3rd September, 1988

Wikipedia has this to say about this song:
"María" is a song written by Marcelo Molina and performed by Cuban singer Franco. It was released in 1988 as a single from Franco's album Definitivo and became his second number-one single in the Billboard Top Latin Songs chart, after "Toda La Vida" in 1986.
Now you know as much about it as I do, or from what I can tell, as much as anyone anywhere on the Internet does. I spent more time tracking down and manipulating the jpeg of the album cover than I will writing about the song — generally I try to like music, or at least work out how to like it, but this song has defeated me.

If there's an Anglophone equivalent, it's Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up," except this could never have anything as interesting as Rickrolling happen to it, because Franco doesn't even have Astley's dorky charm: he's a toothy smile and an anonymous voice, and the fact that this is his second appearance in this story is the kind of thing that makes me wonder whether it's worth telling.

I don't even need to translate the lyrics: he's just met a girl named María, how does he solve a problem like María, oh María love to love oh his María; there are only so many changes that can be rung on the name. The song is too thin and insubstantial, especially compared to the monster that preceded it, for me to want to even put any effort into learning how it came to spend most of September at #1, then make a return engagement after the next entry fizzled out. How does a song that can't possibly be anyone's favorite song do that?

Rick Astley is fundamentally mysterious to me too.


  1. On the plus side, I will say that the five-note "ahh-ahh-ahh-ahh-ahh" from the backup singers is impossible to get out of my head.

  2. Anonymous29/7/10 17:42

    I've tried to find a copy of this song and can't find it anywhere. Any chance you could send me the file? jmadsen3@hotmail.com