Tribute to Mariah

6 10 2018

This post is specially for my friend Roy Garner, who grew up with his family in Disappointment Valley. He still visits a couple of times a year, to see the area and the mustangs. Roy is in his very fit 80s, and until recently, he was still trimming and shoeing horses. Love you, Roy!


Thursday in Durango, Colorado, Dave Stamey was the headline performer for the opening night of the Cowboy Poetry Gathering, now in its 30th year (!).

Regular readers of this blog will know that every now and then, I quote Dave Stamey lyrics to go along with some photo of Spring Creek Basin and/or its mustangs.

Dave Stamey simply is the best cowboy singer/songwriter in the Western universe. That ain’t opinion, folks; that’s pure, simple fact. 🙂 (The mustangs know it, too. I like to sing (poorly, I’m afraid, though they’ve never complained) Dave Stamey songs to them while sitting in the sunshine and breeze while they graze and nap, especially my favorite songs, “Sunrise” and “The Circle.”)

Thursday night, one of the first songs he performed was a “classic,” meaning, in part, that he hadn’t written it (he writes true-to-hard-gritty-dirty-(and-sometimes-romantic-and-sometimes-hilarious)-life cowboy songs as only someone who lives the life can write).

This is where the tribute to Mariah – and my friend Roy – comes in.

He sang “They Call the Wind Maria,”* which is the song behind Roy’s naming of Mariah when she was a bitty babe, seen first by Roy during one of his spring visits to Spring Creek Basin.

Later, between shows (friend and fellow advocate Kat Wilder paid for my tickets as my birthday present – thank you, Kat!), we talked to Dave, and I thanked him for singing “They Call the Wind Mariah,” telling him that we have a mustang named Mariah … named for that very song.

“They Call the Wind Maria”

Maria, Maria
They call the wind Maria

Way out here they got a name
For rain and wind and fire
The rain is Tess, the fire’s Joe
And they call the wind Maria

Maria blows the stars around
And sends the clouds a-flyin’
Miriam makes the mountain sound
Like folks were up there dyin’

Maria, Maria
They call the wind Maria

Before I knew Maria’s name
And heard her wail and whinin’
I had a gal and she had me
And the sun was always shinin’

Then one day I left my girl
I left her far behind me
And now I’m lost so cold and lost
Not even God can find me

Maria, Maria
They call the wind Maria

Out here they got a name
For rain, for wind and fire only
But when you’re lost and all alone
There ain’t no word but lonely

And I’m a lost and lonely man
Without a star to guide me
Miriam, blow my love to me
I need my girl beside me

Maria, Maria
They call the wind Maria
Maria, Maria
Love, my love, pull me

~ Lyrics by Alan Lerner, music by Frederick Loewe


Here, Dave Stamey sings/performs “They Call the Wind Maria” at the historic Henry Strater Theatre at the Strater Hotel on the opening night of the Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Durango, Colorado.

If you appreciate the Western way of life exemplified by rich singing, perfect lyrics and masterful guitar playing, check out Dave Stamey. You won’t be disappointed.

*Note on pronunciation, from the above Wikipedia link: “In George Rippey Stewart’s 1941 novel Storm, he names the storm that is the protagonist of his story Maria.[19] In 1947, Stewart wrote a new introduction for a reprint of the book, and discussed the pronunciation of “Maria”: “The soft Spanish pronunciation is fine for some heroines, but our Maria here is too big for any man to embrace and much too boisterous.” He went on to say, “So put the accent on the second syllable, and pronounce it ‘rye’.”



One response

6 10 2018
Sue Story

Wonderful tribute to Roy Garner and Dave Stamey – and “our” Mariah! And good on Kat – what a great birthday present, TJ!

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