Elizabeth Garrett, New Mexico State Song Writer (1885 – 1947)

Elizabeth was the third child born to Patrick Floyd Garrett [the Lincoln County Sheriff who shot Billy the Kid] and his wife Apolinaria (nee Gutierrez). Elizabeth became blind shortly after her birth. A friend of Helen Keller, she became an accomplished musician and song writer, and composed New Mexico’s official state song O, Fair New Mexico, in 1915. (Amadeo Lucero, Michael Martin Murphy and Pablo Mares also wrote songs honoring New Mexico.)

She moved to Roswell in the 1920’s and resided there, earning her living by teaching piano, until she died from a fall on a city street in 1947. She seems to have adored her father. She wrote, “[He shared] all the wonders and beauties and secrets of [the universe]. This intimacy brought me to the tender side of his nature. There was never a time when my questions were rebuffed. Instead he met them with patience and truth as nearly as he knew it.” John Nance Garner (1868 – 1967), U.S. Vice President (1933 – 1941), who was well acquainted with Garrett at Uvalde, Texas, recalled that Garrett, “gave her [Elizabeth] everything to make her happy and I think finally made quite a musician of her.”

Keleher, The Fabulous Frontier

Metz, Pat Garrett

Roswell Daily Record, August 31, 2003

Text from the NEW MEXICO HISTORICAL BIOGRAPHIES, by Don Bullis. Publisher: Rio Grande Books

“O Fair New Mexico” by Elizabeth Garrett

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

O, fair New Mexico, we love, we love you so
Our hearts purchase nexium online 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 México.
Fields full of sweet alfalfa, richest perfumes bestow,
State of apple blossoms, is Nuevo México.


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


editor’s note: Elizabeth Garrett gave a recital at the Pavilion in Cloudcroft during the summer of 1915. For one number she introduced her own composition “O, Fair New Mexico”. In 1917 the state of New Mexico adopted it as the official state song.
Neal, The Cloud-Climbing Railroad

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