"The Bells of Santa Rosa"

Words & Music by James Nihan and Dale Russell

To see the Eric Avery photo of the old Saint Rose Church click here.

She walked into the mission with a bouquet in her hand
Followed by her sisters and a mariachi band
We stood before the padre and she became my wife
They toasted with sangria to a long and happy life
And down the avenida our feet kicked up the dust
As I ran with Angelita and the old ones laughed at us
And the bells of Santa Rosa were ringing on the square
As I slipped the combs of tortoise from Angelita's hair

There were ocotillo blossoms and old katchina dolls
And dancing lantern shadows on those cool adobe walls
As I held Angelita the seasons came and went
And our hearts were thankful for the blessings we were sent
Three sons and a daughter, each one was baptized
In the padre's holy water beneath the desert skies
And the bells of Santa Rosa had joyful news to tell
All the way to Guadelupe on the winds from San Miguel

There were chili peppers hanging in the sun outside our door
But as luck would have it the rain began to pour
The ancient women hovered with their rosaries and shawls
And the cries of grief resounded off those old adobe walls
There lay Angelita in the glow of candlesticks
In a box made of cedar, she held her crucifix
And the bells of Santa Rosa took their toll on me
They fell silent long ago but they haunt my memory
In the faces of my children I see her dark eyes shine
Oh, the bells of Santa Rosa echo in my mind

Published by Composure Music / Darshana Music (ASCAP)

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