The Trolley Song

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"The Trolley Song"
Song by Judy Garland & The MGM Studio Chorus
Composer(s)Hugh Martin[1]
Lyricist(s)Ralph Blane[1]
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[2] 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.[3] 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."[4]

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.[5] "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 that 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, and the number in the film consists of far more than one shot, and there is no repeated verse in the film.



  1. ^ a b Don Tyler (2 April 2007). Hit Songs, 1900-1955: American Popular Music of the Pre-Rock Era. McFarland. p. 278. ISBN 978-0-7864-2946-2.
  2. ^ Gilliland, John (October 10, 1972). "Pop Chronicles 1940s Program #11". UNT Digital Library.
  3. ^ "Remembering 'Christmas' Songwriter Hugh Martin". Retrieved 2021-08-24.
  4. ^ Vocal Selections from That's Entertainment, Big 3 Music Corporation, 1974
  5. ^ "The 17th Academy Awards | 1945". | Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 2021-08-24.
  6. ^ "Watch Randy Rainbow Channel Judy Garland to Slam Josh Hawley & the GOP". Billboard.