The Trolley Song
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|"The Trolley Song"|
|Song by Judy Garland & The MGM Studio Chorus|
|Writer(s)||Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane|
"The Trolley Song" is a song written by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane and made famous by Judy Garland 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. In 1974 he had said that the picture was in a book he'd found at the Beverly Hills Public Library and was captioned "'Clang, Clang, Clang,' Went the Trolley."
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. "The Trolley Song" was ranked #26 by the American Film Institute in 2004 on the 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. When the song was recorded on the set of Meet Me in St Louis, it was done in a single shot.
- Five versions of the song charted in 1944-45. Garland's single and a version by the Vaughn Monroe Orchestra — sung as a duet by Monroe and Marilyn Duke — both peaked at number four, but the biggest hit version was by the Pied Pipers, which hit number two on Billboard magazine's "Best Sellers in Stores" chart the week of December 16, 1944.
- The song was sung in 2015 by Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch) and her mother Doris Sylvester (Carol Burnett) during the 10th episode of the final season of Glee.
- Jazz singer Stacey Kent recorded the song on her 2003 record The Boy Next Door.
- Vocal Selections from That's Entertainment, Big 3 Music Corporation, 1974