"St. Teresa" as written by Rick Chertoff, Joan Osborne, Eric M. Bazilian and Robert Andrew Hyman....
Sit down on the corner just a little crime
When I make my money got to get my dime
Sit down with her baby wind is full of trash
She bold as the street light dark and sweet as hash
Way down in the hollow leavin' so soon
Oh St. Teresa higher than the moon
Reach down for the sweet stuff when she looks at me
I know any man sees you like I see
Follow down the side street movin' single file
She say

That's where I'll hold you, sleeping like a child
Way down in the hollow, leavin' so soon
Oh, St. Teresa, higher than the moon
Just what I've been needin', feel it rise in me
She say

Every stone a story, like a rosary
Corner St. Teresa, just a little crime
When I make my money, got to get my dime
Way down in the hollow, leavin' so soon
Oh, St. Teresa, higher than the moon
You called up in the sky
You called up in the clouds
Is there something you forgot to tell me

Tell me, tell me, tell me, tell me, tell me
Show me my Teresa, feel it rise in me
Every stone a story, like a rosary

Lyrics submitted by Nelly

"St. Teresa" as written by Rob Hyman Eric M Bazilian

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Universal Music Publishing Group

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St. Teresa song meanings
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  • +4
    General CommentLove this song. I think it's definitely a story of a drug addicted prostitute. "The corner" is probably a reference to the spot where she works."Climb" could mean she's come down and needs to get high again. "Dime" is a common drug reference.

    "Baby" is another common drug reference. I think the "trash" is all the discarded packets (bags) drug users leave behind. "Street light" could be the lighter or candle used to cook the dope. "Dark and sweet as hash", probably tar heroin.

    I think she's talking about her vein when she says "way down in the hollow", and "leaving so soon" could mean she's going to escape her troubles.

    Perhaps I'm completely off base but that's about all I've come up with. The great things about songs is all the speculation concerning lyrics :)
    DailyBuzzon March 18, 2008   Link
  • +3
    Song MeaningThe song is about a drug-addicted prostitute, but the reference to St. Teresa is not to a patron saint, but to a famous sculpture, "The Ecstasy of St. Teresa". In her autobiography, St. Teresa describes the scene memorialized in the statute as follows:

    "The pain was so great, that it made me moan; and yet so surpassing was the sweetness of this excessive pain, that I could not wish to be rid of it."

    Sounds like an addict in the middle of a high.
    ChelseaGuyon November 07, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentOk, here we go, you all were 'wrong' & 'right' at the same time The song is not about the user but rather about the pusher Here Joan Osborne explains it herself:

    Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): The Catholic Church denounced the song, “St. Teresa.”

    Joan Osborne: Yes.

    Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): What was your inspiration?

    Joan Osborne: It’s funny. That character actually was based on a woman I used to see out my window when I was living on the lower east side in New York City. I would see this woman out on the street corner, and she had a baby in a stroller with her. She was selling drugs fairly openly on the corner. Those were the days when that neighborhood was really kind of like the Wild West.

    I was fascinated by her because I thought she was really a strong person to be out on the street doing what she was doing with her child by her side. I kind of admired her in a way, not that I would ever want to raise my own daughter in those circumstances, but this was a woman who was making the best of her situation and doing what she could to support her family in this urban jungle environment. So, I became fascinated with her.

    I thought that if I could see her that maybe there were other people who were looking out windows and watching her as well. The song is from the point of view of imagining somebody else who is watching her and who might go down and buy some drugs from her and have a relationship with her. It was based on that. I don’t want to say much more about it because I don’t like to interpret lyrics too much, but that is who the song was based on.
    TeresaSongMeaningson January 07, 2017   Link
  • +1
    General CommentSt. Teresa isn't necessarily a person, but a place. She says "Corner St. Teresa..." as if she is talking about a landmark. Either a street named so where this person is located or even, and I've actually looked it up, a church by the name of St. Teresa (which there is one where she lived in Kentucky and one in New York City, where she also lived) that this person she speaks of in the song is found.

    Of course it really could be about anyone. A prostitute or even just a homeless mother with her baby on the street who is sick, or makes money by hooking, or something of that sort.

    If you are sticking to her actually talking about St. Teresa herself, there's two who's patronages match for this story she could be telling. There's Saint Thérèse de Lisieux, which is for AIDS sufferers, missions and a few other things. Then there's Saint Teresa of Ávila, loss of parents, people in need of grace and so on.
    mzquirkon October 28, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song to me has an emotional meaning and i think that what it's really saying is that here is a woman who is apparently trying to survive the only way she can to support herself and her baby by selling drugs or herself in an attempt to escape the sadness of her life. (lol) i could be wrong
    Armoron November 10, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this is the best song on the album.
    Zytheon January 01, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentLove this song. Does anyone have any idea who St Teresa is and what she has to do with anything??
    halo26on January 25, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOh my god are you kidding? Have you been living under a rock your entire life? Jeez.
    all4swinginuroundon February 28, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHint: It has nothing to do with the Mother Theresa you may have heard about.

    The interpretation I usually hear is that the song is about a whore who's taking the singer around, and seeing life through her eyes. St. Teresa is either some patron saint of the oldest profession, or a metaphor for a drug that takes her "higher than the moon".
    Denzeraon August 09, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI know we're supposed to be talking about the lyrics, but I just adore the intro to this song, starting in regular 4:4 before adopting the St Teresa lilt. Listen again, and smile...
    ShineYouDiamondon September 26, 2006   Link

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