Take The A Train

Composer Billy Strayhorn
Lyricist Joya Sherrill
Year Written Music (1939), lyrics (1944)
About Take The A Train
When Duke Ellington first hired Billy Strayhorn, he sent him directions to his home on Sugar Hill in Harlem, which included the instruction to “take the A train.” Strayhorn wrote his early and very famous song based on that. It became Ellington’s signature tune and was played at virtually every concert he gave.


You must take the ‘A’ train
To go to Sugar Hill way up in Harlem
If you miss the ‘A’ train
You’ll find you missed the quickest way to Harlem

Hurry, get on now, it’s coming
Listen to those rails a-humming
All aboard, get on the ‘A’ train
Soon you will be on Sugar Hill in Harlem

Session / Album Information


“Take The A Train” was recorded on May 20, 1999 and features the Ralph Sharon Quartet, with Paul Langosch (bass), Gray Sargent (guitar) and Clayton Cameron (drums) and Al Grey on trombone and Wynton Marsalis on trumpet. It was arranged and conducted by Ralph Burns. This recording is a previously unreleased outtake from Bennett Sings Ellington: Hot & Cool.

Take The "A" Train

Listen to Take The "A" Train on Spotify. Tony Bennett · Song · 2012.

This recording released on:

  • 2011: Disc #2 in The Tony Bennett Complete Collection (88697874602-JK2) Rarities, Outtakes & Other Delights, Vol. 2

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