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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The New Mexico State Song and Elizabeth Garrett

From: http://www.netstate.com/states/symb/song/nm_o_fair_nm.htm

Thanks to Park Guide Kevin R. Mohr for asking about the identification of the picture below on 9/17/08

Kevin, you and I had the same reaction to this picture when we first saw it. It has been a number of years since I first saw it, but Helen Keller's name jumped into my mind immediately. Later I found out that it was Elizabeth Garrett who wrote the New Mexico state song, Oh, Fair New Mexico. Read below; her story is interesting, not the least of which is the fact that her Dad killed the almost, if not legendary New Mexico outlaw, barely in his twenties Billy the Kid. I know that most people from the United States know this, but sometimes this blog "migrates" these posts to another blog site on which some of my friends are from other countries (like India, England etc.)

By the way, Kevin, I would like to alert you and any other interested readers that the home page of the above link for http://netstate.com seems to have very handy and useful information for all fifty states. Of course, each of us who uses it will have to check on or trust or reject its reliability for ourselves

I am not sure when Ms. Garrett came to the Caverns. Photobucket

The New Mexico State Song
O, Fair New Mexico
words and music by Elizabeth Garrett


Under a sky of azure, where balmy breezes blow;
Kissed by the golden sunshine, is Nuevo Mejico.
Home of the Montezuma, with fiery heart aglow,
State of the deeds historic, is Nuevo Mejico.

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

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

Chorus

Third Verse
Days that are full of heart-dreams, nights when the moon hangs low;
Beaming its benediction, o'er Nuevo Mejico.
Land with its bright manana, coming through weal and woe;
State of our esperanza, is Nuevo Mejico.

About the State Song
Elizabeth Garrett was the daughter of former Lincoln County Sheriff Pat Garrett. She was born in 1885 on the Garrett's ranch, in Little Creek Canyon, north of the village of Alto. She lost her eyesight a few hours after birth, due to an over-application of "blue vitrol" to her eyes to prevent infection. She was one of seven children.

In spite of her handicap, she was encouraged by her father and mother, Apolinaria Gutierrez Garrett, to enjoy the full range of activities associated with a normal childhood, activities that would not have been considered appropriate at the time. Following a youth of tree-climbing and horseback-riding, Elizabeth received a high school education and basic training at the Texas School for the Blind in Austin.

She applied herself and was qualified as a voice and piano teacher. She loved to sing and worked her way east teaching and singing. Audiences were appreciative of her talents and her interesting compositions about the far-west land of New Mexico. Elizabeth Garrett, the blind teacher/singer/songwriter soon found herself performing in respected theaters in Chicago and New York. She was called the "Songbird of the Southwest." Elizabeth Garrett had grown into a remarkable woman; well-educated; a teacher; a fine composer; and a nationally recognized soprano.

Back in New Mexico, she was persuaded to sing her composition, "O, Fair New Mexico", for the New Mexico Legislature. (The song was published by Gamble Hinged Music Company, Chicago, Illinois, and copyrighted by Elizabeth Garrett in 1915.)

Her performance impressed the Legislature so much that they voted unanimously, to make "O, Fair New Mexico" the official state song. It was adopted as the state song of New Mexico by an act of the legislature, approved on March 14, 1917. The legislation was signed by Governor Washington E. Lindsey.

New Mexico Statutes
The following information is excerpted from the New Mexico Statutes, Chapter 12, Article 3, Section 5. The words are included within the statute.

CHAPTER 12. Miscellaneous Public Affairs Matters
ARTICLE 3. State Seal, Song and Symbols
SECTION 5.

12-3-5. [State song; adoption.] That the words and music of the song written by Elizabeth Garrett, entitled, "O, Fair New Mexico," as follows:

Under a sky of azure, where balmy breezes blow;
Kissed by the golden sunshine, is Nuevo Mejico.
Home of the Montezuma, with fiery heart aglow,
State of the deeds historic, is Nuevo Mejico.

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

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

Chorus

Third Verse
Days that are full of heart-dreams, nights when the moon hangs low;
Beaming its benediction, o'er Nuevo Mejico.
Land with its bright manana, coming through weal and woe;
State of our esperanza, is Nuevo Mejico.
be and the same are hereby adopted and declared to be the state song for the state of New Mexico.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Source: New Mexico State Web Site, (http://www.state.nm.us), December 3, 2004
Source: State Names, Seals, Flags, and Symbols by Benjamin F. Shearer and Barbara S. Shearer, Copyright 2002
Source: State Songs America, Edited by M.J. Bristow, Copyright 2000
Source: State Names, Flags, Seals, Songs, Birds, Flowers, and Other Symbols by George Earlie Shankle, Ph.D., Copyright 1938



11 comments:

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You e-mail does not seem to work. Any chance of contacting you?

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