One Hand, One Heart

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"One Hand, One Heart" is a song from the musical West Side Story. It is a duet sung between Maria and Tony. Larry Kert and Carol Lawrence introduced it in the 1957 Broadway production.


This is the song Maria and Tony sing while they have a make-believe wedding. The song was originally written for Candide.[1]


Phillip Brophy analysis the song's context within the musical:

This number extends the playing-out of social rituals as in the previous number. Here Tony and Maria perform a symbolic marriage because such an actual ceremony is a 'social' impossibility. This reinforces their relationship as being 'above' their social reality, accented by the whole notion of them with their heads 'up in the clouds'. Throughout this number they 'harmonize' with one another and eventually resolve those harmonies into unison, symbolizing their 'oneness' with one another. Note how their call-response itself is a recreation of the vow exchanges in a marriage ceremony. Note also how at the end of the number, the melodic motif of "Maria" slightly upsets the harmonic resolution. This motif – which it must be remembered alludes to Tony's desire to get in on with Maria, and which therefore constitutes a social transgression which works to move the plot along to end tragically – symbolically suggests that their wedding will not take place because 'it shouldn't happen'.[2]

Critical reception[edit]

Inkpot argues it is "the most moving song" of the musical, and that due to the tragic ending, this scene "will be enough to move you to tears".[3] Filmsite calls it a "soothing duet" that "establishes their oneness".[4]

Notable recordings[edit]


  1. ^ Vaill, Amanda (2006). Somewhere – The Life of Jerome Robbins. New York: Broadway Books. p. 284. ISBN 978-0-7679-0421-6. They took the virginal duet, "One Hand, One Heart" originally written for and pulled from Candide ... and relocated it to Tony and Maria's bridal shop marriage
  2. ^ West Side Story analysis by Philip Brophy
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ "". Retrieved February 18, 2018.
  6. ^ "". Retrieved February 18, 2018.
  7. ^ "". Retrieved February 18, 2018.