Song Lyric Sunday – I Just Met a Girl Named Maria

It’s all about the feminine this week according to Jim. He gives us this challenge:

This week we have feminine name prompts of Maria/Marie/Mary and hopefully this will fit for everyone.

I first heard this song when my sisters sang it in chorus. We had the sheet music lying around the house and it was a favorite to sing as we dreamed of such love at first sight. Then when I heard the song sung by professionals I was gobsmacked.

The music for “Maria” was written by Leonard Bernstein and the lyrics by Stephen Sondheim in 1956. It is based on the Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”. It’s all about star crossed lovers.

Maria and Tony fall in love, but this love can never be since they are from rival street gangs in the Upper West Side of New York City. The Jets (the white American gang) and the Sharks (the Puerto Rican American gang).

Long story short, Tony hears that Maria has been shot to death (which was a lie told by Anita – Maria’s brother’s girlfriend) and asks Chino (who was to be Maria’s arranged husband) to shoot him, too. He obliges just as Maria arrives to witness his death.

Of course, there is a lot of dancing and street rumbling in the mix, but it is a wonderful musical and one that, in my opinion, should be watched more than once in a lifetime.

Until 1980, Maria was always portrayed by white actresses. Carol Lawrence, Natalie Wood, Betty Buckley, and even Audrey Hepburn was considered for the role. Since 1980, the role has been performed by Latina actresses. There was a revival of this musical scheduled for 2020 but who knows now?

Lyrics from the musical

Maria . . .
The most beautiful sound I ever heard:
Maria, Maria, Maria, Maria . . .
All the beautiful sounds of the world in a single word . .
Maria, Maria, Maria, Maria . . .
I’ve just met a girl named Maria,
And suddenly that name
Will never be the same
To me.
I’ve just kissed a girl named Maria,
And suddenly I’ve found
How wonderful a sound
Can be!
Say it loud and there’s music playing,
Say it soft and it’s almost like praying.

I’ll never stop saying Maria!

The most beautiful sound I ever heard.

Why not join in on this Sunday blogging ritual. Pop over to Jim Adams blog to check out the rules and read some of the great musical posts.