Written by Shelby Lynne & Glen Ballard
[from: 'Love Shelby', Universal, 2001]
I'd just started university and I was traveling home for the first time by train. I wasn't happy. Even a month in, I was feeling homesick and university was nothing like I had expected it to be - also I was so inexperienced at life that I didn't feel like I'd made any of the right decisions - everyone else was making friends and I wasn't meeting anyone. Or so I thought. Anyway, I was sitting there and I must have looked like a wreck. This girl sat down beside me, and asked me something about when the train would reach Liverpool. I told her I didn't know - that it might arrive in two hours and made some joke about lateness. She laughed. We started talking. And it was easy. And she was listening to me. She was asking about my philosophy on life, what was important to me. It was the first time in weeks I'd talked about anything deeper that which A-levels I'd done and which University I went to. She made me feel like what I was telling was interesting, meant something. At the end of the journey we finally talked about the course stuff. It turned out she was a trainee psychologist. Apart from being a nice person, she knew all the right things to say. Damaris gave me her address and I never saw her again.
I'm not a religious man. On the rare occasion anyone asks what I am, I tell them I'm a Non-denominational spiritualist, which is a nice catch-all term which gets a laugh and covers all the bases. What it actually mean, I think, is that believe there is an order to the universe, that everything happens for a reason, and that everyone has the right to look at it their own way as long as it doesn't impinge on their own freedom (which leaves the extremists out in the cold I'm afraid). The reason I believe this is because on a few occasions I have felt really awful, my self-esteem as low as possible, on each of these occasions I seem to have met someone like Damaris who has listened and made me feel that life isn't so bad, that in fact it is worth living. I've done it for other people. These aren't random things. That's what I like to think this song is about.
[Commentary: Surprisingly, this isn't the only song called Jesus on a Greyhound. If this had happened now, perhaps we would have swapped Twitter names or simply friended each other on Facebook. Back then, and this would have all happened in 1993, the internet in the UK was still something people didn't easily have domestically. But I like that there's this person who looms quite large in my past who I only met once, whose name I've always remembered, presumably because it's so unusual. Damaris Bonner. Perhaps she'll google it some day and find this entry and I can see thank you properly.]