Many commuters have voiced frustration on social media over the impending month-long closure of the MBTA Orange Line. A few others, however, have found a musical message to be a more effective way to vent.
On Aug. 10, local musicians Jacob Deck, Ben Rechel, and Anna Seda set up their instruments in Back Bay Station to play a parody of the well-known Boston song, “Charlie on the MTA.” They cleverly titled their version “Charlie (Baker) on the MBTA.”
The lyrics were written by a close friend of the musicians, who asked to remain anonymous.
We were on our way home from a jam in Boston and had a message for Governor Baker and the Orange Line shut down: "Charlie (Baker) on the MBTA"#boston #orangeline #mbta #publictransit #orangelinefire #30dayshutdown #charlieonthemta pic.twitter.com/UqDcN4TPNZ— Anna Seda (@viracochalvsbac) August 15, 2022
The late-night performance featured Deck playing the celtic harp, Rechel on bass, and Seda on cello. Both Deck and Rechel sing the scorching lyrics, poking fun at the ever-increasing issues plaguing the T.
“Charlie on the MTA” came out in 1959 and tells the story of a man named Charlie endlessly trapped on Boston’s transportation system, at the time called the MTA. The latest version, however, has a ripped-from-the-headlines twist.
“If you’re in Back Bay and you gotta get to Malden, or from Cambridge to Jamaica Plain, hope you’ve got four wheels or a couple extra hours ‘cause you won’t get there on the train,” the group sings.
Other lyrics take a snarky approach to Governor Charlie Baker.
“Let me tell you a story ‘bout a man named Charlie on a tragic and fateful day. He got driven to his office, gave a speech and took some photos, then he shut down the MTA,” they sing.
A video of the impromptu music session has gotten a lot of attention on Twitter and TikTok, with many echoing the sentiments.
“OMG this is amazing, and by that I mean sad. He (and the legislature) has a lot to answer for,” read one TikTok comment.
“I will risk my life on the orange line to see this,” said another.
The trio plans to make a return to the Back Bay station Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.
The orange line will shut down starting 9 p.m. Friday night and is expected to reopen Sept. 19.