Sunday, October 29, 2017

Maria, Before and After

In prepping for the October Twitter download, I came across this tweet by Lin-Manuel Miranda from October 10:

Here's Bernsteins's "Maria" lyric before Sondheim came aboard. (!)
I assume he found this while researching the song in preparation for his own song, "Almost Like Praying," which he created as a benefit for Puerto Rico.

Here's what those scrawls on the yellow sheet say:
It's good just to say it.
It's honey on my tongue
The taste of it is young and warm.

I'll say it and say it
It lifts me like a song
The sound of it is strong and warm.

It's the sound of an organ playing
It's a sound like in church when they're praying—

I'll never stop saying, "Maria."
We can assume that Bernstein had the music in his head. He had the idea of using the name in repetition, and the final line, "I'll never stop saying 'Maria.'" He also had hit upon the word "praying."

But other than that, there's not a lot in common with what Sondheim wrote:
I've just met a girl named
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! 
Wow. And there you see the value of a lyricist.

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