Post to the Host

Host Garrison Keillor answers your questions about life, love, writing, authors, and of course, A Prairie Home Companion.

Send GK Your Question »

Bus Children

December 17, 2013 | 2 Comments

The schoolbus lyrics you sang in April are quite different from those you sang in February, 2006. What brought about the changes?

Loren Engrav


Do you mean the lyric "Bus Children," the one that begins:

Out on the prairie so wide
The school buses wending their way
From the towns they travel
For miles on the gravel
An hour before it is day.
And the winter wind blows
Cross the corn stubble rows
Where the dirt has turned the snow gray.

The lyric was shortened slightly in April, but the main difference was at the end. In the earlier version, the last line was softer, something like "And seldom will see them again" ---- in April I sang:

And in due course they will fly
Away, young women and men
With mixed emotions
Cross mountains and oceans
And become what we could not have been.
We will tenderly kiss them
Goodbye and miss them
And never will see them again.

I sang the lyric to the tune of a Carter Family song, "Little Moses." You can find the lyric in a new collection of poetry, O What A Luxury (Grove Atlantic).


Who What Where Why When

You've answered the what
But not the why
Perhaps as an artist
You must always try
With a touch of paint,
A smudge of ink
To help us evermore
To think
Carpe Diem, Carpe Diem
We'll always love
But never be 'em.

The school bus turned the corner
And came down my way
So early in the morning
At the start of the day

Previous Post:
« Hard Work

Next Post:
Odd Cranky Hymns »

Post to the Host Archive

Complete Post to the Host Archive

American Public Media © |   Terms and Conditions   |   Privacy Policy