“Boys & Girls Like You and Me”
from MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS to CINDERELLA
Twenty years before The Arch changed the St. Louis, Missouri skyline, Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane teamed up to write the music for MGM’s 1945 nostalgic motion picture musical, MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS, set against the backdropped splendor of the 1904 World’s Fair.
The results of their collaboration resulted in three hits, “The Boy Next Door,” “The Trolley Song,” and “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.” The score was fleshed out with several familiar period tunes, “Meet Me In St. Louis,” “Under The Bamboo Tree,” and “Skip To My Lou.”
There was, however, one additional song that was actually filmed but missed the final cut. Martin and Blane wanted to add a song for the scene at the still unfinished World’s Fair. “Boys & Girls Like You and Me” made it onto the album but that is as far as it went. In the end, the actual scene was additionally cut.
The reason this song was cut has nothing to do with the film running too long or other reasons a scene or song is cut.
For some reason, Martin and Blane turned to Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II for this additional song. The other collaborators suggested they use a song they cut from their 1943, OKLAHOMA!.
“Boys and Girls Like You and Me.”
In 1996, I directed MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS, the fairly new musical stage version. I contacted Mr. Martin to ask him for a “talk to the cast night” which I frequently do if someone close to the original product is able to do so. Sadly, Ralph Blane had died the previous November 1995. Mr. Martin was excited by my telephone-meeting invitation and began pouring through his kaleidoscope of memories from the movie.
Then, I asked about the deleted song.
Martin and Blane recorded all the songs from MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS and a copy of the recording was sent to Martin’s mother. She responded that she loved all the songs but most especially, you guessed it, “Boys & Girls Like You and Me.”
The collaborators panicked. “What if the rest of the world came to love a song from the movie that they didn’t even write?”
Simple. Cut the song.
When the made-for-television version Rodgers & Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA was added as a stage musical, “Boys & Girls Like You and Me,” after fifty+ years, resurfaced as a cute duet by the King and Queen. The 2013 Broadway production, with a brand new script, omits “Boys & Girls Like You and Me” because Prince Topher’s parents are deceased.
I wonder where “Boys & Girls Like You and Me” will be resurrected in its next life.
One of my favorite versions of CINDERELLA is the 1965 new re-airing starring Leslie Ann Warren. My first recollection is watching the musical on our black and white television around 1969 or 1970. Tonight, I was reminded of my initial viewings, 45-50 years ago during Playbill’s streaming of CINDERELLA.