The Trolley Song

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PROFILE
Composer Hugh Martin
Lyricist Paul Blane
Year Written 1944
About The Trolley Song
“The Trolley Song” is from the 1944 Vincente Minnelli film, Meet Me in St. Louis, starring Judy Garland. Set against the backdrop of the 1904 World’s Fair, this movie explores the life of the middle-class Smith family. Judy Garland’s performance of this song in the film is a true joy. The great score by Hugh Martin includes another Tony Bennett favorite, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”

Lyrics

With her high-starched collar and her high-top shoes,
And her hair piled high upon her head,
She went to lose a jolly hour on the trolley and found my heart instead.
With my light brown derby and my bright green tie,
I was quite the handsomest of men,
I started to yen so I counted to ten
Then I counted to ten again.

Clang, clang, clang went the trolley,
Ding, ding, ding, ding went the bell,
Zing, zing, zing went my heartstrings,
From the moment I saw her I fell.

Chug, chug, chug went the motor,
Bump, bump, bump went the break,
Thump, thump, thump went my heartstrings,
When he smiled I could feel the car shake.

I tipped my hat and took a seat,
I said I hoped I hadn’t stepped upon her feet.
I asked her name, then lost my breath,
She looked so lovely that it scared me half to death.

Buzz, buzz, buzz went the buzzer,
Flop, flop, flop went the wheels,
Stop, stop, stop went my heartstrings,
As she started to go then I started to know
How it feels,
When the universe reels.

Stop, stop, stop went my heartstrings,
As he started to leave,
I took hold of his sleeve with my hand,
And as if it were planned.

She stayed on with me
And it was grand just to stand
With her hand holding mine
To the end of the line.

Session / Album Information

1965

“The Trolley Song” was recorded on December 29, 1965 and released in 1966 on The Movie Song Album. It was arranged by Al Cohn.

This recording released on:

  • 1966: CBS LP 12″: BPG 62677 — The Movie Song Album (UK)
  • 1966: Columbia LP 12″: CL 2472 — The Movie Song Album
  • 1966: Columbia LP 12″: CS 9272 — The Movie Song Album
  • 1973: Embassy LP 12″: EMB 31002 — Trolley Song
  • 1988: Columbia CD: CK 09272 — The Movie Song Album
  • 2006: RPM/Columbia/Legacy CD: 82876 87233 2 — The Movie Song Album
  • 2011: Disc #32 in The Tony Bennett Complete Collection (88697874602-JK31) The Movie Song Album

1971

“The Trolley Song” was recorded on January 31, 1971 and released that year on the album Get Happy with The London Philharmonic Orchestra. It was arranged by Al Cohn.

This recording released on:

  • 1971: Columbia LP 12″: C 30953 — Get Happy with The London Philharmonic Orchestra
  • 2011: Disc #42 in The Tony Bennett Complete Collection (88697874602-JK41) Get Happy with The London Philharmonic Orchestra

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