The Trolley Song

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"The Trolley Song"
Song by Judy Garland & Georgie Stoll Orchestra[1]
B-side"Boys and Girls Like You"
ReleasedOctober 1944 (1944-10)
RecordedApril 21, 1944 (1944-04-21)[1]
StudioDecca Studios, Los Angeles, California[1]
LabelDecca 23361[1]
Composer(s)Hugh Martin[2]
Lyricist(s)Ralph Blane[2]
Judy Garland and chorus perform "The Trolley Song" in Meet Me in St. Louis

"The Trolley Song" is a song written by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane and made famous by Judy Garland[3] in the 1944 film Meet Me in St. Louis. In a 1989 NPR interview, Blane said the song was inspired by a picture of a trolleycar in a turn-of-the-century newspaper.[4] In 1974, he had said the picture was in a book he had found at the Beverly Hills Public Library and was captioned "'Clang, Clang, Clang,' Went the Trolley."[5]

Blane and Martin were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song at the 1945 Academy Awards, for "The Trolley Song" but lost to "Swinging on a Star" from Going My Way.[6] "The Trolley Song" was ranked #26 by the American Film Institute in 2004 on the AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs list. The song as conducted by Georgie Stoll for Meet Me in St. Louis has a very complex, evocative arrangement by Conrad Salinger featuring harmonized choruses, wordless vocals, and short highlights or flourishes from a wide range of orchestral instruments.

It has been claimed for years when the song was recorded on the set of Meet Me in St Louis, it was done in a single shot,[citation needed] and also that Garland accidentally repeated a verse instead of singing the next verse, but songs in Hollywood musicals of that era were not recorded on set. They were prerecorded in a studio and lip-synched by the artists. The number in the film consists of far more than one shot, and there is no repeated verse. It was recorded on April 21, 1944 at Decca Studios on Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, California.[1]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Decca matrix L 3388. The trolley song-1 / Judy Garland - Discography of American Historical Recordings". Retrieved April 23, 2022.
  2. ^ a b Don Tyler (April 2, 2007). Hit Songs, 1900-1955: American Popular Music of the Pre-Rock Era. McFarland. p. 278. ISBN 978-0-7864-2946-2.
  3. ^ Gilliland, John (October 10, 1972). "Pop Chronicles 1940s Program #11". UNT Digital Library.
  4. ^ "Remembering 'Christmas' Songwriter Hugh Martin". Retrieved August 24, 2021.
  5. ^ Vocal Selections from That's Entertainment, Big 3 Music Corporation, 1974
  6. ^ "The 17th Academy Awards | 1945". | Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved August 24, 2021.
  7. ^ "Watch Randy Rainbow Channel Judy Garland to Slam Josh Hawley & the GOP". Billboard.