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"America" is a song that is featured in the 2021 live-action feature film, West Side Story. In the song, Anita (Ariana DeBose) and the other girls express the view that New York is a better place to live than Puerto Rico, while the boys express the opposite view.

Lyrics

Anita:
Puerto Rico,
You lovely island
Island of tropical breezes
Always the pineapples growing
Always the coffee blossoms blowing

Puerto Ricans:
And the money owing!
And the babies crying!
And the people trying

Anita:
I like the island Manhattan!
Smoke on your pipe and put that in!

I like to be in America!

Shark Girls:
Okay by me in America!

Puerto Ricans:
Everything free in America!

Bernardo:
For a small fee in America

Anita:
Buying on credit is so nice!

Bernardo:
One look at us and they charge twice!

Rosalía:
I have my own washing machine!

Bernardo:
What will you have though to keep clean?

Anita, Rosalía and Luz:
Skyscrapers bloom in America!
Cadillacs zoom in America!
Industry boom in America!

Sharks:
Twelve in a room in America!

Anita:
Lots of new housing with more space

Community Activists:
Lots of doors slamming in our face!

Anita:
I'll get a terrace apartment

Bernardo:
Better get rid of your accent

Anita, Rosalía and Luz:
Life can be bright in America

Sharks:
If you can fight in America!

Anita:
Life is all right in America!

Bernardo:
If you're all white in America!

Bernardo and Quique:
La la la la la America!

Bernardo:
America!

Puerto Ricans:
La la la la la la, America!

Anita:
America!

Shark Girls:
Here you are free and you have pride!

Sharks:
Long as you stay on your own side

Shark Girls:
Free to do anything you choose!

Sharks:
Free to wait tables and shine shoes!

Bernardo:
Everywhere grime in America!
Organized crime in America!
Terrible time in America!

Anita:
You forget I'm in America

Bernardo:
I think I'll go back to San Juan

Anita:
I know a boat you can get on!

Bernardo:
Everyone there will give big cheer!

Anita:
Everyone there will have moved here

Notes

  • This version of the song had its lyrics changed to more closely resemble those used in the 1957 Broadway show rather than the 1961 film adaptation. This was due to the fact that the line "Puerto Rico, my heart's devotion, let it sink back in the ocean" was deemed too offensive and disrespectful towards Puerto Rican culture by the filmmakers.


v - e - d
West Side Story Logo.png
Media
West Side Story (soundtrack/video) • West Side Story: The Making of the Steven Spielberg Film
Characters
María VasquezTonyAnitaBernardo VasquezRiffChinoAnybodysValentina
Locations
New York CityNew YorkManhattanSan Juan HillDoc's Drugstore
Songs
La BorinqueñaJet SongSomething's ComingMaríaTonightAmericaGee, Officer KrupkeOne Hand, One HeartCoolTonight QuintetI Feel PrettySomewhereA Boy Like ThatAnother Day in America
See also
JetsSharks
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