The Surrey with the Fringe on Top

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"The Surrey with the Fringe on Top"
Published 1943
Genre Showtune
Composer(s) Richard Rodgers
Lyricist(s) Oscar Hammerstein II

"The Surrey with the Fringe on Top" is a show tune from the 1943 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Oklahoma! It is the second song of the show, following the opening number, "Oh What a Beautiful Mornin'."

When Curly asks Laurey to go to the box social with him, he uses this song to persuade her by offering the prospect of taking her in a fancy rental carriage. In the movie version, the surrey (a four-wheel covered carriage, in this case pulled by two horses) is initially seen in a brief fantasy sequence, but appears for real at the end when Curly and Laurey ride off in it to their honeymoon.[1]

As jazz standard[edit]

Versions of the song were recorded by Bing Crosby with Helen O'Connell, Nat King Cole, Mel Tormé, Ahmad Jamal, Ellis Marsalis, Tori Amos, Marlene Dietrich, Joshua Redman, Miles Davis, Julian "Cannonball" Adderley, Janis Siegel, Nancy LaMott, Sonny Rollins, Betty Carter, Blossom Dearie and McCoy Tyner, Wes Montgomery, Wynton Kelly, Johnny Smith, Peggy Lee, Julie Hamelin, Beverly Kenney, Mary Stallings, Stacey Kent, Vikki Carr, Ray Brown, Barney Kessel, Joe Brown, The Hi-Lo's and the J. J. Johnson, Kai Winding Trombone Octet, Andy Williams, and King Crimson (as part of their track "Moonchild").

Pop culture[edit]

In the film When Harry Met Sally..., Harry and Sally sing a karaoke version of "The Surrey with the Fringe on Top". In front of Ira.

Laura Love borrows a few of Hammerstein's lyrics for her song "I Am Wondering".

In the West Wing episode 100,000 Airplanes, the lyrics of part of the song are mentioned by two of the main characters. As well, during the same episode, the song, as a jazz arrangement, is played on piano during a cocktail party.

A 1977 comedy routine by Andy Kaufman includes a joke with the punchline "furry with the fringe on top" in a play-on-words reference to the song.

In Twin Peaks Episode 15, Leland Palmer sings the lyrics of "The Surrey with the Fringe on Top" while wildly driving his convertible.

In ER season 6, episode 13, "Be Still My Heart", Dr. Mark Greene listens to the song on the radio and sings the lyrics while shaving in front of a mirror.

Stan Ridgway recorded this song as an outtake, during the sessions for his album of standards, "The Way I Feel Today".

An arrangement of the song is used as a segment of the area music for Main Street U.S.A in the Magic Kingdom park of Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

In the "Ducklahoma!" segment of the Tiny Toon Adventures episode "Buster's Directorial Debut", there is a parody of this song called "Anvil With the Tablecloth".

In 1979, Frank Sinatra did a rehearsal of that song with Vinnie Falcone and his orchestra at Reprise Records.

The Kinks song Oklahoma U.S.A. from their 1971 album Muswell Hillbillies describes a downtrodden British worker who dreams of "walking on the surrey with the fringe on top" and an idyllic life in the United States.


  1. ^ "The Surrey with the Fringe on Top". Accordion MIDI Melody.

External links[edit]