St. Teresa of Avila in Joan Osborn’s St. Teresa

4 April 2015
Review of the lyrics, historical accuracy and content of Joan Osborn’s song `St. Teresa` with a look at the actual life of the St. Teresa herself.

This paper is a historical song review that compares the lyrics of Joan Osborne song, `St. Teresa`, to the actual events in the life of St. Teresa, the 16th century Spanish nun. The author looks at the lyrics, the historical context, the artist, and the works of the saint herself.
`The song St. Teresa by Joan Osborne on her 1995 album, Relish, is rather vague at a glance. The song begins in a street corner describing a woman and her child and moves into a mystical theme involving Saint Teresa. Osborne sings begins in first person, but shifts between what seems to be several characters in the song. St. Teresa, according to the songwriter herself, is actually about the women she saw from her window selling drugs on the corner through the night, their young children in tow. This scene was marked by a striking contrast between the innocence and purity of the children and the little crime, Osborne 17. Osborne’s vision of the absolute beauty and devastating abomination of mankind was liken to that of the saints’ visions from God, especially that of Saint Teresa of Avila . Osborne takes on the voice of the saint, the sinner, and the omnipotent observer in the lyrics of St. Teresa.`

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St. Teresa of Avila in Joan Osborn's St. Teresa. (2015, Apr 23). Retrieved July 8, 2020, from
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