Does This Bus Stop At 82nd Street?

Album: Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. (1973)

Songfacts®:

  • This song is based on people and places Springsteen met in his early years as a songwriter. His father Doug was a bus driver for a time, which helped inspire the song. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Dirk - Southwest of Freehold, NJ
  • The barrage of images in the lyrics helped earn Springsteen the tag "The New Dylan," a comparison he played down. He moved away from the Dylan style by writing less introspective, harder rocking songs on his next album, The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle.
  • This song started with the lyrics, something Springsteen did from time to time when he started out as a songwriter. Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. was his first album, and it marked a turning point in his songwriting: Instead of keeping the lyrics as simple and repetitive as possible to accommodate the bars he was playing with his bands, he started using elaborate wordplay to tell different stories, often within the same song - something you could do in a recording studio but not in a noisy club. This song makes passing reference to a number of characters, but leaves the listener to decide their fates. Just what becomes of Mary Lou, the mongrel nymphs and the lucky, young matador who catches the rose is in the ear of the beholder.
  • Joan Fontaine pops up in the lyrics for no apparent reason:

    Broadway Mary, Joan Fontaine
    advertiser on a downtown train


    She was an actress who starred in the Alfred Hitchcock movie Rebecca.

Comments: 6

  • Matt Murscoe from Keystone FlI remember the nickel beer joints he played in. So good.
  • Jim from Long Beach, CaI believe this song is about his first bus trips to NYC from Freehold,NJ. This is his feelings towards a new and exciting city with a lot of characters and action unlike Freehold..
  • Steve from Fenton, MoIt seems like this song is the first part of a two part song with Lost in the Flood. This song ends with a slight pause, and then the music starts back up with what seems to be the same key and tempo.
  • Adrian from Kingston, CanadaI cant get over how every bruce springsteen song is good
    .. serioulsy ill just download a randome springsteen song that ive never heard and love it
  • Ryan from Manchester, Nhthe song was based on a trip he took on a new york city bus and the people that were there with him
  • Al from Paris, FranceI always thought this song was dedicated to his father, who was a bus driver...
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Steve Morse of Deep PurpleSongwriter Interviews

Deep Purple's guitarist since 1994, Steve talks about writing songs with the band and how he puts his own spin on "Smoke On The Water."

Barry Dean ("Pontoon," "Diamond Rings And Old Barstools")Songwriter Interviews

A top country songwriter, Barry talks about writing hits for Little Big Town, Tim McGraw and Jason Aldean.

"Private Eyes" - The Story Behind the SongSong Writing

How a goofy detective movie, a disenchanted director and an unlikely songwriter led to one of the biggest hits in pop history.

Annie Haslam of RenaissanceSongwriter Interviews

The 5-octave voice of the classical rock band Renaissance, Annie is big on creative expression. In this talk, she covers Roy Wood, the history of the band, and where all the money went in the '70s.

Emmylou HarrisSongwriter Interviews

She thinks of herself as a "song interpreter," but back in the '80s another country star convinced Emmylou to take a crack at songwriting.

Sub Pop Founder Bruce Pavitt On How To Create A Music SceneSong Writing

With $50 and a glue stick, Bruce Pavitt created Sub Pop, a fanzine-turned-label that gave the world Nirvana and grunge. He explains how motivated individuals can shift culture.