Song Lyric Sunday – Maria, Maria

This week’s Song Lyric Sunday, hosted by Jim Adams, prompted us to find songs with Mary, Marie or Maria in the title or lyrics. I found this collaboration by the great Carlos Santana and The Product G&B. I love the combination of the two styles. I hope you enjoy it too.

The vocals were performed by an R&B duo called Product G&B. Santana returned the favor in 2001 when he played on the track “Dirty Dancin'” from their first album, Ghetto And Blues. Unfortunately for Product G&B, the album was never released. They were signed to J Records (Santana’s label), who decided not to release the album after putting out two singles from it that promptly tanked. Because it costs so much to promote and distribute an album, record companies can cut their losses by refusing to release records that don’t show promise, and the artists are then forced to distribute it through bootlegs or find another record company to pick it up. The unreleased album contained this song.

This won the 2000 Grammy for Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal. Santana won eight Grammys that year, including Album of the Year.

The song was produced by Wyclef Jean and Jerry Duplessis, who also helped write it. The vocalists, Product G&B, are Wyclef’s protégés.

“Maria” is the main character in the play West Side Story. The play is mentioned in the lyrics.

Some of the words are in Spanish, including the chorus.

There is a remix of this song by Wyclef Jean on the Santana album Ceremony: Remixes & Rarities

In 2007, Carlos Santana opened a chain of music-themed Mexican restaurants in Northern California called “Maria Maria.” They are named after this song.
Information and lyrics courtesy of Songfacts

Song Lyrics

Ladies and gents
Turn up this sound system
To the sound of Carlos Santana
And the G-M-B's
Ghetto blues from the refugee camp

Oh Maria Maria
She reminds me of a westside story
Growing up in Spanish Harlem
She's livin' her life just like a movie star
Oh, Maria Maria
She fell in love in East L.A.
To the sounds of the guitar
Played by Carlos Santan

Stop the looting, stop the shooting
Pick pocking on the corner
See as the rich is getting richer
The poor is getting poorer
Se mira Maria on the corner
Thinkin' of ways to make it better
In my mailbox there's an eviction letter
Somebody just said see you later

Ahora vengo mama chola mama chola
Ahora vengo mama chola (East coast)
Ahora vengo mama chola mama chola
Ahora vengo mama chola (West coast)

Oh Maria Maria
She reminds me of a westside story
Growing up in Spanish Harlem
She's livin' her life just like a movie star
Oh, Maria Maria
She fell in love in East L.A.
To the sounds of the guitar
Played by Carlos Santan

I said a la favella los colores
The streets are getting hotter
There is no water
To put out the fire
Mi canto la esperanza
Se mira Maria on the corner
Thinkin' of ways to make it better
Then I looked up in the sky
Hoping of days of paradise

Ahora vengo mama chola mama chola
Ahora vengo mama chola (North side)
Ahora vengo mama chola mama chola
Ahora vengo mama chola (South side)
Ahora vengo mama chola mama chola
Ahora vengo mama chola (World wide)
Ahora vengo mama chola mama chola
Ahora vengo mama chola (Open up your eyes)

Maria you know your my lover
When the wind blows I can feel you through the weather
And even when we are apart
It feels like we are together
Maria, yeah

She reminds me of a westside story
Growing up in Spanish Harlem
She's livin' her life just like a movie star
Oh Maria Maria
She fell in love in East L.A.
To the sounds of the guitar
Played by Carlos Santana

Put 'em up y'all
Carlos Santana with the refugee camp
Wyclef
Jerry Wonder
Mr. Santana
GMB
Yo, Carlos, man you makin' the guitar cry

  28 comments for “Song Lyric Sunday – Maria, Maria

  1. June 20, 2020 at 11:34 pm

    This is the first time I’ve heard this. NICE!!!!!!!! Great rhythm!

    • Christine Bolton
      June 21, 2020 at 2:13 pm

      Thanks Jen ☺️

      • June 21, 2020 at 2:22 pm

        You’re welcome Christine 😊

  2. June 21, 2020 at 2:29 am

    My first time hearing this also. Very cool.

    • Christine Bolton
      June 21, 2020 at 2:13 pm

      Thanks! 🙂

  3. June 21, 2020 at 4:46 am

    Wow! This was my first choice before I switched a couple of days ago!

    Wasn’t into Santana until I met my hubs, then I couldn’t get enough! The entire Supernatural album is amazing. Great pick!

    • Christine Bolton
      June 21, 2020 at 2:15 pm

      Yes it’s really cool to see the mix of music styles. He’s always been a favorite of mine 🥰 That album was incredible!

  4. June 21, 2020 at 8:51 am

    I loved this song and. Carlos Santana. I have maybe two or three of his CDs, and he does make that guitar cry. Great choice.

    • Christine Bolton
      June 21, 2020 at 2:12 pm

      Thanks Regina. He is very talented isn’t he? You can always recognize his music ☺️

  5. June 21, 2020 at 9:55 am

    Such a gifted guitar player. Awesome choice 😎

    • Christine Bolton
      June 21, 2020 at 2:11 pm

      Thanks so much. He’s amazing ☺️

  6. June 21, 2020 at 9:59 am

    No one can play like Santana! He’s so unique! Wonderful choice! 🙂

    • Christine Bolton
      June 21, 2020 at 2:11 pm

      Thanks Lisa. He’s awesome isn’t he? ☺️

      • June 21, 2020 at 3:28 pm

        Yes he is. My hubby saw him in concert. I’ve never seen him live.

  7. June 21, 2020 at 11:00 am

    I love watching the video seeing Carlos throwing his head back and strumming his guitar. Nice song Christine.

    • Christine Bolton
      June 21, 2020 at 2:10 pm

      Thanks Jim. It was a great video

  8. aisasami
    June 21, 2020 at 11:24 am

    I swear I heard this before, but I think the song was overshadow by the success of “Smooth”. I really like this song and low it combines Latin music with R&B.

    • Christine Bolton
      June 21, 2020 at 2:09 pm

      Me too! There were so many good songs on that album. I also love the mix of music genres in this song. Thanks for listening! 🙂

  9. June 21, 2020 at 3:15 pm

    I absolutely loved this song back in the day. What a great musician. 🙋‍♀️🐝

    • Christine Bolton
      July 5, 2020 at 4:31 pm

      I’m so sorry for not responding sooner, but your comment was in my spam box. Yes, Santana is an amazing musician isn’t he? Thanks for listening and reading Bee. ☺️ 🐝

      • July 5, 2020 at 11:45 pm

        Don’t worry. That happens a lot recently. Happy new week despite everything 🙋‍♀️🐝

      • Christine Bolton
        July 7, 2020 at 2:19 pm

        Thanks Bee. even your response went to SPAM! 😦

  10. June 22, 2020 at 12:19 am

    Nice mellow mashup and interesting origin story for the song.

    • Christine Bolton
      June 23, 2020 at 9:14 am

      Thanks Lisa

  11. June 22, 2020 at 6:24 am

    I’ve been enjoying Carlos Santana for years, and I hope more years to come.

    • Christine Bolton
      June 23, 2020 at 9:13 am

      Thanks Darnell. He is fantastic 🙂

  12. June 24, 2020 at 4:04 pm

    Love the deep sounds of this one. New to me. 🙂

    • Christine Bolton
      June 24, 2020 at 4:34 pm

      Thanks so much! 🙂. I’m happy you liked it

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