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Meet Me in St. Louis

"The Trolley Song"

"The Trolley Song"—from the 1944 movie Meet Me in St. Louis, about a family's life during the year leading up to the opening of the World's Fair in 1904—was written by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane. The movie stars Judy Garland (Esther Smith), Tom Drake (the boy next door, John Truett), Margaret O'Brien (sister, Tootie), Leon Ames (father, Alonzo Smith), Mary Astor (mother, Anna Smith), Lucille Bremer (sister, Rose), Harry Davenport (Grandpa), Marjorie Main (the maid, Katie), Henry H. Daniels Jr. (brother, Lon Smith Jr.), and June Lockhart (Lon's love interest, Lucille Ballard). This delightful song was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song, but it lost to Bing Crosby's "Swinging on a Star" from the movie Going My Way. I'll post that song soon. The movie was based on a book of the same name, written by Sally Benson and published in 1941. Click the book's cover if you'd like to take a look inside (on Amazon.com).

Here are the song's charming lyrics, which are among the many that inspired me to write picture books in rhyme! Enjoy!

Sing along!

With my high-starched collar and my high-topped shoes
And my hair piled high upon my head,
I went to lose a jolly hour on the trolley
And lost my heart instead.
With his light brown derby and his bright green tie,
He was quite the handsomest of men.
I started to yen so I counted to ten
Then I counted to ten again.

Clang, clang, clang went the trolley,
Ding, ding, ding went the bell,
Zing, zing, zing went my heart strings,
From the moment I saw him, I fell.

Chug, chug, chug went the motor,
Bump, bump, bump went the brake,
Thump, thump, thump went my heart strings,
When he smiled, I could feel the car shake.

He tipped his hat, and took a seat.
He said he hoped he hadn't stepped upon my feet.
He asked my name, I held my breath.
I couldn't speak because he scared me half to death.

Chug, chug, chug went the motor,
Pop, pop, pop went the wheels,
Stop, stop, stop went my heart strings,
As he started to go then I started to know how it feels,
When the universe reels.

The day was bright, the air was sweet,
The smell of honeysuckle charmed you off your feet.
You tried to sing, but couldn't squeak,
In fact you loved him so, you couldn't even speak.

Buzz, buzz, buzz went the buzzer,
Plop, plop, plop went the wheels,
Stop, stop, stop went my heart strings,
As he started to leave
I took hold of his sleeve with my hand,
And as if it were planned,
He stayed on with me and it was grand just to stand
With his hand holding mine to the end of the line.

About "Sparks" by Margie Blumberg

Our posts are about those happy sparks of inspiration that we can all enjoy, such as a song in a movie that itself was based on a book. Children’s books and lyrics from musicals are what inspired me to write. I hope they’ll inspire you, too! We’ll also hear the latest news from our authors and illustrators and share their behind-the-scenes work and stories. And since our favorite plays and books are so often the inspiration for wonderful movies, we'll share trailers and book covers, too. We hope you enjoy these little sparks, and if you do, please share them!

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