Auto Tune: “Busload of Faith” by Lou Reed

August 26th, 2015 at 3:00pm

Driving, riding, roads and of course cars themselves have all been immortalized by writers, composers and musicians around the world. Auto Tune is our way to spotlight a unique transportation song to celebrate these “ridden” gems along with the artists or composers who crafted them. Some you may know, many we’re sure you don’t.

Lou_Reed_New_YorkI’ve never actually loved New York City though I do worship Lou Reed’s contributions to our musical lexicon. So I guess, by extension, I must love New York because that’s exactly who Lou Reed was. The city was infused in both him and his in early six decades of work. Whether it was the hustle on the streets, the banging cabs, the screech of the subway and those unique, interesting people he always sang about, it was always there.

In fact Lou loved NYC so much he even devoted an entire album to the city called, simply enough, New York. From that album we could’ve chosen a half-a-dozen songs that would’ve fit our Auto Tunes criteria, however, “Busload of Faith” stands above the rest.

On first listen, the song feels cloyingly cynical. With lyrics like “you can’t depend on your family” and “you can’t depend on no miracle,” one feels that Lou was either the most isolated soul on the planet or merely the most depressed.

But in reality, Lou was preaching a little Ralph Waldo Emerson or the belief in simple self-reliance. He wanted people to believe in themselves above all things, but not to forget that faith helps. Whether it’s faith in a the personal, religion, education or whatever… he believed that to get by in life you needed a lot of it, perhaps even a busload of it. And when you think about it, actually, not a bad mantra to live by.

Thanks, Lou. We miss you, buddy.

- Chip Drake, Executive Producer, Autoline

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