Top Six Songs About Muni That We'd Love to Play on Muni
6. N-Judah: Jimi Hendrix, "Hear My Train A Comin'"
Key lyric: "Well, I'm waiting down the train station, waiting for that train/ Waiting for the train to take me from this lonesome place."
Why it works for Muni: In addition to being one of our favorite songs of all time (we're partial to one particular live electric version), Hendrix here perfectly captures one of the major blues of life in San Francisco: Waiting for the N-Judah. And waiting. And waiting some more. When he sings, "I'm gonna come back and by this town," we hope Jimi means he might just buy Muni and fix it, too.
Key lyric: "So take another toke, have a blow for your nose/ One more drink, fool, would drown you."
Why it works for Muni: Anyone who rides the 71-Haight regularly knows that the bus can have some pretty funky smells -- smells which often seem to emanate from the kinds of people the song describes. (Don't be offended -- we've been part of the freak show at times, too.) But really, we dig this song's '70s vibe and think it works pretty well for a line serving a neighborhood that will always in some ways be stuck in the past.
Key lyric: "Away from the city that hurts and knocks/ I'm standing alone by the desolate docks/ In the still and the chill of the night/ I see the horizon, the great unknown."
3. 22-Fillmore: Charles Leonard, "Funky Driver on a Funky Bus" (Sample on iTunes)
Key Lyric: "I asked the driver where we go/ He say, 'Read the signs, man, and then you'll know'/ I was so mad, I wanted to cuss/ The funky driver on the funky bus."
Why it works for Muni: A standout on the incredible Bay Area Funk compilation (seriously, go buy this record right now), this Charles Leonard tune is a local product -- so it very well could be about the 22-Fillmore. Even if it's not, the song's lyrics, about a bus driver who doesn't take late transfers, doesn't give directions, and is all but impervious to his passengers' complaints, jibes with a few experiences we've had on this cross-town route. But we love the 22-Fillmore. As this bus rolls from the Marina through the Western Addition and the Mission to Potrero Hill, it embodies the diverse funkiness of San Francisco.
2. K-Ingleside/T-Third: Ozzy Osbourne, "Crazy Train"
Why it works for Muni: Here's what we want to know: who and what's to blame for giving this line two different names and letters that apply at different places along its route? That's driving us crazy. Off the rails, even.
Why it works for Muni: We're situated in the city such that the J-Church, for us, is always a ride heading to fun -- either out to the Mission or straight downtown. (Feel free to replace the J-Church with whatever line that is for you.) And few things get us feeling like a party more than this rockin' Neil Young tune (the best version is on the essential solo album Tonight's the Night). We'll take "gas" here to mean "energy" -- or maybe a Clipper card -- and forget about the "full moon" concern. It's worth going downtown to party in San Francisco even when the fog hides it.
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