29 April 2006
By the banks of the river Charles
One of the songs I dearly loved as a kid still have a Capitol 45 of it, in fact is the Kingston Trio's "M.T.A.", recorded in 1959, about, well, this:
Well, let me tell you of the story
Of a man named Charlie
On a tragic and fateful day
He put ten cents in his pocket,
Kissed his wife and family
Went to ride on the MTA
Charlie handed in his dime
When I first set foot in Boston myself, in the summer of '72, I made a point of riding the MTA, which had since mutated into the MBTA and was referred to as "the T," and it cost quite a bit more than a dime, but that didn't shock me. What did shake me up was this: "M.T.A." was apparently poorly-received by The Powers That Be in the Hub, and according to the locals, not even the oldies station (WROR, then at 98.5) would ever play it. I wondered, though not out loud, what they might have thought about the Standells' "Dirty Water"; I certainly don't remember meeting any frustrated women, and I left Massachusetts in the spring of '74 somewhat perplexed by the matter.
Apparently the T isn't perturbed by Charlie these days; they're offering prepaid "CharlieCards" and monthly "CharlieTickets" which apparently save a nickel, adjusted for inflation, per trip.
(This was actually suggested by Jay Tea, though he was working a different angle entirely. Then again, he lives in New England.)Posted at 8:06 PM to Tongue and Groove