“Bells in Santa Fe” is the second track on Halsey’s 2021 album ‘If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power.’ In the song, Halsey seemingly bids her farewells to the music game, telling us a story of the impermanence of everything around us. This also could be a tie-in for the first track on the album, which sang about the sexualization of artists in the music industry for commercial gains.
Halsey released her fourth studio album ‘If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power’ on August 27, 2021. This is her follow-up project to her highly successful album ‘Manic’ released in 2020. About the new album, Halsey said “This album is a concept album about the joys and horrors of pregnancy and childbirth. It happened by accident. I wasn’t trying to make a political record, or a record that was drowning in its own profundity—I was just writing about how I feel. The reason that the album has sort of this horror theme is because this experience, in a way, has its horrors.”
As a new mother, Halsey must be juggling a lot in her hands right now and she probably came to the realization of priorities in her life. Halsey responded to a Tweet by a fan regarding some lyrics of the song;
Listen to “Bells in Santa Fe” by Halsey
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Halsey “Bells in Santa Fe” Lyrics Meaning and Song Review
The first verse of the song is as brutal and straightforward as it gets.
Don’t call me by my name
All of this is temporary
Watch as I slip away for your sake
All of this is temporary
Halsey seems to suggest to everyone around her not to get too attached to her. For her fans, it’s Halsey the artist. For her friends and family, it’s Ashley Nicolette Frangipane who used to be near and dear to them. Sometimes (almost all the time), it is good to not get attached to things and people. Because we call fade away one day.
The saddest part is that Halsey believes she is withering away for everyone else’s sake. This can be broken down from the perspective of her music career. In the first song of the album, “The Tradition,” Halsey sang about a lonely girl who gets sold to different people daily despite her dislike for it. The same theory can be applied in “Bells in Santa Fe.” Halsey might be looking at her music career as an act of giving and sacrificing her true self to please the entire industry. The passion that got her into music might be fading away every day and this can get pretty exhausting pretty fast.
Halsey is fully aware of the fact that her time in music will run out. She is possibly at the peak of her career right now, but there are only a very few artists who have been able to stay on top. One day, she will be gone, and “You won’t even notice me depart.”
Halsey tells everyone to not have high hopes for her. She might leave one day and not even tell anyone. She could be a distant memory soon.
In the second verse of the song, the contents do not cool down.
I’ve been sеarching for a fortified defense
Four to five reasons
But Jesus, you’ve got better lips than Judas
I could keep your bed warm, otherwise, I’m useless
Halsey lets us know that there are four to five main balls she is juggling right now and it is a difficult act to sustain. Juggling is an act of extreme balancing and concentration. She wants a solid defense to fall back to. She has been taking all the hits throughout his life and career so far. Maybe she feels more vulnerable right now with a newborn in her hands. Maybe she needs some solid ground to stand on and put the juggling balls down.
In Christian lore, Judas Iscariot was one of the original Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ. According to all four canonical gospels, Judas betrayed Jesus to the Sanhedrin in the Garden of Gethsemane by kissing him and addressing him as “rabbi” to reveal his identity in the darkness to the crowd who had come to arrest him.
Halsey says that her role as a woman had dwindled down to keeping his bed warm at night. However, in the music industry, Halsey is likely the breadwinner for a hundred people around her through her success.
“All of this is temporary” is a good motto for all of us to live by.
Let us hear what you think about this song in the comments below. Check out the complete lyrics on Genius.