‘I feel pretty, oh so pretty, so pretty and witty and gay,’ is the most famous line of a song from the musical West Side Story, based on Romeo and Juliet. A movie I’ve never seen. But, then again, I’ve never been a teenage girl. So I have no idea who Maria is, apart from a Californian actress putting on a slightly offensive Spanish accent. And I also have no idea why she is in love with a pair of trousers. But I do know this. She comes across as the most selfish, egotistical, entitled, bigheaded, annoying, spoilt and moronic person imaginable. Let’s just hope Chino never hears this song. He sure won’t be interested in her after finding out how gay she feels…
It starts off well, but then, ‘And I pity, any girl who isn’t me.’ Oh, really? Do you now? So you’re better than everyone else? Ooh, get you, Miss Perfect. ‘I feel so pretty that I hardly can believe I’m real.’ Ooh, there she goes again. It’s almost impossible for anything to be as pretty as I am.
‘See the pretty girl in that mirror there? Who can that attractive girl be?’ I’m guessing you think it’s you. ‘Such a pretty me!’ ‘For I’m loved by a pretty wonderful boy.’ Oh, trust me, if he thinks you’re swell, Maria, I’m pretty sure he aint that wonderful.
Then her friends start questioning her sanity. ‘She’s the one who is in an advanced state of shock.’ Why? I don’t know. ‘She thinks she’s in Spain.’ Not with that awful accent. They then start questioning what’s wrong with her. ‘Or maybe it’s fleas.’ Gee, what a nice thing to say. ‘Send for Chino.’ God, no! She’ll probably explode…
She then thinks the city should give her its key. ‘A committee, should be organised to honour me.’ Oh, shut up, love. ‘I feel fizzy and funny and fine.’ You are not fine, darling. You need some serious help. ‘Miss America can just resign.’ Oh, can she now? Oh, I’ll be sure to pass that message along. “Hey, Miss America, some girl named Maria thinks your ugly and nothing compared to her, so can you resign, please? Oh, and on your way out, can you leave the key to the city. That would be champion.”
This song defies all logic. It defies all reason. It defies all sense. Yet, despite being 68-years-old, it’s as popular as ever, and I can’t figure out why. Every song in this musical is stupid. Why do people keep flocking to see it? ‘Oh, I like the tunes.’ WHAT? Have you actually read what this crazy girl is singing? She’s nuts! Chino needs to run! As far away from her as humanly possible! This song is bullshit. If William Shakespeare could see the musical and hear the songs, he’d be in tears. “What have they done to my work?” “Well, Bill, funny story – they have made a couple movies of ‘Romeo and Juliet’, but nobody really understood them because no one talks like that anymore. They did make a movie of it using modern day language, but it was a bit shit.”
I do not feel pretty, oh so pretty. I can’t. Every time I hear that my brain is bombarded by the illogic present in the song of the same name. The question is asking if I feel pretty, sure, but I can’t feel anything but enraged that this travesty of a song in this travesty of a musical exists. And I can’t help but feel annoyed that this was done to Shakespeare’s greatest work, a fact most people don’t even know. I’m outraged, dagnabbit!
So no, I do not feel pretty, oh so pretty…
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