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THE ALFEE’s Plea in “Marie Anne”: Won’t You Stay For Me?

Marie Anne by THE ALFEE

The prompt for this week’s #SongLyricsSunday is “Maria/Marie/Mary”. What a perfect prompt to write about the legendary Japanese rock band THE ALFEE and their 1983 song “Marie Anne” (メリーアン). If you like a little Journey mixed with folk, then be sure to check out “Marie Anne” down below.

(This is part of a #SongLyricsSunday challenge, which is hosted by Jim at An Unique Title For Me. Anyone can join! Details on how to participate are found at the end of this post!)

Who are THE ALFEE?

“Marie Anne” was released exactly 37 years ago today (June 21, 1983). The song was written by the band themselves. But who are THE ALFEE? Let me introduce them!

THE ALFEE (also known as Alfie and Alfee) was formed in 1973 with Masaru Sakurai, Konosuke Sakazaki, and Toshihiko Takamizawa. They all met while attending the same college. According to Wikipedia, they are mainly inspired by American folk music. But, they also dabble in heavy metal, hard rock, progressive rock, and new wave. Some artists that they are inspired by are King Crimson, Yes, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, and Pink Floyd.[1]

They released their first single, entitled Natsu Shigure (夏しぐれ; Summer), as Alfie in 1974. The band only released two singles (with the third one being canceled) before their label, JVC, dropped them as the band failed to produce a hit. Afterward, they served as a backing band for many artists from 1975 to 1979.

The band was given a second shot with the label Pony Canyon as Alfie became Alfee, releasing the single “Love Letter” (ラブレター) in 1979. It was five years later that the band got their number one hit with “Koibito no Pavement” (恋人達のペイヴメント: Lovers’ Pavement).

The band has been together for 47 years without any hiatuses! Impressive! The members also had success with their own solo career, especially Toshihiko Takamizawa. He had a successful solo career and wrote many songs for big-name stars.

Marie Anne, Won’t You Stay For Me?

Toshihiko Takamizawa once said that the inspiration for this song came from the 1955 French-German film Marianne de ma Jeunesse (Marianne of My Youth). I wouldn’t know if he was truly inspired by the film as I have never seen it before. I might have to hunt down for a copy of the movie and watch it next weekend.

However, musically, I feel like THE ALFEE were influenced by a lot of heavy rock when they wrote this song. From the first beat, you can hear influences from the band Journey with the synthesizers and electronic guitar. The bridge also features that hard rock element with the electronic guitar solo. You can hear the folk with the acoustic guitar strummed by Masaru Sakurai.

I was introduced by “Marie Anne” by Spotify last year with the weekly recommendations playlist. I have loved it ever since I first listened to it. Love how the song features a perfect mixture of folk and hard, electronic rock.

Check out “Marie Anne” down below and tell me what you think of the song in the comments!

Performing “Marie Anne” back in the day:

THE ALFEE sang this last year on a summer music festival TV special. Look at Toshihiko Takamizawa’s guitar!

There was a tribute/cover album in 1995 that featured various THE ALFEE songs done in the Eurobeat style. The project was lead by the famous Dave Rodgers, who was one of the main producers of Eurobeat in the 90s. It might sound weird, but listening to it, the cover isn’t that bad.

Lyrics for THE ALFEE’s “Marie Anne”

Coming out of the dew covered forest
On a white balcony, I saw you
Imploring eyes and long hair swaying in the wind
My heart flutters at this chance meeting, seeming to burst open

Marie Anne, Marie Anne
Marie Anne, won’t you stay for me?

With the sound of a chapel bell in the distance
I had a dream where I snatched you away
In the shining days of youth, the mystery of love was never solved
My feelings are growing intense on this path I ply between

Marie Anne, Marie Anne
Marie Anne, won’t you stay for me?
Marie Anne, Marie Anne
Marie Anne, won’t you stay for me?

Oh, Marie Anne, suddenly
Where did you disappear to?

The storm has passed on this midsummer night
I travel seeking your figure
I’ve awoken from a dream but illusions remain in my heart
Will everyone passes by the signpost?

Marie Anne, Marie Anne
Marie Anne, won’t you stay for me?
Marie Anne, Marie Anne
Marie Anne, won’t you stay for me?


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