Harve Presnell They Call The Wind Maria, is an American popular song with lyrics written by Alan J. Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe for their 1951 Broadway musical, Paint Your Wagon, which is set in the California Gold Rush. Rufus Smith originally sang the song on Broadway, and Joseph Leader was the original singer in London’s West End. It quickly became a runaway hit, and during the Korean War, the song was among the “popular music listened to by the troops”.
Vaughn Monroe and his Orchestra recorded the song in 1951, and it was among the “popular hit singles at the record stores” that year. It has since become a standard, performed by many notable singers across several genres of popular music. A striking feature of the song in the original orchestration (also used in many cover versions), is a driving, staccato rhythm, played on the string instruments, that evokes a sense of restless motion.