Take The "A" Train

Words & Music by Billy Strayhorn and the Delta Rhythm Boys
Recorded by Ella Fitzgerald with Duke Ellington, 1941*

Intro:   ||:  D6   Bb7  :||

D6               E7/9 E7
You must take the "A" train

G  Gdim Edim         A7+5            D6      Cdim Em7 A7+5
To       go to Sugar Hill 'way up in Harlem.

D6              E7/9 E7
If you miss the "A" train,

G     Gdim Edim            A7+5             D6      Cdim Em7 A7+5
You'll     find missed the quickest way to Harlem.


G      G/F#             E7
Hurry, get on now, it's coming;

E9     E7                Em7      A9 
Listen to those rails a-thrumming.

A7+5   D6               E7/9  E7
All a-board!  Get on the "A" train;

G  Gdim Edim            A7+5           D6      Fdim    A7 - A7+5    D6
Soon     you will be on Sugar Hill in Harlem.

*Ellington actually recorded this song on numerous occasions -- so many, in fact, it is difficult to determine how many were actual new recordings and how many were merely re-releases. It can be difficult, as well, to determine "the" lyrics to this song; many versions exist, and the choice to use the ones I use here was arbitrary, and Fitzgerald's famous scat singing is not even approximated here. This song was used in the forgettable 1943 movie "Reveille With Beverly." Strayhorn joined Ellington's band in 1938. He became Ellington's primary arranger the next year, and remained in that role until his death in 1967.

The lyric and guitar chord transcriptions on this site are the work of The Guitarguy and are intended for private study, research, or educational purposes only. Individual transcriptions are inspired by and and based upon the recorded versions cited, but are not necessarily exact replications of those recorded versions.