The Surrey with the Fringe on Top – 1955

“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.

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”).