'Twas the night before streetcars, when all through Milwaukee
An exciting arrival had the media talking.
The tracks were laid down on the roadways with care
In hopes that our boondoggle soon would be there.
Mayor Barrett was nestled all snug in his bed
While visions of free rides danced in his head.
Wearing his overalls and his train conductor cap,
He couldn’t settle his brain and sure couldn’t nap
When out on I-94 there arose such a clatter
He sprang from his bed to see what was the matter.
Away to City Hall he flew like a flash,
Called for a press conference to make a big splash.
The moon on the breast of the torn-up streets
Would give drivers no choice but to use this new fleet.
When what to the mayor’s eyes did appear
But a gleaming new trolley for him to steer
With a bright silver finish of quality grade
He knew in a minute he must have overpaid.
More rapid than eagles his daydreams they came
He’d drive it down each street and called them by name
"Down Broadway! Down Michigan! On Kilbourn! St. Paul!"
"I’ll drive it down...oh wait, wait. That’s about all."
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane flail
That streetcar would go where it could could on fixed rail.
And then in a twinkling they Mayor thought twice.
Who’ll pay for this thing if nobody buys?
Federal money’s run out, we can’t expand for the Bucks
If no one buys tickets, this trolley might suck!
As he drew in his head and was turning around,
In the Potawatomi came with a bound.
“We’ll pay for your streetcar,” they said with a wink.
“For years everyone can ride free, we think.“
"Just promise us one thing that you know and we know.
This trolley must take people to our casino.”
They mayor thought for a second, and before he could stop
Said “Okay, but we get to name it ‘The Hop.’"
The Potawatomi laughed since the name was so funny
The trolley would be named for The Easter Bunny.
Appropriate, though, since it runs only in Spring.
Winter weather is too tough for such delicate things.
It won’t run in snow, or cold, or the ice.
“That’s okay,” thought the mayor. “Milwaukee’s weather is nice.”
Then the streetcar pulled in, it was finally here.
The moment the mayor had wanted for years.
He climbed in the cabin and put on his hat
And tooted the whistle, drove this way and that.
But I heard him exclaim as he waved us bye-bye
“This is the best thing taxpayer money could buy!”