The oldest trick in the book when guys in the band want to impress a girl: Put her name in the song’s title! You can probably immediately think of the song someone wrote for Angie, Beth, Michelle, Sara, Jenny, …. But when it comes to inspiration, Maria might be at the top of the list. There are at least 15 songs with Maria in the title. These “Maria” songs cross music genres and have included some of the most beloved classics of all-time.
Honorable Mention: Scooter’s EDM version, Green Day’s Maria, and even The Sound Of Music’s “How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria” (this one probably should be on the list)… Justin Bieber’s “Maria” gets a Dishonorable Mention 🙂
10. Beyonce – “Ave Maria”
See the footnote after the #1 Maria song. Beyonce’s beautiful love song reinterprets the spiritual hymn. Dropped a few spots for going to the Latin version of Maria.
9. Michael Jackson – “Maria (You Were The Only One)”
From Michael’s Got To Be There album. It’s an underrated MJ gem. Why only #9? Even better songs on the way!
8. All Time Low – “Dear Maria Count Me In”
Most of these Maria pay homage to the lovely Maria. But this is the only song where Maria’s a stripper in need of love. It’s ridiculously catchy and the best alternative song on the list.
7. Rage Against The Machine – “Maria”
The most important Maria song on the list. Zac de La Rocha’s impassioned plea to protect the illegal Mexican immigrants as they try to find a better life in the States.
6. R.B Greaves – “Take A Letter, Maria”
This is an R&B standard on the level of Otis Redding and Aretha Franklin. Pure unadulterated Soul with a joyful spirit from the late 60’s
5. Willie Nelson – “Maria, Shut Up And Kiss Me”
A country gem from 2002. Willie Nelson’s Latin-flavored shuffle is one of his lost classics. You’ll love the video with Luke Wilson.
4. Blondie – “Maria”
One of Blondie’s Top 5 songs and that’s saying something! Maria’s the sexy girl that gets stuck in your brain. It’s a song about obsession.
3. Ricky Martin – “Maria”
The best high energy song on the list. The song has been recorded in English, Spanish, and even a Spanglish version. You’ll be chanting Maria all night long after one listen.
2. Brooks & Dunn – “Maria” (originally by BW Stevenson)
Almost was #1 on the list. Older fans will remember this song from the 70’s, but it became possibly the greatest Brooks & Dunn song when they covered it. It’s such a feel-good hit and Ronnie Brooks yodel on the chorus is addictive.
1. Santana – “Maria, Maria”
It’s so good they have to put 2 Maria’s into the song’s title! Amazing when you think that Santana played in the 60’s at Woodstock and then forty years later was still current, hip, and relevant with a huge crossover R&B/hip hop jam. It’s truly a testament to his genius. And you’ve got to love that Carlos name-drops HIMSELF in the song’s chorus!
*If we recognize Latin here, then slide everyone down one spot as the ultimate MARIA song must be “Ave Maria”