Our All-Time Least Favorite Commuter Song

There are decent songs about commuting, such as the Who’s “5:15”, and the relatively crummy ones, such as “Takin’ Care of Business” by Bachman Turner Overdrive (though the latter scores extra points for the line about the “8:15 into the city,” seeing as I take the 8:16 into the city and all).

Then there are the truly awful songs about commuting: Condescending, witless ditties from dullards who shouldn’t really be pointing fingers. Such as “Bus Rider” by the Guess Who.


The Guess Who wore preposterous moustaches and hailed from Winnipeg. Originally called Chad Allan and the Expressions, they got their distinctive name when someone from their record label, knowing full well that Chad Allan and the Expressions were a bit lagging in terms of star power, credited a single with “Guess Who?” stamped on it, hoping that might fool listeners into thinking there were actually famous people playing on the album.

Like crumbs to band members’ moustaches, the name stuck.

The band had hits with “American Woman” and “No Time” and some other hippie-dippie claptrap, and a lesser impact with “Bus Rider.”

“Bus Rider” starts off in support of 9-to-5’ers and lunch-pailers everywhere:

Get up in the mornin’ get on the bus

Get up in the mornin’ like the rest of us

But then devolves into a patronizing “I’m a rock star and you punch the clock” bit of bile:

Grab the evenin’ paper and sit down in your chair

Grap yourself a toupee cause you’re losing your hair

Doesn’t matter what you do you’ve nothin’ to lose

I’m so awful goddamn glad I’m not in your shoes.

Nice, guys. Really.

Guitarist-songwriter Randy Bachman left the group over creative differences–apparently he wanted to do something creative, and singer Burton Cummings did not…or vice versa–in 1970. He went on to start, yes, Bachman Turner Overdrive–which also took a gratuitous poke at commuters in the dopey stadium staple “Takin’ Care of Business.”

If your train’s on time you can get to work by 9

And start your slavin’ job to get your pay

If you ever get annoyed look at me I’m self-employed

I love to work at nothing all day.

Back off, hosers.

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