The Bus Driver's Prayer & Other Stories

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The Bus Driver's Prayer & Other Stories
Studio album by Ian Dury
Released 1992
Recorded 1991, 1992
Length 47:06
Label Demon
Ian Dury chronology
The Bus Driver's Prayer & Other Stories
Mr. Love Pants
(1998)Mr. Love Pants1998
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[1]

The Bus Driver's Prayer & Other Stories is the 7th solo album by Ian Dury. Despite being recorded after the successful live reunion of Ian Dury and The Blockheads, inspired by the death of their drummer Charley Charles, the album is not a Blockheads record. All of the band, however, except bassist Norman Watt-Roy, appear on the album.


The album has its origins in a 1991 Irish film After Midnight when asked to produce music for the film Dury recruited Blockhead Mick Gallagher and Music Students member Merlin Rhys-Jones. Two songs "O'Donegal" and "Quick Quick Slow" along with another "Bye Bye Dublin" were written around this time, and least the latter two were recorded in Shepherd's Bush, London] along with incidental music for the film.

Dury's in-studio behavior had become notably better than during the 1980s and would steadily improve. One notable drink-fueled event, however, while recording the album, on the Mile End Road, London (owned by the brother of Madness keyboard player Mike Barson), is re-accounted often by Gallagher and Rhys-Jones. Dury, drunk on Budweiser became furious, allegedly after a technician named Frasier erased Gallagher's keyboard part for "Quick Quick Slow", and threatened to burn the studio down. When he wouldn't calm down, the police were called and after spitting at them and calling them 'homosexuals', Dury was arrested.[citation needed]

Bus Driver's Prayer is almost always considered a 'return to form' for Dury as a lyricist, and is considered as such by both Dury biographies Ian Dury & The Blockheads: Song by Song and Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll: The Life of Ian Dury. The most commonly quoted songs to illustrate this are "Poor Joey" and "Poo-Poo in the Prawn".

Demon Records were unhappy with the final album and hardly promoted it, despite favorable reviews including in the March 1993 issue of Vox where it was awarded six out of ten stars. Mick Gallagher continues to praise the album as one of his favorites, and noted in Song by Song that it was the album by which he personally mourned Dury, following the singer's death in 2000. The album has received criticism, however, for its use of a drum machine.[citation needed]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks composed by Ian Dury and Mick Gallagher; except where indicated

  1. "That's Enough of That" (Dury, Gallagher, Rhys-Jones) – 4:49
  2. "Bill Haley's Last Words" (Dury, Gallagher, Rhys-Jones) – 3:12
  3. "Poor Joey" – 3:50
  4. "Quick Quick Slow" – 3:14
  5. "Fly in the Ointment" – 2:55
  6. "O'Donegal" – 3:53
  7. "Poo-Poo in the Prawn" – 3:17
  8. "London Talking" – 1:15
  9. "Have A Word" (Dury, Gallagher, Rhys-Jones) – 3:57
  10. "D'Orine The Cow" – 3:18
  11. "Your Horoscope" – 4:00
  12. "No Such Thing As Love" – 3:38
  13. "Two Old Dogs Without A Name" – 4:43
  14. "Bus Driver's Prayer" (traditional, arranged and adapted by Ian Dury) – 0:59


  • Ian Dury – lead vocals
  • Mick Gallagher – keyboards
  • Merlin Rhys-Jones – guitar


  • Simon Osbourne, Ian Horne – engineers
  • Bruce Ingman – cover painting (from a design by Mike Krage)
  • Jon Millar – photographs

Note: The album sleeve does not give information on who plays what on what tracks.


Problems have occurred with The Bus Driver's Prayer & Other Stories CD re-issues. Initially Demon Record's CD version did not contain any writing credits for the songs, its booklet simply included five poems written by Dury. As of March 2007 Windows Media Player will only automatically give writing credits for "O'Donegal", "Poo-Poo in the Prawn" and "D'Orine the Cow", the three tracks included on Repertoire Record's Reasons to be Cheerful 2CD retrospective.

Edsel Record's 2003 2-CD re-issue fixed this, including writing credits above each song's lyric as with the other albums in the reissue campaign, however it erroneously lists "London Talking" as track 9 and "Have A Word" as track 8, both on the track list on the back of the CD case and in the booklet, also placing the lyrics in the wrong order.

Edsel Record's re-issue also includes a bonus disc with 8 Bonus tracks, unreleased tracks "Amerind", "Whale", "Grape and Grain" and "The Writer" plus four songs that would later appear on later albums with The Blockheads "Itinerant Child" (which would appear on Mr. Love Pants) and "One Love", "Cowboys" and "I Believe" (later to be included on Ten More Turnips From The Tip).


  • The voice of "Joey the Budgie" is, according to Song by Song, not Ian Dury, but Chas Jankel.
  • Even though the album is named after the track, this is Ian Dury's second recording of "Bus Driver's Prayer", the original appearing on his 1989 album Apples.


  • Sex And Drugs And Rock And Roll: The Life Of Ian Dury by Richard Balls, first published 2000, Omnibus Press
  • Ian Dury & The Blockheads: Song By Song by Jim Drury, first published 2003, Sanctuary Publishing.
  • Booklet to Edsel Records 2004 CD re-issue of The Bus Driver's Prayer and Other Stories.


  1. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "The Bus Driver's Prayer and Other Stories - Ian Dury | AllMusic". Retrieved 24 September 2011.