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The Polka Dancing Bus Driver And The 40-Year-Old Mystery

The Polka Dancing Bus Driver and the 40-Year-Old Mystery
Words and Music by Christine Lavin
Recorded live at the WUMB Members' Concert in Hyannis MA
on May 23 1999 by Bruce Gordon of Audio Magic with host Dave Palmater
(Originally released in 1997 on "Shining My Flashlight on the Moon")

He drives the airport express bus in Minneapolis
He plays polka music for the passengers he drives
He works Monday through Friday, the same shift everyday
But it's on Saturday and Sunday he says that he comes alive

"My wife and I go polka dancing every single weekend
We've developed quite a style over 37 years
We met while roller-skating
Which soon lead to dating
And eventually to mating and settling right here
Now... I am not a braggart but I can say with pride and joy
That I have been graceful on my feet since I was a little boy
People stop and watch us dancing now
We know that we must look smooth
My wife and I have memorized all of each other's moves
But one thing has always bothered me
When I was a kid, girls would never dance with me
No matter what I did
I know I wasn't handsome
And the truth is I was poor
I tried hard to be friendly
I don't think I was a bore
But all the girls that I approached simply shook their heads
So I'd retreat across the dance floor
And hang out with my buddies there instead
And soon I just stopped asking them
It was easier that way
Thank God my future wife walked into the roller rink that day

Now, last year I went to the 40th reunion of my high school class
My wife and I danced all the dances the slow ones and the fast
And I saw the girls, they're women now, who'd never dance with me
And all those awkward feelings came back, the way it used to be
So I went right up to them, even though I was shaking all inside
And I said 'something has always bothered me and left me mystified
Years ago I asked all of you to dance but you always said no
What was it about me that you all disliked so?'

Well they stuttered and they stammered and they said 'it wasn't you...
We did not know how to dance... we thought you knew
We never danced with anyone
We always felt like fools
We were perennial wallflowers all through high school'"

So one by one he danced them each around the high school gym
His wife smiled as the girls awkwardly tried to follow him
And then he took her in his arms and glided out the door
The 40 year old mystery
A mystery no more.