Ever since high school, I’ve had this ongoing personal project to create an album of nothing but songs with my name, Marie, in the title. It made me feel special because for the most part Marie is more commonly used as a middle name these days.
This is the one that started it all. I still get chills when I hear it.
I doubt this holds true for men, but for women there is a longing (sometimes unconscious) to be someone’s muse. A muse ignites and inspires an artist to create a thing of beauty and few archetypes hold the same power.
Yes, some women dream of knights in shining armor rescuing them, the damsel in distress. Other women long to be queens or Amazon-like warriors. But to be immortalized in a song, a sculpture or a work of prose is a heady delight indeed.
I know that the songs weren’t written about me, but I can pretend, can’t I? I also know this poem by Edgar Allan Poe was written for another Marie Louise (my first and middle name), but it still makes me swoon to imagine someone writing these enchanting words just for me.
TO MARIE LOUISE
Not long ago, the writer of these lines,
In the mad pride of intellectuality,
Maintained “the power of words”–denied that ever
A thought arose within the human brain
Beyond the utterance of the human tongue:
And now, as if in mockery of that boast,
Two words–two foreign soft dissyllables–
Italian tones, made only to be murmured
By angels dreaming in the moonlit “dew
That hangs like chains of pearl on Hermon hill,”–
Have stirred from out the abysses of his heart,
Unthought-like thoughts that are the souls of thought,
Richer, far wilder, far diviner visions
Than even the seraph harper, Israfel,
(Who has “the sweetest voice of all God’s creatures,”)
Could hope to utter. And I! my spells are broken.
The pen falls powerless from my shivering hand.
With thy dear name as text, though hidden by thee,
I cannot write–I cannot speak or think–
Alas, I cannot feel; for ’tis not feeling,
This standing motionless upon the golden
Threshold of the wide-open gate of dreams,
Gazing, entranced, adown the gorgeous vista,
And thrilling as I see, upon the right,
Upon the left, and all the way along,
Amid empurpled vapors, far away
To where the prospect terminates–_thee only_!
When I was younger, I probably wouldn’t have admitted any of the above (not even to myself). I prided myself on being a very independent woman, not falling for all of that romantic, gushy nonsense. But then, I had never known the experience of being adored. Gotta say, it’s kind of addicting.
Back to my album. I only had about six by the time I finished college but thanks to the internet, I finally have a whole album’s worth. Props to my friends who have tossed a couple my way over the years.
Even though some of the titles may be the same, each and every song is unique. I dropped in the videos below of some of my faves. Enjoy!
Songs in the Key of Marie
“Marie” by Tommy Dorsey
“Marie, Marie” by Buckwheat Zydeco
“Sweet Marie” by Thin Lizzy
“(Marie is the name of) His Latest Flame” by Elvis
“Marie” by Randy Newman
“Hot Biscuits and Sweet Marie” by NRBQ
“Marie” by Townes Van Zandt
“Absolutely Sweet Marie” by Bob Dylan
“Sweet Marie” by Hothouse Flowers
“Sweet Marie” by The Anniversary
“Marie Floating over the Backyard” by Eels
“Sweet Marie” by Timo Raisanen
“Oh Marie” by Dean Martin
“Oh Marie” by Michael Buble