|Eurovision Song Contest 1971 entry|
|"L-imħabba" (1972) ►|
"Marija l-Maltija" ("Maria the Maltese Lass", "Mary the Maltese Girl" or "The Maltese Maria") was the Maltese entry in the Eurovision Song Contest 1971, performed in Maltese by Joe Grech. This was Malta's debut Eurovision entry and consequently the first time that the Maltese language or any other Semitic language was heard at the Contest.
The song is an up-tempo number, with Grech describing his feelings as he waits at the main bus terminal in Valletta for his lover to arrive. He also describes the girl, who he declares is very worthy of being named "The Maltese Maria".
The song was performed second on the night, following Austria's Marianne Mendt with "Musik" and preceding Monaco's Séverine with "Un banc, un arbre, une rue". At the close of voting, it had received 52 points, placing 18th (last) in a field of 18. The abnormally high score by modern standards for a last-place finish is due to the voting system in place at the time, whereby all songs were guaranteed at least 34 points.