On names, changing them, and pronunciation

Philip.Belben at eme.co.uk Philip.Belben at eme.co.uk
Thu Mar 6 08:45:49 EST 2003

>>And I
>>had always seen the Lerner and Loewe song listed as
>>"They Call the Wind Mariah", though looking online, it
>>looks like "They Call the Wind Maria" is used just as
>>often.  I wonder which it actually is.
> It's "Mariah."  I learned to play this on the guitar in fourth grade, so
> I saw the sheet music.

Sounds as if two different versions are doing the rounds.  The copies we sang
from said "Maria".  I had great difficulty pronouncing it -RYE-, even though
that was so obviously necessary for the rhyme.

(Interesting phenomenon.  Looking at the paragraph above, I automatically
pronounce the first example -RYE- and the second -REE-, and have to stop and go
back to get the -RYE- sound in "Maria".  Even though I know how the song is

Unsupported hypothesis:  Lerner wrote "Maria" but some editor added the H
because so many people pronounce it -REE- without.

Philip (who is grateful for the experience, but has no wish ever to sing another
Lerner and Loewe song)

PS.  Loewe is another example of strange pronunciation.  Seeing it, I tend to
pronounce it as if it were a German word.  However, Frederick of that name seems
to be consistently called /lo:/.

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