This is super interesting, I didn't put two and two together:
Miranda penned the song just last week, and it was recorded in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, The Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. The song borrows its title from Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim's classic, "Maria," from the original Broadway musical, West Side Story.
Lin-Manuel wrote the track while waiting for news of his family's safety following Hurricane Maria, which took about 48 hours. During that time, he set about to help in the best way he knows — to write a song the proceeds of which would benefit Puerto Rico. He called legendary composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim to ask for permission to use the lyric, "almost like praying," from the classic song, "Maria" from the famed film.
Miranda said about the track, "I was acutely aware that the name Maria, which is the name of my favorite song from WEST SIDE STORY would forever have a destructive connotation as a result of this natural disaster, so my mind began flipping lyrics from "Maria" to figure out how we could flip this tragedy into something positive, which is why I reached out to Stephen Sondheim for his permission to use it."
Read more at http://www.artistdirect.com/entertainme ... zPDuYTu.99