Sunday, February 15, 2015

But can you sing it with a rose between your teeth?

I promised to blog about the state song of New Mexico and I am a man of my word.

Wikipedia says that “O Fair New Mexico”, the state song of the U.S. state of New Mexico, was officially selected in 1917. It was adopted as the state song by an act of the New Mexico legislature, approved on March 14, 1917, as signed by Governor Washington E. Lindsey.

Wikipedia then tells us two almost unbelievable bits of information. First, the author, Elizabeth Garrett, was the daughter of former Lincoln County Sheriff Pat Garrett, the man who killed Billy the Kid. Second, the musical genre of “O Fair New Mexico” is classified as a tango.

I learn something new every single day. Today I learned two things.

Here are the lyrics of “O Fair New Mexico”:

1. Under a sky of azure, where balmy breezes blow,
Kissed by the golden sunshine, is Nuevo México.
Home of the Montezuma, with fiery hearts a glow,
State of the deeds historic, is Nuevo México.


O, fair New Mexico, we love, we love you so
Our hearts with pride o’er flow, no matter where we go,
O, fair New Mexico, we love, we love you so,
The grandest state to know, New Mexico.

2. Rugged and high sierras, with deep canyons below;
Dotted with fertile valleys, is Nuevo México.
Fields full of sweet alfalfa, richest perfumes bestow,
State of the apple blossoms, is Nuevo México.


3. Days that are full of heart-dreams, nights when the moon hangs low;
Beaming its benediction, o’er Nuevo México.
Land with its bright mañana, coming through weal and woe;
State of our esperanza, is Nuevo México.


I must confess that when I think of New Mexico, fields full of sweet alfalfa and orchards full of apple blossoms do not leap to mind. Sorry. Rather, I think of deserts and pottery makers and Carlsbad Caverns.

But just to prove that the state song is indeed a tango, here is an audio file of “O Fair New Mexico”. Unfortunately, it includes one of the worst saxophones I have ever heard in my life.


  1. It's not just the saxophone that's awful. It sounds as if it was recorded on a wax cylinder or an old Dictaphone.

    The rose was somewhere more personal than between their teeth. It's brilliant and probably well beyond a digital clean up. I have book marked it and if I get bored will run it through Audacity.

  2. Somehow I cannot imagine a stadium filled with New Mexicans singing along to that particular state song. Nevertheless I shall borrow the tune for my new Georgia state song which I have named - not "Georgia - Home of the Brave" but "Georgia - Home of the Brague"

  3. They are beautiful lyrics. Interesting post; thanks for sharing!

  4. Other information about Elizabeth Garrett is that she was blind, having lost her sight shortly after birth. Nothing wrong with her mind's eye, however.

    New Mexico is, my dear RWP, not just a state of deserts and pottery makers and Carlsbad Caverns. In areas where water is available, it is possible to grown almost anything. (Think of the wonderful Hatch chiles, and pinto beans.) According to the NM agriculture department, there are 43.2 MILLION acres and 21,000 farms in the state.

    Our family was blessed to have a wonderful artesian well at our home and we never lacked for an abundance of wonderfully cool, clear water, even in times of severe drouth. On our patch of earth, we had about a dozen fruit trees and grew beans, corn and tomatoes, onions, lettuce and other tender greens. We "ate plain" but we never went hungry, and were able to can or freeze more than sufficient amounts of fruits and veggies to carry us through the winter months.

    More than you wanted to know, no doubt. :)

  5. I still remember part of the state song of Mississippi, but I don't know what the one for Oregon is. I think it's called, "Roll, Oregon, Roll," but maybe I'm confusing it with another song called, Roll, Columbia, Roll"...I guess I don't really care. I'll just keep rolling along.

    States may sing their songs of praise
    With waving flags and hip-hoo-rays,
    Let cymbals crash and let bells ring
    Cause here's one song I'm proud to sing.


    Go, Mississippi, keep rolling along,
    Go, Mississippi, you cannot go wrong,
    Go, Mississippi, we're singing your song,

    Go, Mississippi, you're on the right track,
    Go, Mississippi, and this is a fact,
    Go, Mississippi, you'll never look back,

    Go, Mississippi, straight down the line,
    Go, Mississippi, ev'rything's fine,
    Go, MIssissippi, it's your state and mine,

    Go, Mississippi, continue to roll,
    Go, Mississippi, the top is the goal,
    Go, Mississippi, you'll have and you'll hold,

    Go, Mississippi, get up and go,
    Go, Mississippi, let the world know,
    That our Mississippi is leading the show,