Lawmakers table state children’s song

SANTA FE (KRQE) — You may find yourself asking, “How can you turn pizza into awesome? How can you make macaroni sing?” A group of third graders from Las Cruces has the answers.

“Green chile! Green chile! Everything is better with green chile,” they sing in a song written by teacher Melanie Wilson.

When a state representative heard about the song, “Green Chile”, he wanted it to become the official state children’s song.

Then House Bill 13 went to a committee.

Wednesday, legislators on the House Regulatory and Public Affairs committee voted 4 to 3 to table the bill altogether, after hearing concerns the song left out red chile lovers and producers.

The bill’s fiscal impact report says the Department of Cultural Affairs expressed “…strong concern that this song disenfranchises all red chile advocates as it only celebrates green chile.”

“Cultural Affairs was concerned we would give this new song to a group of students that put it together, without going statewide, maybe a competition,” said Rep. Yvette Herrell, R-Alamagordo, who chairs the committee.

As for the concerns about disenfranchising red chile lovers, Herrel said, “You know how New Mexico is. There was some concern there.”

Songwriter Melanie Wilson says she gets it.

“If I had set out to write, specifically, a New Mexico children’s state song, I probably could have been a little more broad,” Wilson said. “But I wrote the song for a third grade children’s performance, and it needed to be about green chile.”

The report also detailed concerns from DCA.

“One stanza of the song appears to criticize the city of Las Cruces,” it says.

The original lyrics said:

“When you think Las Cruces is too boring / When you think you’d like to try New York / The shopping and the shows may be rewarding / But something will be missing on your fork!”

Listen to the full song below:

The Report says DCA “…questions whether such a sentiment should be enacted in state statute.”

Wilson, who had rewritten the lyrics to say “when you think the desert is too boring,” says the third graders will be okay.

“It’s not like we’ve lost anything,” she said. “It was an honor to get as far as we did and we made a great recording. That’s good enough.”

The DCA suggested to lawmakers that the state hold a contest to come up with an official children’s song.

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