rak, Alexander over there
Anorak-rak-rak, Omnicity, Wright, Optare
To the left, to the right, look around you if you please
They come and go all the time, with their diffírent liveries

Take a snap-snap-snap, spot that Leyland if you can
Take a snap-snap-snap, Irizar, Meridian,
See them come, see them go, come and watch the PSVs,
In and out the depot, all the diffírent companies.

(Itís party time at the depot!!)

BUS NURSERY RHYMES

I had a little bus stop, nothing would stop there
But Essex County Buses in an old Optare.
Their licence was revoked which caught them on the hop,
And Essex Cowboy Buses can no longer stop -
They took off-route shortcuts, at racing they were worst,
But their driving dodgy tactics couldn't vanquish First!

"Scanias and Irizars" say the Bells of St Peter's
"We've got Dennis Darts in" say the Bells of St Martin's
"AEC Regents" say the Bells of St Stephen's
"Make mine a Leyland" say the Bells of St Edmund
"Dennis Trident 3" say the Bells of Stepney
"Ding-ding-ding - full!" say the Bells of St Paul
"Here comes the Driver to drive us away
Here comes the Conductor to make sure we pay
Vroom-vroom vroom-vroom - the last bus has left!

Ding-ding bells, ding-ding bells
Ding-ding all the way Ė
Oh what fun it is to ride
On a classic Bristol K!

(SEMI-)AUTOMATIC LOVER)
(With apologies to Dee D Jackson)

I am your automatic gearbox
Automatic gearbox
I am your automatic gearbox
I am your automatic gearbox
Automatic gearbox
I am your automatic gearbox
Automatic gearbox

Gears in Leyland bus
Thereīs no third pedal
Automatic trans, epicyclic gearing
Longing for a clutch
Longing for stick shift
Things I understand
(Like non-assisted steering!)

Refrain:
Se-mi, auto, gearbox, no clutch pedal
Se-mi, auto, gearbox, no clutch
You can change up
Se-mi, auto, gearbox, no clutch pedal
You can change down
Se-mi, auto, gearbox, no clutch
You can change gears
Se-mi, auto, gearbox, no clutch

Nothing to depress
You're pneumocyclic
I'm driven to confess
I find you fright'ning -
You're programmed to provide
Automatic satisfaction
When the change is done
I hear your bands reacting.

(Refrain)

There is no clutch, for my left foot to touch ....

Se-mi, auto, gearbox, no clutch pedal .....

I am your automatic gearbox
Automatic gearbox
I am your automatic gearbox
I am your automatic gearbox
Automatic gearbox
I am your automatic gearbox
Automatic gearbox

DRAGONQUEEN'S LAIR

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