Meet Me in St. Louis, Louis

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"Meet Me In St. Louis, Louis"
Meet-Me-In-St-Louis-1904.jpg
Cover, sheet music, 1904
Music by Kerry Mills
Lyrics by Andrew B. Sterling
Published 1904
Language English

"Meet Me in St. Louis, Louis", better known as just "Meet Me in St. Louis", is a popular song from 1904 which celebrated the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, also known as the St. Louis World's Fair. The words were by Andrew B. Sterling; the music, by Kerry Mills. The song was published in 1904 in New York by Mills's firm operating under the name F. A. Mills. It was recorded that year by many artists, including William F. Denny.,[1] Billy Murray and Arthur Collins.

The song and the fair were focal points of the Judy Garland movie, Meet Me in St. Louis. Garland recorded the song in 1944.[2]

Overview[edit]

"Louis" in the song is pronounced "LOO-ee", akin to the French. The song is one of the few instances of pronouncing the city's name that way. It is normally pronounced "LOO-is".

The song, which is generally styled in the form of a limerick, has many and varied verses, few of which are remembered today — unlike the chorus. In the original sheet music, the chorus is the same for the first two verses but varies in verses three through six, which are essentially jokes with the punch line in the chorus.

Verse 1[edit]

When Louis came home to the flat
He hung up his coat and his hat
He gazed all around
But no wifey he found
So he said, "Where can Flossie be at?"
A note on the table he spied
He read it just once, then he cried
It ran, "Louis, dear,"
"It's too slow for me here,"
"So I think I will go for a ride..."

Chorus[edit]

Meet me in St. Louis, Louis,
Meet me at the Fair
Don't tell me the lights are shining
Anyplace but there
We will dance the "Hoochie-Koochie"
I will be your "Tootsie-Wootsie"
If you will meet me in St. Louis, Louis,
Meet me at the Fair.

Verse 2[edit]

The dresses that hung in the hall
Were gone, she had taken them all
She took all his rings
And the rest of his things
The picture he missed from the wall
"What, moving?" the janitor said
"Your rent is paid three months ahead!"
"What good is the flat?"
Said poor Louis, "Read that!"
And the janitor smiled as he read...

Chorus (same as for Verse 1)[edit]

Meet me in St. Louis, Louis,
Meet me at the Fair
Don't tell me the lights are shining
Anyplace but there
We will dance the "Hoochie-Koochie"
I will be your "Tootsie-Wootsie"
If you will meet me in St. Louis, Louis,
Meet me at the Fair.

Verse 3[edit]

Lew Woods was the name of a horse,
that ran at the New Orleans course,
I played him one day
for a dollar each way,
and I charged it to profit and loss;
He started to run in the wet,
the son of a gun's running yet,
That crazy old skate,
he made straight for the gate,
and I hollered, “Hey Lew! don't forget.”

Chorus 3[edit]

Meet me in St. Louis, Louis, meet me at the fair,
Take my tip and don't stop running until you are there,
You're a wonder that's no liesky, if you don't fall down and diesky,
Meet me in St. Louis, Louis, meet me at the fair

Verse 4[edit]

There came to the gay tenderloin,
a Jay who had money to burn,
The poor simple soul
showed a girlie his roll,
and she said, “for some wine dear, I yearn.”
A bottle and bird right away,
she touched him then said, “I can't stay.”
He sighed, “Tell me, sweet,
where can you and I meet?”
and the orchestra started to play.

Chorus 4[edit]

Meet me in St. Louis, Louis, meet me at the fair,
Don't tell me the lights are shining any place but there;
I'll be waiting there my honey, to divorce you from your money,
Meet me in St. Louis, Louis, meet me at the fair.

Verse 5[edit]

The clerks in the bank said, “It's queer,
did anyone see the cashier?
It's way after time,
and we haven't a dime,
we can't open the safe 'till he's here.”
The President shook his gray head,
“Send out for an expert,” he said,
The door's opened wide,
not a cent was inside,
just a card, that was all, and it read:

Chorus 5[edit]

Meet me in St. Louis, Louis, meet me at the fair,
All the boys and all the girls are going to be there;
If they ask about the cashier, you can say he cuts a dash here,
Meet me in St. Louis, Louis, meet me at the fair

Verse 6[edit]

In church sat a man near the door,
asleep, he was starting to snore,
The Minister rose,
and he said, “We will close
singing, Meet on the Beautiful Shore.”
The man in the back then awoke,
he caught the last words that he spoke;
He said, “Parson White,
you can meet me alright,
but The Beautiful Shore is a joke.”

Chorus 6[edit]

Meet me in St. Louis, Louis, meet me at the fair,
Don't tell me the lights are shining any place but there;
I'll be waiting at the station, for the whole darned congregation,
Meet me in St. Louis, Louis, meet me at the fair

In popular culture[edit]

The song was also featured in the film The Strawberry Blonde with James Cagney and Olivia de Havilland, some four years prior to Meet Me in St. Louis.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gracyk, Tim and Hoffman, Frank W. (2000). Popular American recording pioneers, 1895-1925. Psychology Press, Binghampton, NY. ISBN 978-1-56024-993-1.
  2. ^ "Meet Me in St. Louis". International Movie Database. IMDb. Retrieved November 21, 2014. 

External links[edit]