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The Bus Driver's Prayer, also known as the Busman's Lord's Prayer, was a parody of the Lord's Prayer that takes the bus driver around Greater London (while avoiding further destinations). The words are apocryphal and have been around since 1970 at least. The wordplay, making extensive use of puns on English place names, is typical of English humour.

Contents

Ian Dury's version

It was recorded by Ian Dury on The Bus Driver's Prayer & Other Stories (1992), who used just those placenames which referred to London locations.

Below is a version predating Dury's recording, with alternate versions given in Notes.

Our Farnham,[1] who art in Hendon
Harrow be Thy name.[2]
Thy Kingston come; thy Wimbledon,
In Erith as it is in Hendon.
Give us this day our daily Brent [3]
And forgive us our Westminster[4]
As we forgive those who Westminster against us.[5]
And lead us not into Thames Ditton[6]
But deliver us from Yeovil.[7]
For Thine is the Kingston, the Purley and the Crawley,[8]
For Esher and Esher.[9]
Crouch End.

Earlier version

An earlier version, undated and possibly apocryphal, is provided by Nancy Lyon. This undated version is linked with the development of stations on the London Underground

Our Farnham, who art in Hendon,
Holloway, Turnpike Lane[10]
Thy Kingston come; thy Wimbledon,
On Erith as it is in Hendon.
Give us this day our Maidenhead.[11]
And lead us not into Penge station
But deliver us from Esher.
For Thine is the Kingston, the Tower[12] and the Horley
For Iver and Iver
Crouch End.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Our Father
  2. ^ Harrow Road be Thy name
  3. ^ Give us this day our Berkhampstead / our Leatherhead
  4. ^ Plural: Westminsters
  5. ^ Forgive us our bypasses,
    As we forgive those who bypass against us
  6. ^ And lead us not into Temple Station
  7. ^ But deliver us from Ewell / from Ealing
  8. ^ For Thine is the Kingston, the Powys and the Goring
  9. ^ For Iver and Iver
  10. ^ The comma has been inserted in the present edit to denote that these are two distinct locations: Holloway and Turnpike Lane. "Holloway" approximates best to the sound of the "syllabic e" in Hallow├Ęd (which will read as 3 syllables, pronounced "Hallo wed").
  11. ^ The lines parodying "Forgive us our trespasses," are missing in Nancy Lyon's version
  12. ^ This presumably refers to the station called Tower Hill outside the Tower of London. The station was formerly called Mark Lane.

External links

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