Bus Driver's Prayer

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The Bus Driver's Prayer, also known as the Busman's Lord's Prayer, is 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 1960 at least. The word play, making extensive use of puns on English place names, is typical of English humour. A Metropolitan police officer's version, entitled "The Law's Prayer", has also been devised.

Ian Dury's version[edit]

It was recorded by Ian Dury, originally on the soundtrack album Apples (1989) and later on The Bus Driver's Prayer & Other Stories (1992). Dury used only those place names that refer to locations in London.

Below is a version predating Dury's recording, with alternate versions given in the 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[edit]

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.

The Law's Prayer version[edit]

Our sergeant, who art in Hendon, Harrow Road be thy name,

Thy Kingston Coombe, thy Wimbledon

In Erith as it is in Hendon,

Give us this day our daily Brent and forgive us our train passes

as we forgive those who Thames Path against us.

Lead us not into Thames Ditton but deliver us from Ewell

For thine is the Kingston, the Tower and the Hornsey,

For Epsom and Esher,

Amen Corner

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Our Father
  2. ^ Harrow Road be Thy name
  3. ^ Give us this day our Berkhamsted / 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 Oval / 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 Hallowèd (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[edit]

Nancy Lyon's version] in her article, "Down the Drain"