Maria

Songfacts®:

  • This song was partly inspired by the French actress Maria Schneider, who died from cancer on February 3, 2011 aged 58. She was best known for playing Jeanne, opposite Marlon Brando, in the 1972 film Last Tango In Paris. Smith told Uncut magazine that Schneider, "was a friend of mine in the '70s," and that this song, along with her tribute to the late Amy Winehouse, "This Is The Girl," "just happened, like gifts."
  • Smith told Spin magazine: "I did know Maria in the '70s, but 'Maria' is not just about Maria. I would say it is the more emotional song on the record; it's the one that looks back on a beautiful time and sort of encapsulates the '70s in a certain way for me. It's a nice little R&B song, but an emotional song."
  • The song originated from a piece of music that co-producer Tony Shanahan had. Patti Smith recalled to Mojo: "We were in his studio in Hoboken. Maria Schneider had just died. I listened to this music and I heard the whole thing and I just wrote it down."

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