30 November 2007
The Rude Busker
Rob Fisher

There’s a particular busker who makes frequent appearances on the District Line and sings Seal’s A Kiss From a Rose or David Bowie’s Starman far too loudly.  These appear to be the only songs he knows.

Normally I like buskers.  Many of them are quite skilled, and they add to the lively feel of the city.  Sometimes, if they are very good, I give them money because you get more of what you reward.

But this busker is a very rude, pseudo-intellectual marxist hippy.  He enters the train and announces that everyone looks far too miserable.  He either doesn’t realise or doesn’t care that he’s the one making people miserable.  He sings his loud song and, in the remaining time before the train stops, insults the passengers by explaining why their lives are so meaningless.

I’ve taken to heckling him for entertainment.  Once, when he complained about the materialism of the advertising on the tube, I pointed out that I looked at advertising voluntarily but I was forced to listen to him.  On another occasion I suggested he stop spouting socialist nonsense and sing a song, much to the mirth of an elderly gentleman sitting next to me.  This evening he was being rude to a group of girls and I told him so.

He collects money by patrolling the carriage with a pouch and making sarcastic comments about how miserly people are.  I think what really bothers me about him is that people do give him money, and given that he is by no stretch of the imagination entertaining, I can’t figure out why.


  1. He’s not amusing because he crosses the line into just plain annoying. I also had an altercation with him once. After murdering ‘Kiss from a Rose’ (it seams that he only knows those two songs) He proceeded to tell everyone that their pointless lives were supporting the war in Iraq, and by working we were all the ‘West’s puppets’. Now, I’m not usually the type to start an argument with a stranger, but I’d had two evenings of this, and when he started to swear at, and generally berate some poor woman who was minding her own business, I asked him how he thought his singing was helping to stop the war in Iraq? He told me not to be so facile - of course he wasn’t doing anything either, so I said if he was no better than us, could he at least shut up and let us get on with the journey in peace. Afterwards I felt slightly embarrassed, but when I got off, someone raced after me and told me he thought it was ‘really good’ that someone had stood up to him.

    I hadn’t seem him for months, but yesterday he was back, and guess what? He hasn’t changed his repetoire. . .  sick

    Posted by Lynn on  09 August 2008 at 12:45 pm

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